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May 6, 2024

Generation Z Has Problems Compared to Past Generations, but Money Isn’t One

If you ask why these privileged college students are bringing their campuses to a halt over an issue that has almost nothing to do with their universities, the answer is likely to expand beyond Gaza into a story of a broader struggle and trauma this generation has endured. This contention, that Generation Z has grown up in a uniquely…

April 23, 2024

Awkward Truth: Subsidizing Women’s Work Drives Down Birthrates

Birthrates are low and falling in the United States, and commentators and policymakers are starting to realize this is a problem. It’s tempting to assume that this is about affordability: People aren’t getting married and having children because they can’t afford it! This is partly true, and so it’s partly true that we can drive up birthrates by giving money…

April 18, 2024

The Real Story Behind Food Insecurity in the US

Hunger in the US is rising at an alarming pace – or is it? Last year’s annual report on food insecurity in the US led lawmakers to believe hunger is on the rise, and, unsurprisingly, federal lawmakers are using rising levels of food insecurity to advocate for expansions to federal government programs. Unfortunately, policymakers are conflating hunger and…

January 12, 2024

Congress Shouldn’t Expand Welfare in Return for Corporate Tax Cuts

Bipartisan negotiations to revive the Democrat-favored 2021 Child Tax Credit in return for Republican-favored business-tax cuts are heating up. The business-tax cuts could be helpful in principle — if they focus on encouraging future investment and don’t add to the deficit. But under no circumstance should Republicans agree to turn the Child Tax Credit into a welfare…

January 10, 2024

By the Numbers: Here’s How the New Federal Financial Aid Formula Harms Families with More Than One Child

The old federal formula for higher education financial aid is dead. The new formula creates winners and losers. Specifically, the new formula harms middle-class families with more than one child in college at a time. It’s not that the new formula doesn’t take family size into account at all—it does, barely. The issue is that the new formula calculates the total…

January 9, 2024

Let’s Expand the Child Tax Credit a Little Bit

A bipartisan group of senators is trying to hash out a deal on extending some of the Republican tax cuts from 2017. If Congress does nothing, the child tax credit will drop down to $1,000 per child from its current level of $2,000. Some lawmakers want to expand the child tax credit massively. Others don’t. There’s a middle course that involves moderately growing…

January 9, 2024

The Success Sequence for Unmarried Mothers

As covered on these pages before, the success sequence—graduating high school, working full-time, and marrying before having children—has been proven to be an effective way for young people to avoid poverty. Research consistently finds that young people who follow these life steps have poverty rates dramatically below those who do not follow these steps. In a new study, I show that…

January 8, 2024

How to Actually Triumph over Poverty

On this day in 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared an unconditional war on poverty in America during his State of the Union address. Six decades later, the nation has made tremendous strides, including a sizable reduction in the poverty rate as Americans enjoy an improved standard of living. Yet we have not won the war. Success…

December 18, 2023

The State of Democratic Capitalism: 2023

How to assess the health of democratic capitalism in the United States? Fundamentally, it is very strong. The marriage of democratic politics and a free-market economy continues to strengthen each, with free markets generating the employment opportunities and prosperity that lead to widespread support for our political system and the rule of law, strengthen democratic…

December 14, 2023

The Myth of the 1%

The skewing of income toward the top 1% of earners has become a central issue in American politics, with both Republicans and Democrats proposing higher taxes on the rich. But new research finds that it may not be true, suggesting that policymakers would do better to focus more on helping the working class. WASHINGTON, DC—For…