Quote of The Day, May 24, 2012
“Six million people have no income other than food stamps, which means they are living on $6,000 per year. These are people and single mothers with children who really are in extreme trouble. Many will get out of extreme poverty fairly quickly, which makes it more inexcusable not to have a basic safety for them when their income dips so low…how do they survive? we don’t really know…” — excerpted from an interview with Peter Edelman and Economic Hardship Reporting Project’s Policy Director, Karen Dolan, May 24, 2012.
Georgetown University Law professor, Peter Edelman is the author of the new book, So Rich So Poor: Why It’s So Hard to End Poverty in America. Edelman has been, among many distinguished positions in his long career of public service, Legislative Assistant to Senator Robert F. Kennedy and the Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) under President Bill Clinton. He famously resigned his HHS post in principled opposition to the “welfare reform” bill that was passed during President Clinton’s administration in 1996. This “welfare reform” changed the safety net entitlement of cash assistance to poor people, mothers and families into a state-level block grant program which drastically reduced the availability of assistance to those in need.
Peter and Karen had a long chat about Peter’s life work and his new book. Stay tuned to the Economic Hardship Reporting Project’s website to see more from this exciting interview and learn more about what this lifelong expert, activist, academic and hero of the U.S. anti-poverty movements has to say about the past present and future of economic hardship in America.