Reflections on the End of the Safety Net as We Know It

Lecture | April 19 | 4-6 p.m. | Sutardja Dai Hall, Banatao Auditorium

 Sheldon Danziger, President, Russell Sage Foundation

 Institute of Research on Labor & Employment, Goldman School of Public Policy, Institute for Governmental Studies, Berkeley Opportunity Lab, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, California Policy Lab

It’s been over fifty years since President Johnson declared war on poverty, and each year, our federal and state governments spend billions of dollars trying to alleviate it. So why are some 45.3 million Americans still living below the poverty line? Why is there still no consensus on what can be done to reduce poverty? And why does “poverty won the war” (Ronald Reagan, 1986) remain a political mantra?
In this talk, Dr. Danziger will review the economic trends that have increased poverty and the safety net programs that have reduced it. He’ll also highlight recommendations from a recent bipartisan report that he cowrote with Brookings and the American Enterprise Institute. His conclusion? Our era represents the end of the safety net as we know it.

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