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Jobs and Income Strategies for the Twenty-First Century

Peter Edelman
Publication date: 
Tue, 22 Apr 2008

In the United States, ’welfare‘ and the politics of welfare – cash assistance for families, generally female-headed single-parent families with children – have been treated as a separable realm of policy, and too often as synonymous with all of anti-poverty policy. 

The debate needs to adopt a more holistic approach that treats jobs and income as inseparable aspects of the same subject. Moreover, the societal commitment should expand from a goal of ending poverty to a determination to achieve a living income for everyone. 
Just as the terms of the debate need to be recast, so the roles of the actors needed to effectuate the remedies need to be redefined. In order to instigate effective change, public policy, civic engagement, and personal responsibility must come together to form a three-dimensional and interactive relationship among individuals (and their families), communities (in a number of senses), and governments at all levels.