Poverty and Marriage, Inequality and Brains

Pathways, Winter 2008.


It may be said with only a little exaggeration that policy analysts are happy describing the causes of problems while ignoring their solution, and politicians are happy proposing solutions to problems while ignoring their causes. At least, such is the case with poverty and income inequality. I fit the bill for the policy analyst, lacking any politically feasible solutions. But the articles of the three presidential candidates fit the bill too, written as if we have a set of solutions ready to go, awaiting only a chance, whether they be Hillary Clinton’s home visitation program that produces 56 percent fewer arrests among participants than nonparticipants, Barack Obama’s Harlem Children’s Zone that is “literally saving a generation of children in a neighborhood where they were never supposed to have a chance,” or John Edwards’s million government created “stepping stone jobs” that will get unemployed young men into work.