Can we shift our historic stigma about people living in poverty? Princeton poverty researcher and author Kathryn Edin joins hosts Billy and Debbie Shore to discuss how changes to certain tax credits in the $1.9 trillion COVID relief American Rescue Plan will give more Americans support to move out of poverty. “We have turned 400 years of history about how we treat the poor and think about the poor… on its head,” says Edin. “The message [these new credits] is sending to people who are struggling is, ‘we trust you and we want to support you.’ This is literally the opposite of the message we’ve been sending for over 400 years.”
Edin describes the welfare reforms in the 1990s that were based on the fear that recipients would become dependent on the system. “The pandemic has revealed this sea of need that was sitting underneath the radar for the last 25-30 years since we reformed the welfare system, steadily growing worse,” she reports. “We’ve created a very expensive problem: generations of children who aren’t getting the basics that they need to thrive and that affects the whole economy,” Edin believes. “Providing this kind of stability is really going to enable people to get out of the tunnel and lead to the kind of long-term thinking that can aid in mobility from poverty,” she concludes.
Join us to learn about how these historic tax credits can create hope for so many Americans and how we can all work to make these new supports permanent.