Income- and Asset-Based Social Policies and Programs
Income- and Asset-Based Social Policies and Programs examines the major government policies and programs designed to reduce poverty. This chapter emphasizes means-tested and insurance-based policies and programs that provide cash to clients. However, because SNAP, employment policy, and housing subsidies also directly help ameliorate the effects of poverty, we examine these policies and programs as well. This edition includes expanded discussion of inadequate affordable housing as a crucial social problem and a threat to individuals’ and families’ well-being. There is a thorough overview of income supports available to older adults, including comparative analysis of OASDI and TANF, as well as discussion of the current state of SSDI and Social Security solvency. In response to reviewer feedback, we added content on hunger, a discussion of Universal Basic Income proposals, and more information about asset-based approaches to facilitating upward mobility. We also analyze official definitions of poverty, contrast universal with selective programs, and explore how devolution has increased states’ responsibilities in anti-poverty policy, particularly following the institution of TANF in 1996. The significance of the strengths perspective as the lens for analysis is especially prominent in this chapter, which considers how to better invest in people’s capacities to meet their needs and reach their goals.