Category Archives: Finance

Op-Ed: “The Tax Debate We Need”

Marshall Stienbaum, The Tax Debate We Need, Jacobin, October 20, 2017. [“Progressive taxation curbs the power of the wealthy – and that’s exactly why the Right hates it.”]

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Op-Ed: “The GOP House Budget: Another Assault on People in Poverty”

John Bouman, The GOP House Budget: Another Assault on People in Poverty, The Shriver Brief. [“The evidence is crystal clear: The federal safety net is working.”]

Op-Ed: “Payday Lending Faces Tough New Restrictions by Consumer Agency”

Stacy Cowley, Payday Lending Faces Tough New Restrictions by Consumer Agency, New York Times, October 5, 2017. [New agency rules look to curb predatory practices targeting the vulnerable.]

Op-Ed: “Poverty Matters: Five Key Takeaways from the 2016 Census Data”

John Bouman, Poverty Matters: Five Key Takeaways from the 2016 Census Data Poverty Matters: Five Key Takeaways from the 2016 Census Data, The Shriver Brief, September 13, 2017. [Slight improvements haven not translated into gains for those facing poverty.]

Op-Ed: “Fran works six days a week in fast food, and yet she’s homeless: “It’s economic slavery””

Dominic Rushe, Fran works six days a week in fast food, and yet she’s homeless: “It’s economic slavery”, The Guardian Aug. 21, 2017. [An account of the experiences of Fran Marion and others who are leading the charge for a raised minimum wage.]

Op-Ed: “Bad Jobs and No Welfare Give Rise to A New Type of Charity: The Diaper Bank”

Arthur Delaney, Bad Jobs and No Welfare Give Rise to A New Type of Charity: The Diaper Bank, Huffington Post Aug. 21, 2017. [“A network of diaper banks now alleviates some of the suffering cause by the 1996 gutting of welfare”]

Paper: “On Dollars and Deference: Agencies, Spending and Economic Rights”

Mila Sohoni, On Dollars and Deference: Agencies, Spending, and Economic Rights, 66 Duke L.J. 1677 (2017)

Article: Privacy, Poverty and Big Data: A Matrix of Vulnerabilities for Poor Americans

Article: Mary Madden, et al., Privacy, Poverty and Big Data: A Matrix of Vulnerabilities for Poor Americans, Washington L. Rev. (forthcoming 2017).

This Article examines the matrix of vulnerabilities that low-income people face as a result of the collection and aggregation of big data and the application of predictive analytics. On the one hand, big data systems could reverse growing economic inequality by expanding access to opportunities for low-income people. On the other hand, big data could widen economic gaps by making it possible to prey on low-income people or to exclude them from opportunities due to biases that get entrenched in algorithmic decision-making tools. New kinds of “networked privacy” harms, in which users are simultaneously held liable for their own behavior and the actions of those in their networks, may have particularly negative impacts on the poor. This Article reports on original empirical findings from a large, nationally-representative telephone survey with an oversample of low-income American adults and highlights how these patterns make particular groups of low-status internet users uniquely vulnerable to various forms of surveillance and networked privacy-related problems. In particular, a greater reliance on mobile connectivity, combined with lower usage of privacy-enhancing strategies may contribute to various privacy and security-related harms. The article then discusses three scenarios in which big data – including data gathered from social media inputs – is being aggregated to make predictions about individual behavior: employment screening, access to higher education, and predictive policing. Analysis of the legal frameworks surrounding these case studies reveals a lack of legal protections to counter digital discrimination against low-income people. In light of these legal gaps, the Article assesses leading proposals for enhancing digital privacy through the lens of class vulnerability, including comprehensive consumer privacy legislation, digital literacy, notice and choice regimes, and due process approaches. As policymakers consider reforms, the article urges greater attention to impacts on low-income persons and communities.

News Article: If you’re a poor person in America, Trump’s budget is not for you

News Article: Steven Mufson and Tracy Jan, If you’re a poor person in America, Trump’s budget is not for you, Washington Post (Mar. 16, 2017).

News Article: Too Broke To Go Bankrupt? Harvard Student Uses Software To Tackle Problem For Poor

News Article: Daniel Fisher, Too Broke To Go Bankrupt? Harvard Student Uses Software To Tackle Problem For Poor, Forbes (Mar. 2, 2017).