1st Edition

Assets and the Poor New American Welfare Policy

By Michael Sherraden Copyright 1991
    344 Pages
    by Routledge

    344 Pages
    by Routledge

    This work proposes a new approach to welfare: a social policy that goes beyond simple income maintenance to foster individual initiative and self-sufficiency. It argues for an asset-based policy that would create a system of saving incentives through individual development accounts (IDAs) for specific purposes, such as college education, homeownership, self-employment and retirement security. In this way, low-income Americans could gain the same opportunities that middle- and upper-income citizens have to plan ahead, set aside savings and invest in a more secure future.

    Tables and Figures

    Foreword Neil Gilbert

    Preface and Acknowledgements

    Part I: Maintenance: Welfare as Income

    1. The Failure of Welfare Policy as a Failure of National Vision

    2. Income Distribution and Income Poverty

    3. The State of Welfare Theory

    4. Federal Welfare Policy—Who Benefits?

    5. The Welfare Reform Debate

    Part II: Development: Welfare as Assets

    6. The Nature and Distribution of Assets

    7. Inheritance of Asset Inequality

    8. Toward a Theory of Welfare Based on Assets

    9. The Design of Asset-Based Welfare Policy

    10. Individual Development Accounts

    11. Examples, Proposals, Costs

    12. The Integration of Welfare Policy with Economic Goals of the Nation

    13. Summary and Conclusion

    Selected References



    Michael Sherraden, Neil Gilbert