Poverty of Ideas? - available for media interviews - IPA FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Wed, 14 Jul 1999 19:27:23 -0700 (PDT)


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Date: Wed, 07 Jul 1999 10:56:50 -0700
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Subject: Poverty of Ideas?
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Institute for Public Accuracy
915 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045
(202) 347-0020 * http://www.accuracy.org * ipa@accuracy.org

Wednesday, July 7, 1999


     As President Clinton tours poor areas of the United States, analysts are
available to comment on past and future policy choices

MIMI ABRAMOVITZ, (212) 866-2429, iabramov@shiva.hunter.cuny.edu
     Professor at the School of Social Work at Hunter College and author of
"Regulating the Lives of Women," Abramovitz said: "It's positive, and long
overdue, that Clinton is addressing these issues, but to be saying that you
want to deal with poverty while you're calling welfare 'reform' a success is
rather disingenuous. While the welfare rolls have dropped sharply, studies
indicate that many have simply joined the ranks of the working poor. They
now have jobs that are paying below poverty wages, without benefits or
affordable child care; moreover, states have been 'forgetting' to tell them
that they are still eligible for Medicaid and food stamps."

JAMES K. GALBRAITH, (512) 471-1244, galbraith@mail.utexas.edu,
     Author of "Created Unequal: The Crisis in American Pay" and professor at
the LBJ School of Public Affairs, Galbraith said: "It is good that Clinton
is going out and calling attention to these issues, but some of the
suggestions are flawed. If you build a base of incomes and social and
physical infrastructure, then business activity develops, but if you throw
business activity in a region where that does not exist, then you have a
sweatshop phenomenon. What is needed is housing assistance, public services,
money to improve schools and the environment, and income support such as
through the earned income tax credit and a higher minimum wage."

GEORGE FRIDAY, (704) 855-8306, majcfrpwr69@hotmail.com
     Friday is a member of the Grassroots Policy Project and a low-income
activist. She said: "If it wasn't for NAFTA, hundreds of thousands of jobs
would not have left the U.S., creating more poverty. If there were minimal
protections for migrant workers, then we wouldn't have the depth of poverty
that we have. If North Carolina, where I live, wasn't a 'right to work'
state, people could do collective bargaining and have the guarantee of
organized workplaces. As it is, they can be fired at will. What you have now
are people who are afraid of losing jobs, so they don't push for better
conditions and safety at their workplaces."

ROBERT J. S. ROSS, (508) 793-7376, rross@clarku.edu
     Professor of Sociology at Clark University and author of the forthcoming
"Hearts Starve: The New Sweatshops in Global Context," Ross said: "What the
president's tour highlights is that there are really important pockets of
poverty in the country. Full employment is the single most important thing
in lifting people out of poverty, and the president seems to understand
that. But a rising tide lifts boats unequally. While poverty is falling,
income inequality remains at post-war highs... Using tax incentives just
moves investment around. Spot subsidies have not proved to be terribly
efficient inside of nations."

     For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020 or (202) 332-5055; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167


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