The Nation – This Week in Poverty

Ultimately, the report makes clear that investments in things like education and workforce training, nutrition assistance, health care, and affordable housing create pathways to the middle-class in an economy where too many jobs just won’t get a person there. These investments also make long-term fiscal sense. Child poverty, for example, costs our economy more than $500 billion annually in increased health care costs, worse educational outcomes, lower worker productivity, and increased criminal justice expenditures. A very modest investment in low-income families is associated with significantly higher earnings and work hours per year when children in those families reach adulthood. (The people seem ahead of the politicians on this front: an election eve poll by the First Focus Campaign for Children shows that 82 percent of voters—including 76 percent of Republicans—want Congress and the White House to deliver a plan to cut child poverty in half within ten years.)