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May 24, 2024

The First National Calculation of Mortality of the US Homeless Population

It is well established that those with lower incomes tend to have worse health outcomes. But whether this relationship extends to the most disadvantaged in society – people experiencing homelessness – has rarely been examined. This column explores the relationship between homelessness and health outcomes in the US. It finds that after accounting for demographic…

March 14, 2024

The Chipping Away at Safe Haven Laws

“No Shame, No Blame, No Names.” That’s how one billboard advertises Safe Haven baby boxes, where a mother can anonymously leave her newborn at a fire station or other emergency facility if she feels she cannot care for the child. Unfortunately, this option, which is available in 19 states including Massachusetts, might not be effective for long. Officials…

December 26, 2023

Safe-Injection Sites and Crime

Only two government-sanctioned “safe-injection sites” operate in the U.S., one in East Harlem, the other in Washington Heights. Their impact—on both those who use their facilities to inject hard drugs under medical supervision and on the neighborhoods where they are located—is thus of national significance. Other states, cities, and the federal government are doubtless closely…

December 21, 2023

Our Policies to Address Homelessness Are Failing

Official data released last Friday show that 2023 was the worst year ever recorded for homelessness, and it’s not even close. The 12 percent rise in homelessness quadrupled the previous record for a single-year increase. Our homeless population is now the largest it has ever been. Policy-makers must wake up to this national crisis. Our…

December 18, 2023

No Excuses Now for NYCHA

Progressives have long claimed that the only problem with New York’s largest collection of slum housing—our public housing projects—has been a lack of federal funding. Former mayor Bill de Blasio liked to blame the decline of what was once the nation’s best-managed public-housing system on someone who left office in 1989: Ronald Reagan. Now, thanks…

December 1, 2023

Cities Use Covid Funds to Run Guaranteed-Income Experiments

Alexandria, Va. Dozens of cities around the country have launched welfare experiments called guaranteed-income pilots to send monthly checks of up to $1,000 to needy people. The goal is to demonstrate that giving the poor direct cash aid can improve their economic stability, their children’s educational attainment, and even their mental health. Most of the…

November 21, 2023

Defining Poverty Up

Thirty years ago, the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D., N.Y.) wrote a seminal essay titled “Defining Deviancy Down.” He argued that Americans had “become accustomed to alarming levels of crime and destructive behavior” such as soaring out-of-wedlock childbearing behind increased welfare dependence. Policy-makers responded to Moynihan’s call, and the bipartisan 1994 crime bill (which Moynihan…

August 3, 2023

Fight Crime, and Poverty, with Civil Society

Maryland’s new Democratic governor, Wes Moore, has to play to his party’s increasingly left-wing base, but he also knows that problem No. 1 in much of the state is rising crime. Prince George’s County, in particular, has a much higher crime rate than the national average, and crime has been rising since the COVID lockdowns, which were extraordinarily…

July 7, 2023

With Affirmative Action Gone, We Should Focus Admissions Policies on Poverty

If history is any guide, Supreme Court ruling in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard won’t mark the end of the struggle over the constitutionality of race-conscious policies. It won’t even mark the beginning of the end. Most likely, it will just be another in a long series of inflection points. To borrow from one of the…

January 7, 2023

Personal Responsibility, Not Victimhood, Is the Path to Success

There are too many barriers that stand in the way of the American dream for black and Hispanic young adults — from failing schools to unsafe streets. Unfortunately, Covid made these barriers worse, as wrong-headed lockdown policies in many of our public schools deepened learning gaps between white children and black and Hispanic children, and spiraling crime rates…