Dan is host of Bending the Arc, and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Social Policy & Practice. He's a social policy nerd that combines research with lived experience to better inform policy and practice.
Why is the poverty level dropping when the gap between how much it costs to live and how much families earn is actually growing? Workers across the United States are experiencing income insufficiency—the phenomena of working for a wage that doesn't pay enough to cover basic needs but earning too much to be eligible for social support programs. They work in some of our most crucial jobs – keeping us safe as security guards, caring for loved ones as Home Aids, helping us with our bags at the grocery store – but their struggles have been rendered invisible by the Federal Poverty Measure.
A new measure from the United Way ALICE (Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed) project shines some much needed light on the problem, finding that a whopping 43% of American households aren’t making it in today’s economy, triple the federal poverty rate. These households are in every U.S. county and include every gender, race, ethnicity, and age. Join us as we talk with ALICE Project Director Dr. Stephanie Hoopes and staunch ALICE advocate Karen Perham-Lippman, Deputy Commissioner in Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection, to help us learn about how families are getting by, and what we can do about it.
Related SP2 Faculty
Dr. Bobbie Iversen: https://www.sp2.upenn.edu/people/view/roberta-iversen/
The ALICE website: unitedwayalice.org
See if you can make it on ALICE’s wages: http://www.makingtoughchoices.org
Philadelphia’s Fair work week legislation:http://www.phillytrib.com/news/fair-work-week-bill-continues-to-wind-through-city-council/article_6bdc82a1-fba5-5035-9a5d-49ea6baf4e6c.html
National Center for Children in Poverty: http://www.nccp.org/publications/pub_892.html
The Spread of GoFundMe: https://www.mprnews.org/story/2018/07/02/health-care-gofundme-crowdfunding-doctor-bills-minn)
“Scarcity" by Sendhil Mullainathan: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/scarcity-sendhil-mullainathan/1114258421
Giving money to every American - no strings attached - sounds like a parody of liberal governance. But the policy, once proposed by Richard Nixon and suggested by colonial pamphleteer Thomas Paine, is gaining traction among a unique coalition of thought leaders, Silicon Valley executives, and politicians from across the ideological spectrum. This concept, known as the Universal Basic Income or UBI, is seen as a possible answer to a range of pressing policy conundrums: financial instability, a coming wave of unemployment driven by automation, and climate change spurred by greenhouse gas emissions.
Many have raised concerns about the potential consequences, particularly whether this could cause an exodus from the labor market while simultaneously bankrupting the government. Luckily, the UBI is not new, and we have decades of data to guide our understanding of what to expect from a large-scale UBI. Here in the United States two large programs have been operating for decades: Alaska’s Permanent Fund, funded by fees paid by oil and mining companies, has paid a dividend to every Alaskan since the early 1980s, and the Eastern Band of Cherokees have paid tribe members a share of profits from its casino since the 1990s.
On this episode of Bending the Arc, we speak with Hawaii Representative Chris Lee, who sponsored a resolution to explore the UBI in his home state, to understand the grassroots support and enthusiasm, and Dr. Ioana Marinescu, Assistant Professor at Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice and a recognized expert on the topic, to learn what history tells us and how the UBI can be an effective policy tool.
Rep. Christopher Lee
Dr. Ioana Marinescu
Other Resources to Learn about the UBI
Hawaii’s Resolution to Explore the UBI
No Strings Attached: The Behavioral Effects of U.S. Unconditional Cash Transfer Programs
The Conservative Case for Carbon Dividends
The Stockton, CA Experiment led by SP2’s Dr. Amy Castro Baker
Episode 5: From Selfies to Social Justice
“Technology is best when it brings people together,” Matt Mullenweg, a founder of WordPress, wrote several years ago. As the reach of mobile devices continues to grow, non-profit organizations have recognized the utility of tech as useful tool in the pursuit of social justice.
In this episode, we take a closer look at how technology – with a particular eye toward mobile devices - is being used for social good through a case study of Youth Matters Philly, an online resource bank designed to address youth homelessness by forging connections between young people and social services in Philadelphia. We speak with two women instrumental in its creation – Marcía Hopkins of the Juvenile Law Center and Dr. Johanna Greeson – in order to learn how professional expertise, youth centered design, and interagency collaboration led to a unique solution to an entrenched problem.
Learn More About How Tech is being Harnessed for Good
Youth Matters Philly: https://www.youthmattersphilly.org/
Youth Matters Philly Team
Juvenile Law Center:
Youth Fostering Change
Other Resources to Learn More & Get Involved
Youth Matters Philly Launch Video
Crisis Text Line
CHOP Policy Lab: Internet & Social Media Use Among Youth Experiencing Homelessness
Pew Research Center: Mobile Fact Sheet
Juvenile Law Center Donate Page
Women who experience abuse are five times more likely to be killed if their partner has access to a gun. However, a gun never needs to be fired to entrap and terrorize a victim of intimate partner violence. On this episode we look at the relationship between firearms, domestic violence, and coercive control—a form of relationship abuse in which a woman is threatened, surveilled, and degraded by her male intimate partner. We speak to Dr. Susan B. Sorenson about her research on non-fatal gun use, coercive control, and how policy change can help keep guns out of the hands of abusers. Listen to learn more about how guns impact women’s lives, not just their deaths.
Other Resources to Learn More & Find Ways to Get Involved:
Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline (PDVH)
National Domestic Violence Hotline
National Domestic Violence Chatline
Ortner Center on Violence and Abuse in Relationships
The Cycle of Abuse and Why It’s So Difficult to Leave http://www.womenagainstabuse.org/education-resources/learn-about-abuse/why-its-so-difficult-to-leave
“Understanding Coercive Control with Professor Evan Stark” from
Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey
VAWA Reauthorization Bill
Domestic Violence and Firearms: Sate and federal laws from Giffords Law Center
Lutheran Settlement House (Part of the PDVH)
Congreso (Part of the PDVH)
Women in Transition (Part of the PDVH)
We delve into a topic largely ignored - domestic sex trafficking in the United States. We talk with experts and advocates who explain the startling stats and life experiences of sex trafficking victims, along with what we, as a country, are doing to fix it.