Does Social Diversity Undermine Public Support for Social Insurance? New Research Findings

For many decades, social policy analysts have commented on the differences between European, especially Scandinavian, countries and North America, in relation to welfare state policies. In Canada and the USA a term like “welfare” tends to be a label for programs which give out small amounts of money to the poor, who nonetheless are viewed … More Does Social Diversity Undermine Public Support for Social Insurance? New Research Findings

Politudes Commentary: Is the timing right to do something serious about inequality in North America?

We’ve heard lots about increasing inequality in North America and Europe, Solid research reports (such as OECD, Divided We Stand (2011)) have made it clear that not only are the rich getting richer, but for several decades, the poor and the middle classes have been losing ground. A Canadian Parliamentary Committee pointed out in Dec … More Politudes Commentary: Is the timing right to do something serious about inequality in North America?

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?

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?

Targeted geographic anti-poverty interventions: France’s “Sensitive Urban Zones”

We mentioned in the January issue that US President Obama has announced a program targeting “Opportunity Zones,” socio-economically disadvantaged areas where efforts would be concentrated to improve conditions. This could be a challenge, since some kinds of disadvantage, especially poverty, unemployment and social exclusion, seem to be resistant to geographic targeting. The French experience with … More Targeted geographic anti-poverty interventions: France’s “Sensitive Urban Zones”

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