America's Poor and the Great Recession

America's Poor and the Great Recession

Distribution: World
Publication date: 01/29/2013
Format: Hardback 14 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-00967-8
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Millions have entered poverty as a result of the Great Recession's terrible toll of long-term unemployment. Kristin S. Seefeldt and John D. Graham examine recent trends in poverty and assess the performance of America’s "safety net" programs. They consider likely scenarios for future developments and conclude that the well-being of low-income Americans, particularly the working poor, the near poor, and the new poor, is at substantial risk despite economic recovery.

Author Bio

Kristin S. Seefeldt is Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan and author of Working after Welfare: How Women Balance Jobs and Family in the Wake of Welfare Reform and Welfare Reform.

John D. Graham is Dean of the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs and author of Bush on the Home Front: Domestic Policy Triumphs and Setbacks (IUP, 2010). From 2001 to 2006 he served as Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, White House Office of Management and Budget.


“This book is an important inquiry into the impact of 'The Great Recession' on America’s precious poor citizens. Don't miss it!”
 — Cornel West, Class of 1943 University Professor, Princeton University

“The Great Recession was long and deep and the recovery has been very slow for the unemployed and the poor. Instead of focusing on policies for promoting opportunity and reducing poverty, politicians have focused only on reducing the long-run federal deficit. Seefeldt and Graham document how the public and private safety nets, especially the 2009 stimulus, responded to the Great Recession and kept poverty from rising even higher. Most importantly, they suggest many promising policy options that would better protect the poor from the vagaries of the 21st-century economy.”
 — Sheldon Danziger, H. J. Meyer Distinguished University Professor of Public Policy, University of Michigan

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Tavis Smiley
1. The Great Recession: Definition, Duration, and Impact
2. The Impact of the Great Recession on Poverty in America
3. The Performance of America’s Safety Net
4. Risks to the Safety Net in the Aftermath of the Great Recession
5. Policy Options in a Politically Polarized Environment