Category Archives: Inequality

New Article: Improving Outcomes in Child Poverty and Wellness in Appalachia in the “New Normal” Era: Infusing Empathy Into Law

New Article: Jill C. Engle, Improving Outcomes in Child Poverty and Wellness in Appalachia in the “New Normal” Era: Infusing Empathy Into Law, 120 W. Va. L. Rev. (2018).  The article is available for download.

 

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New Article: The Child Welfare and Education Gap

New Article: Eric Chung, The Child Welfare and Education Gap, 36 Yale L. & Pol’y Rev. 365 (2018). Abstract below:

Given the overlapping interests between child welfare and education, one might expect federal laws and policies in these two areas to work in tandem. But in the United States, they have not. With food, nutrition, and early childhood programs among the few exceptions, welfare and education laws have largely been embodied in separate statutes and administered by different agencies. Since their advent and evolution from the 1900s to the present, welfare laws have become increasingly and predominantly concerned with regulating mothers and families, while education laws have become increasingly and predominantly concerned with regulating teachers and schools. Neither area of law has prioritized children as its direct beneficiaries. This Article argues that this misdirected attention is responsible for why these two areas remain disconnected: both welfare and education laws have ignored the immediate needs of children, while focusing instead on regulating the institutions surrounding them. If children were placed at the center of public benefits, the importance of linking adequate child welfare and education systems would become more obvious, as it has been for the food, nutrition, and early childhood programs that buck this trend. After analyzing the gap between these two areas of law, this Article proposes a reconceptualization and unification of child welfare and education laws and policies to better serve socioeconomically disadvantaged children and their families.

New Article: Things Fall Apart: Hard Choices in Public Interest Law

New Article: Anthony Victor Alfieri, Things Fall Apart: Hard Choices in Public Interest Law, 31 Georgetown J. L. Ethics 335 (2018).  Abstract below:

This essay frames the dilemmas of law school clinic and public interest law firm triage decision-making against the backdrop of the current national crisis in access to justice. The essay coincides with a moment of renewed academic interest and resurgent legal activism in inner cities for advocates pursuing law reform campaigns, academics studying social justice movements, and activists organizing low-income communities, especially historically burdened communities of color. The essay proceeds in four parts. Part I briefly traces the history of a community-based law reform campaign recently advanced in Miami and the nettlesome public interest legal ethics questions left in its wake. Part II examines the basic form and content of public interest law triage regimes and the difficult dilemmas of lawyer and law firm triage decision-making in the context of community-based advocacy. Part III considers the dominant norms and practices of the community lawyering movement explicated by the founders of the Community Justice Project, a path breaking Florida public interest law firm and a national leader in the field of social justice. Part IV assesses an alternative set of norms and practices of social justice lawyering deduced from current work on the ethics of movement lawyering.

New Article: Another Day Older and Deeper in Debt: Mitigating the Deleterious Effect of Wage Garnishments on Appalachia’s Low-Wage Workers

New Article: Faith Mullen, Another Day Older and Deeper in Debt: Mitigating the Deleterious Effect of Wage Garnishments on Appalachia’s Low-Wage Workers, 120 W. Va. L. Rev. (2018).  The article is available for download.

 

New Report: A Guide to Understanding and Addressing Vacant Property

New Report: Rise, Saint Louis University Law Clinic, Tower Grove Neighborhoods CDC, A Guide to Understanding and Addressing Vacant Property.

This Guide is intended to help local government officials, neighborhood associations, community-based nonprofits, residents, business owners, and other stakeholders better understand how to work together to use existing tools to address vacant property in the City of St. Louis.

Since 1876, St. Louis has been an independent city, which means that it is not part of any county. Therefore, it operates as both a city and a county. St. Louis is the only city in Missouri that operates its own county offices. This unusual structure means that effectively addressing the vacant property challenge requires coordination not only across City departments, but also across city and county functions.

There are a variety of legal tools and enforcement strategies to address vacancy, and using these tools and strategies effectively requires a coordinated effort from a variety of local government and private actors. Reducing the negative impact of vacancy is like a complex puzzle, requiring coordination and collaboration among the public sector, private stakeholders, and neighborhood leaders to achieve a shared vision.

New Report: Unworkable & Unwise: Conditioning Access to Programs that Ensure a Basic Foundation for Families on Work Requirements

New Report: Kali Grant, Funke Aderonmu, Sophie Khan, Kaustubh Chahande, Casey Goldvale, Indivar Dutta-Gupta, Aileen Carr & Doug Steiger, Unworkable & Unwise: Conditioning Access to Programs that Ensure a Basic Foundation for Families on Work Requirements, Economic Security and Opportunity Initiative (Jan. 2019).

Overview: This working paper outlines the ramifications of taking away Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and housing assistance from those who do not document meeting new work and community engagement requirements. The paper underscores how proposals that take away basic assistance from people who don’t meet work requirements are ill-informed, ineffective, inefficient, and inequitable, while alternative policies would produce far better outcomes.

New Blog Post: Segregated in the Heartland

New Blog Post: Daniel C. Vock, J. Brian Charles, & Mike Maciag, Segregated in the Heartland, Governing (Jan. 23, 2019).

Governing produced a series of articles on segregation in heartland USA.  Articles include:

Houses Divided: How States and Cities Reinforce Segregation in America

Still Separate After All These Years: How Schools Fuel White Flight

Broken Homes: How Housing Policies Keep White Neighborhoods So White (and Black Neighborhoods So Black)

Black, White & Blue: How Police and Anti-Crime Measures Reinforce Segregation

 

 

New Blog Post: Law Schools Are Bad for Democracy

lawschoolsbadfordem.jpgNew Blog Post: Samuel Moyn, Law Schools Are Bad for Democracy, The Chronicle for Higher Education, Dec. 16, 2018.

New Blog Post: How One Company Is Making Millions Off Trump’s War on the Poor

comic.jpgNew Blog Post: Tracie McMillan, How One Company Is Making Millions Off Trump’s War on the Poor, MotherJones (Jan./Feb. 2019).

President Trump plans to make the poor work for Medicaid and food stamps. That’s extremely punitive for them—but highly lucrative for companies like Maximus.

New Blog Post: Where Government Is a Dirty Word, but Its Checks Pay the Bills

Government transfer payments as a share of total personal income.government transfer payments over time.png

1970 – 1985 – 2000 – 2016

Color Scale: No data – 3% – 15% – 22% – 28% – 36% – 61%

New Blog Post: Eduardo Porter, Where Government Is a Dirty Word, but Its Checks Pay the Bills, NYTimes.com, Dec. 21, 2018.

Federal assistance has grown all over the U.S., but particularly in Appalachia and the South, where many people now get more than a third of their income from the government.