How are families really doing since the Great Recession? That's a question we're going to try to answer at an event tomorrow.
A flurry of new data are calling attention to the pervasive poverty and growing inequality that are markers of the post-recession economy. According to a recently released supplementary measure from the U.S. Census Bureau, 49.1 million Americans were living in poverty in 2010. The Congressional Budget Office reports the income gains made during times of economic growth were heavily concentrated at the top 1 percent of the distribution scale. While the income picture is bleak, some have countered that trends in mobility, rather than income, are the best indicator of economic health. What about trends in and the impact of wealth inequality?
Tomorrow we're going to explore the strengths and weaknesses of these different approaches to learn how families are really doing, and how we might design more effective public policies.
RSVP to join us in person on Tuesday, November 22nd at 3:30pm.
The event will also be webcast live and speakers will be taking questions from our online audience during the event via email and Twitter. Please send questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet them @AssetsNAF.
In this podcast, Reid Cramer, director of the Asset Building Program at New America, describes the new dynamics of inequality that emerged in the wake of the Great Recession and have given rise to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Without dramatic changes to the housing market and policy efforts designed to get families out from under the overhang of debt, significant wealth inequality will persist for years to come. This is particularly apparent when recognizing the staggering growth of the racial wealth gap. Today, November 17th, marks the two month anniversary of the protests, which should be applauded for initiating a national conversation about equality, mobility, and opportunity.
On November 14, 2011, the Asset Building Program of the New America Foundation submitted a response to the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Financial Education and Financial Access (OFEFA) request for feedback on its financial access activities.
Last week I had the opportunity to participate in the 2011 Oregon Asset Builders' Conference, which convened a range of practitioners working in the field. Topics ranged from applying behavioral economics to poverty reduction to developing a youth targeted IDA program. I was perhaps most excited about a hands-on session I attended on financial education and children where I used glitter glue and construction paper for the first time since elementary school.
CASA of Oregon, Neighborhood Partnerships, and NeighborWorks Umpqua hosted Rebuilding the Path of Opportunity: An Oregon Asset Builders' Conference on November 9-10. Rachel Black presented "Recovery and Resiliency" at a plenary exploring the landscape of policy options to expand savings opportunities among lower-income households from the local to the national level. In the presentation, she gives a federal policy perspective and argues that helping households build financial resiliency through savings should be a core part of the economic recovery agenda.
I just returned from Detroit where I was happy to attend part of The Equity Summit 2011 (#equity11 on twitter). There were more than 2000 people in attendance and an excellent group gathered to discuss economic security including colleagues of ours from CFED, CBPP, the Insight Center, Aspen Institute and many many more. I wanted to take a minute to point out one of the big highlights of the event which was yesterday's plenary featuring Geoffrey Canada and Shaun Donovan.
Every cloud has a silver lining. In the case of the Great Recession, that silver lining is an increased awareness that Americans—especially those in lower-income households—are better off when they have access to a stock of liquid savings to weather unexpected events. Without these precautionary savings, families are economically insecure. The process of building up these savings largely depends on access to an array of financial products and services, such as low-cost and high-quality savings accounts.