While we're waiting for word from DC and Maryland on the primary results, I wanted to make a plug for the Stanford Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality's new magazine, Pathways: a magazine on poverty, inequality, and social policy. The first issue features essays on how to end poverty from Edwards, Clinton and Obama (McCain and Romney were invited to participate, but declined). But I think the rest of the magazine is even better.
- It includes the best summary for a general audience I've read of the evidence on the impact of housing vouchers on economic opportunity. DeLuca and Rosenbaum explain the differences between the overwhelmingly positive results for the families who received vouchers under Gautreaux, a court-ordered remedy in a desegregation case, and the more mixed results for families who received vouchers under Moving to Opportunity, a random assignment evaluation modeled after Gautreaux, and make some reasonable arguments about the lessons that policymakers should draw.
- Robert Frank (of The Winner Take All Society) explains why inequality is bad for rich people too, and argues for a progressive consumption tax.
- Charles Murray (of the Bell Curve) makes an case largely grounded in Frank's reasoning for why interventions aimed at increasing opportunity for low-income families won't reduce inequality.
- Becky Blank, codirector of the National Poverty Center at UMichigan, reviews the three Democratic candidates' proposals and concludes that they "all have multifaceted and serious anti-poverty plans. Anyone concerned with poverty issues could happily vote for any of them. Edwards has made poverty a centerpiece issue for his campaign from the beginning; Clinton has the best early childhood proposals; Obama is the most thoughtful on jobs for disadvantaged youth and urban change and (for my money) the most creative in putting new policy ideas on the table, such as low-cost Internet service in poor neighborhoods. But all of them understand that the measure of this country is not just the size of its GDP or the wealth of its richest citizens."
The whole magazine is available as .pdfs, and hard copy subscriptions are free. Check it out.