When It Comes To Fighting Poverty, We Actually Agree On A Lot (Josh Bandoch, 3/22/24, Discourse)

From left-of-center think tanks such as the Brookings Institution, Urban Institute and Progressive Policy Institute, to right-of-center public policy groups such as the American Enterprise Institute and the Alliance for Opportunity, there exists remarkable consensus on how to empower individuals to rise out of poverty and into prosperity.

This consensus centers on seven “macro” solutions to poverty:

1) Empower people through the dignity of work.

2) Prepare individuals for the future of work through education and workforce development. (This issue is widely overlooked in the research on poverty.)

3) Remove barriers to work, especially occupational licensing and burdensome regulations.

4) Ensure the educational system prepares students for careers, particularly in industries that need more workers, through effective workforce development programs such as apprenticeships.

5) Restructure safety net programs to empower people to rise out of poverty, including through rigorous program evaluation.

6) Promote affordable housing, including through zoning reform.

7) Promote family formation and stability, including by making it easier for people to follow the “success sequence” of education, job, marriage and then children.

While there are certainly disagreements about how to execute these solutions, this is greatly overshadowed by the overlap in approaches and the notable consensus that exists around the solutions themselves.