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The Ladder

A Blog from New America's Asset Building Program

Asset Building News Week, December 16-20

December 20, 2013
Publication Image The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include workers and the minimum wage, public assistance, poverty, and retirement security.

The Asset Building Program's Favorites of 2013

December 19, 2013
Publication Image The end of the year is traditionally a time for reflection, and everyone, everywhere on earth loves a listicle, so my colleagues and I decided to pull together a look back on the year that was for the Asset Building Program. Below you’ll find links to some of our favorite pieces of the year and the pieces that tiny elves (ok, Google Analytics) tell us were most popular with you, our readers.

In Poverty, No Privacy?

December 17, 2013
Last Thursday, New America’s Open Technology Institute, Asset Building Program, and Breadwinners and Caregivers Program hosted an event to explore the dynamics of privacy, surveillance and technology in the context of people's lived experiences with poverty and the public assistance system.

Asset Building News Week, December 9-13

December 13, 2013
Publication Image The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include poverty, public assistance, race and wealth.

The Federal Budget Widens the Racial Wealth Gap

December 12, 2013
Publication Image Yesterday, the Center for Global Policy Solutions hosted a webinar to discuss the relationship between the racial wealth gap and the federal budget. At a time when the structure of the federal budget contributes to the perpetuation of the racial wealth gap, rather than the elimination of it, finding asset-based solutions to address this inequity are urgently needed. Both panelists, James Carr, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, and our own Justin King, Policy Director of the Asset Building Program, agreed that current federal policies too often exacerbate racial inequality and consequently negatively affect the American economy and body politic.

New Research on the Relationship between Race and Retirement Security in the U.S.

December 11, 2013
Publication Image A new study from the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) documents the wide gulf between white Americans and Americans of color when it comes to retirement savings. The study looks at both worker- and household-level data and finds pervasive racial disparities in access to employer-based retirement plans and levels of retirement savings. Even after controlling for age and income, households of color have substantially less access to and lower levels of retirement savings than white households.

Event Thursday: In Poverty, Under Surveillance

December 10, 2013
New America's Open Technology Institute, Asset Building Program, and Breadwinners and Caregivers Program are teaming up to host an event this week to explore the interconnected issues of privacy and poverty, specifically as they play out in the public assistance system.

Families and individuals accessing the public benefits system are required to provide extensive personal and financial information as a condition of receiving benefits. Depending on the requirements of individual programs, they may also have to endure unannounced home visits, fingerprinting or drug testing, and other routinized violations of privacy that more privileged members of society have come to expect. These intrusions are often justified by policymakers as measures to “reduce fraud” or to ensure that only the most desperate people access the programs.

Upcoming Webinar: Finding Solutions to Address the Racial Wealth Gap through the Federal Budget

December 9, 2013
Publication Image This Wednesday, the Center for Global Policy Solutions will host a webinar with the purpose of exploring how federal asset-building programs affect communities of color. The federal budget includes several asset-building provisions that are intended to help citizens build savings and develop wealth, but whose impact on communities of color is limited.
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