July 31, 2009

Out of the labyrinth

Random picture of Kanawha Falls.

El Cabrero has been blogging this week about the recent minimum wage increase. President Obama in the past has expressed interest in a further increase, but that seems to be on the back burner now. It would be nice to get it to a decent level and then index it for inflation.

But that's not the only way to reduce poverty (or at least make it less bad). Another effective strategy is the federal Earned Income Tax Credit. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities,

In 2005, the EITC lifted 5.0 million people out of poverty, including 2.6 million children. Without the EITC, the poverty rate among children would have been nearly one-fourth higher. The EITC lifts more children out of poverty than any other single program or category of programs.

The federal Child Tax Credit, which was recently expanded, is also a major help. Often, the same people qualify for both.

Many states (around or maybe over half if memory serves) also have Earned Income Credits set at some fraction of the federal. WV hasn't taken that step yet, but some of us have tried.

The Half in Ten campaign also has some good ideas about poverty reduction. My top items, from there and elsewhere,include health care reform (poverty can make you sick and sickness can make you poor); expanding, extending and modernizing unemployment insurance; and ensuring access to vocational and higher education.

IF IT'S FRIDAY, it must be Krugman.

DON'T TELL THE COAL PEOPLE, but a survey shows that most people around the world think dealing with climate change should be a priority.

SHUT EYE. Is it nap time yet?

I DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU, but I could use a story about a bat that walks on all fours.

MIGHT AS WELL throw in this item about vampires.


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