The current measure of poverty in our country was developed in the 1960's, and it has been besieged with criticism. A "new" proposal is looking to revamp this measure and change how we do business. read more »
The following is a guest post by Lisa Palin, an attorney at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Popeo, P.C. On September 15, Lisa participated in a United Way Poverty Simulation. The United Way Poverty Simulation aims to provide participants with a closer view into in the life of a family living at or near the poverty level in Massachusetts. Each participant takes on the role of a family member and are assigned tasks to accomplish to sustain their families – work, grocery shop, go to school, sign up for needed services, etc.
The experience is simulated, but participants get a sense of the real-life constraints, such as transportation, work and time, that many families face in trying to attain financial stability. In her guest post, Lisa walks us through her "role" in the simulation and what was going through her mind during and after the experience. read more »
This past Monday a group of United Way staff and board members participated in an exercise called a poverty simulation. The basic idea is for participants to gain a sense, even for just a moment, of what life is like for those in our communities who struggle to make ends meet. Every participant is assigned a role to play, whether it is as part of a family unit or a service provider or company. read more »
“Better Help Wanted”
was an editorial title from the Globe today. Its last sentence sums up the article. Bidding the Legislature to follow Governor Patrick’s prudent desire to give the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund $15 million, it says:
“The state’s economy can grow only if it has enough skilled workers”
The Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund, created in the economic stimulus bill of 2006, is one way to focus on regional industries and gives grants to projects backed by partners in education, training, and employment. This seems to be a “win-win-win” proposal read more »
At the UW offices there has been quite a lot of talk about the effects of poverty on early childhood brain development. Now it looks like the discussion is reaching the mainstream. Check out this Financial Times article that summarizes why early childhood intervention is so important and why living in poverty is “poison” to the brain. read more »
On Monday, December 3rd, I presented on a panel at “Working Together to Build Wealth in Lower-Income Communities” held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and sponsored by Massachusetts Community and Banking Council. Wealth and Poverty, Products and Services for people who are low-income, Financial Education Program Models, and Increasing Collaboration were all explored via panel presentations and Q & A. read more »
"In Lawrence, the economy has a name.
In Lawrence, the economy has a face
Lawrence is where the economy comes to live."
Today, The Boston Globe began a three-part series by Charles P. Pierce that aims to bring a local lens to the three largest issues of the current presidential election: The economy, healthcare, and the war in Iraq. For today's economy feature Pierce wrote from the poorest city in Massachusetts.
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I am upset. I guess upset doesn’t quite describe the undercurrent of fury that’s clouding my day to day activities. And no, it’s not the driver who cut me off on 95 today or the tantrum my kid threw that caused me to be late for work. I’m mad because I can’t seem to get a grip on where my once disposable income is going. read more »
Among those working in poverty alleviation, a fundamental point of contention is whether individual behavior or structural barriers are the reason the poor stay poor. Charles Karelis rejects the economic assumptions underlying the dispute, challenging both sides of the ideological spectrum. Read the Boston Globe article about his ideas, including bee stings and car dents, here.
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