Asset Building Program

Archives: Asset Building Program Articles and Op-Eds

The Potential of Asset-Based Development Strategies for Poverty Alleviation in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • By
  • Fred Ssewamala,
  • Jamie M. Zimmerman,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Leyla Karimli, Columbia University and Elizabeth Sperber, Columbia University

ABSTRACT: This article explores the potential of a relatively new approach to social development as a poverty alleviation strategy in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA): asset-based development, an integrated approach to human, social, and economic capital formation. It considers the theoretical framework guiding asset-based development and the accompanying set of programmatic and policy-level tools for poverty alleviation in SSA.

Tax Time – Good For Businesses?

  • By
  • Maria Sotero,
  • New America Foundation
April 11, 2010 |

There aren’t too many tax fans around these days. Times are hard, people are working harder, and government programs designed to be solutions are often seen as part of the problem. More than ever, tax season is a dreaded time.

If only there was a simple, efficient tax program that rewarded those who work hard but struggle to get ahead. If only someone would create a tax program that benefits businesses.

And while we’re dreaming, let’s make one that creates jobs in San Diego County too.

Ring Around the Regulators

  • By
  • Tim Fernholz,
  • New America Foundation
April 7, 2010 |

While members of Congress take their spring break, the debate over financial reform and, most relevantly, Sen. Chris Dodd's omnibus bill simmer here in Washington. Dodd's bill has raised any number of questions -- starting, most fundamentally, with "Are you with the banks or the consumers?" -- but perhaps the most confusing debate right now is over the previously obscure issue of prudential standards. (If you're just joining this debate, read my primer on the effort so far.)

L.A. County -- The Biggest Loser

  • By
  • Anne Stuhldreher,
  • New America Foundation
March 28, 2010 |

There are some contests where you don't want to finish first. Being the biggest loser of free federal tax refunds is one of them.

Yet Los Angeles County just notched that dubious distinction in a recent study of California's participation in the earned income tax credit, or EITC, a refund that gives a financial boost to people at the low end of the pay scale.

After the Fall

  • By
  • Tim Fernholz,
  • New America Foundation
March 23, 2010 |

Sunday was a tough day for the loyal opposition, and you could gauge early on just how hard Republicans took the Democrats' impending win on health-care reform. During ABC's morning political show This Week, conservative political guru Karl Rove whipped out a whiteboard covered in scribbles to dispute the Congressional Budget Office's estimation that the health-care bill will cut the deficit.

The Fine Print on Financial Reform

  • By
  • Tim Fernholz,
  • New America Foundation
March 17, 2010 |

On Monday, President Barack Obama released a complimentary statement about Sen. Chris Dodd's latest proposal for financial reform, singling out its creation of "a new consumer financial protection agency to set and enforce clear rules of the road."

The Short Game

  • By
  • Tim Fernholz,
  • New America Foundation
March 16, 2010 |

In the prologue to The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, Michael Lewis explains that he envisioned his first and perhaps most famous work, Liar's Poker, as a grim obituary for an industry that rewarded inexperience and greed. However, the byzantine banking industry continued to flourish, and young readers wrote Lewis to ask how they, too, could get into the game. His disappointment is palpable.

Don't Overlook Tax Credit

  • By
  • Maria Sotero,
  • New America Foundation
March 15, 2010 |

Raise your hand if you think filing a federal tax return will bring you thousands of dollars. Or if you think tax time this year could bring a windfall of federal stimulus dollars to Fresno's economy.

Most hands, I predict, are down. Everyone dreads doing their taxes. But this year, every working family with an income of less than $48,000 could have a big reason to look forward to it. That's because of something known as the Earned Income Tax Credit. It could be called Big Bucks For Fresno.

It makes filing that tax return very, very worthwhile for many people.

A Five-Step Guide to Real Financial Reform

  • By
  • Reid Cramer,
  • New America Foundation
March 2, 2010 |

The next big battle in Washington—one that will heat up fast if the health care tussle is ever resolved—will be fought over reform of the financial sector. In recent weeks, President Barack Obama has gone on the offensive, calling for new restraints on Wall Street wheeling and dealing and vowing to veto weak legislation. In December, the House passed a robust package of reforms. The action has now shifted to the Senate Banking Committee, and chairman Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) has pledged to push a comprehensive package over the finish line before he retires at the end of the year.

Poor Measurement

  • By
  • Reid Cramer,
  • New America Foundation
March 1, 2010 |

For most policymakers, it is never a good time to talk about poverty. When times are flush, their constituents are doing well. When recession hits, everyone is hurting. But as economic hardship continues to impact a greater number of families and communities, this may be the time to redouble our search for innovative and potentially effective ways to break the cycle of poverty.

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