When President Clinton signed the welfare reform bill in 1996, he changed the
moral debate over poverty by linking benefits to work. However, an opportunity
was missed to create a new type of safety net that recognized not just the
importance of income but having access to a stock of savings and assets as well.
While much attention has been focused on income volatility, severe fluctuations
in wealth and low asset holdings undermine the potential for economic mobility.
In his new paper, "Savings, Responsibility and Opportunity in America
NYU Sociologist Dalton Conley explores how our understanding of poverty, class,
and mobility would be enhanced by expanding our focus from an individual's
position in the labor market to include their ability to save and accumulate
assets over the life course. This perspective has relevant implications for the
transmission of economic status across generations and elevates the importance
of identifying a set of promising policy proposals that help families increase
their savings over the long term.
Please join us on June 19th for the release of "Savings,
Responsibility and Opportunity in America
," featuring its author, NYU
Sociologist Dalton Conley, and commentary by Elizabeth Lower-Basch of the Center
for Law and Social Policy, Scott Winship of the Economic Mobility Project, and
Reid Cramer of the New America Foundation.
Sponsored by the Asset
Building Program and the Next Social Contract Initiative of the New America
Policy Paper: "Savings,
Responsibility and Opportunity in America," (HTML | PDF)
New America Foundation
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Washington, DC, 20036
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