Ezra Klein’s work at the Washington Post is indispensable; he brings much insight to the task of making domestic policy accessible to those of us who only follow it part time. But I’m not buying this one: There’s a tendency among some on the left and, with the “libertarian populists,” some on the right, to portray the interests of corporate American and the interests of low-income Americans as directly opposed to each other. That’s not true. They can conflict, of course — it’s easy enough to imagine a proposal to raise taxes on corporations in order to fund a low-income tax cut — but they’re not always in tension. Sometimes they’re even in concert. Sometimes, sure.
August 14, 2013

I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin in the 80s and 90s. I regularly encountered poor people and people with substance abuse issues in their families. I knew very few people of color. But I was certainly familiar with the concept of a “crack baby.”
July 29, 2013

I can’t quit thinking about Yakub. In my purse I have a print clipping that includes a photo of the 12-year-old boy staring into the camera with a copy of Steve Jobs’s biography held high over his head. I pull it out from time to time and imagine Yakub at work.
June 6, 2013

If you’ve been here long, you won’t be shocked to hear that I’m not impressed by a lot of what American conservatives have to say about domestic poverty. (Though I do appreciate the basic political courage it takes for an elected official to even use the word.)  But there is at least one idea from the right that I’m more or less on board with: we should be very careful about cutting the tax deduction for charitable contributions.
June 4, 2013

Flood waters

Parents are committed to keeping children safe. But the reality is closer to Benh Zeitlin's vision of chaos than we care to admit.
February 20, 2013

When I saw the headline in the New York Times—“The Hidden Prosperity of the Poor”— I thought of something very different than what Tom Edsall’s commentary is actually about. Edsall highlights an insidious and specious argument about income inequality made on the right. In essence, the cost of basic human needs has gone down in relation to income, while consumer goods have become cheaper and cheaper.
February 6, 2013