Have the US “Empowerment” and “Enterprise” areas benefited from federal intervention?

The first of these programs, the “Empowerment Zones,” was launched in the early 1990s, followed a few years later by the “Enterprise Zones.” We present first an analysis carried out of the Enterprise Zones by US academics. The study showed positive results in the short run, but was equivocal on the potential for long-term benefits. … More Have the US “Empowerment” and “Enterprise” areas benefited from federal intervention?

Local Interventions to Reduce Poverty: Obama’s new initiative

In an earlier volume, Politudes reported on President Obama’s announcement of a new program of local intervention, called “Promise Zones.” We have carried some material describing initiatives in Canada and France which have comparable objectives, if not all of the same components. The following brief contributions address the socio-economic context, the objectives of Promise Zone … More Local Interventions to Reduce Poverty: Obama’s new initiative

Helping low-end workers: Minimum wage adjustment or income supplementation?

Public concerns about increasing inequality appear to be reaching the ears of legislators in North America and Europe. President Obama recently announced that he would adjust the minimum wage for federal contractors to just over $10 per hour, and called upon congressional and state legislators to do the same for wages in their jurisdictions. There … More Helping low-end workers: Minimum wage adjustment or income supplementation?

Canadian Counter-currents? Inequality and Poverty

Incomes in Canada became more unequal from the 1980’s to the late 2000’s, more or less at the same pace as other OECD countries; behind, but on the same track as the USA. A December 2013 report by the Canadian Parliamentary Committee on Finance (see link below) does a nice job of presenting current knowledge … More Canadian Counter-currents? Inequality and Poverty

Neighbourhood influences and place-based intervention: The impact and potential of community on well-being

How much does our local community influence living standards, inclusiveness, health? Can communities activate resources to pull themselves, or their vulnerable residents, out of poverty? Can they improve health standards, reduce crime, increase life opportunities? What are the strengths and limits of community-based development, and do regional/national policies encourage community action? How well are those … More Neighbourhood influences and place-based intervention: The impact and potential of community on well-being

Lessons about National Social Spending

We used to think it was pretty straightforward to rank countries on how much they spend on their “welfare state”  – or social programs.  Scandinavian countries on top, western Europe next, followed by the Anglo countries and southern Europe. Sweden was the ultimate welfare state – “high tax – high transfers.” The USA generally came … More Lessons about National Social Spending