Month: August 2016

The result has been a dramatic shift of resources away from cash assistance and toward spending on other programs. In 1998, nearly 60 percent of welfare spending was on cash benefits, categorized as “basic assistance.” By 2014, it was only about one-quarter of TANF spending. That shift has happened despite a burgeoning economics literature suggesting that direct cash transfers are in many cases the most efficient tool to fight poverty. FiveThirtyEight: Most Welfare Dollars Don’t Go Directly to Poor People Anymore FacebookTwitterLinkedInredditBuffer…
Not all giving is the same. Not every gift means the same things, takes the same form, or has the same motivation. An anonymous cash gift to a homeless shelter, for example, is different from a gift of stock to an elite university in exchange for the university’s business school being named after the donor; and both of those are different from a gift to a family member at Christmas. There are varieties of giving. And the differences between those varieties matter. Here, for example, are three different – and major – forms of giving. Patronage was the dominant…
Indeed, terms like “preference” and “choice” still dominate media coverage of millennials. But if anything holds this tenuously defined generation together, it is a lack of options. Americans who have lived much of their adult lives in the aftermath of the Great Recession have lower incomes, less mobility, and greater financial dependence on older relatives than any other generation in modern history. Many millennials do not have a lot of choice. They are merely reacting to lost opportunity. Quartz: The Myth of Millennial Entitlement Was Created to Hide Their Parents’ Mistakes FacebookTwitterLinkedInredditBuffer…
Once upon a time, a woman went to a park with coolers full of 100 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. She gave the sandwiches out to anyone who came to her. Some people took a sandwich and left. Some people took a sandwich and, a little while later, came back for a second one… or a third… or even a fourth. Some were children and some were adults. Some were dressed in rags and some were dressed in business suits. Some said ‘thank you’ and some did not. After a while, she had given out all of her sandwiches and…
In the early-ish days of blogging, it was normal to have a blogroll: a list of links to other (often more popular) blogs that the author was interested in. The blogroll would sit calmly in the sidebar and let readers browse their way to other blogs and other authors, discovering fresh ideas and insights. Now, nobody maintains a blogroll. The best hope you have of finding someone else is to follow a link in the body of a post or in a comment or in a link dump. Around here, they also show up in link posts that I share…
Gilbert Cruz said he does not want an apology from the Harris County sheriff’s deputy who punched him in the face and arrested him. He said he does not want an apology from his court-appointed defense attorney, Abel Izaguirre, for failing to put more pressure on prosecutors to drop the case sooner. And he does not want an apology from anyone on the outside world who stripped him of his livelihood. Houston Press: The Houston Man Who Refused to Plead Guilty Does Not Want an Apology FacebookTwitterLinkedInredditBuffer…
For people who are low-income, it can be surprisingly difficult to obtain identification. The reason for that is surprisingly simple: you need proof of identity (and often residency) in order to get proof of identity! This creates a vicious circle where not having documentation of your identity means not being able to get proof of your identity; and not having proof of your identity makes it harder – if not all but impossible – to get documentation. This is something that most people – people who aren’t in this vicious cycle – don’t realize. Since I recently encountered some…
This sermon was delivered at Union Congregational United Church of Christ in Moline, Illinois on August 7, 2016. The scriptures for this sermon are Hebrews 11:1-3 and Luke 12:32-40. You may not know this, but I’m a professional fundraiser for a little nonprofit organization in Biloxi, Mississippi. I live here in the Quad Cities and I world from home quite a bit. But I also travel about a quarter of the time. And that means a lot of time in airports. And that means a lot of kind of awkward conversations in gate waiting areas. One time, I was chatting…
In the early-ish days of blogging, it was normal to have a blogroll: a list of links to other (often more popular) blogs that the author was interested in. The blogroll would sit calmly in the sidebar and let readers browse their way to other blogs and other authors, discovering fresh ideas and insights. Now, nobody maintains a blogroll. The best hope you have of finding someone else is to follow a link in the body of a post or in a comment or in a link dump. Around here, they also show up in link posts that I share…
My wife was once in charge of a swimming class for adults that included a number of individuals who had had near-drowning experiences in their younger years. This naturally led to an extraordinary fear of the water. Now, anyone who has done a proper investigation of the physics of water knows that the human body is buoyant enough to float quite naturally on its surface. But in order to exploit this fact, you have to be relaxed, and, in turn, must trust the capacity of water to hold your body afloat… Knowing something and acting on that knowledge are…

Pin It on Pinterest