In a handful or so of previous columns, I have explored what educators and social scientists have come to call “the word gap.” The research in support of the word gap comes from landmark studies at the University of Kansas and Stanford University, which reveal that by the time a low-income child reaches the age of three they have potentially heard 30 million fewer words than peers who come from higher socioeconomic backgrounds.
The main gist of the research coming out of Stanford, MIT and other places was that both the reality and the threat of poverty were far worse than previously thought. As similar research studies followed, economist Tim Worstall took these claims to task, arguing that American’s true poverty rate was really closer to 4.5 percent.
Now, in contrast to America’s “founding commitment to human rights,” all of us will recognize that the United States and “its immense wealth” were built largely on the forced removal of Native peoples from their land, the free labor of African slaves, and myriad other human rights violations.
That particular installment of The Anti-Poverty Soldier also examined recent attempts on the part of many legislators, on both the state and national levels, to gut and perhaps even abolish this law, which was signed exactly one week after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
That is all any of us could ask for. There is a tremendous reservoir of talent here in Minnesota and across the nation in urban, suburban and rural communities. There is so much potential that goes untapped for no other reason than a lack of opportunity and resources.
Here in Hennepin and Ramsey counties, for example, the data suggested only around 60 percent of all eligible households were receiving SNAP benefits.
The discussion of the Fair Housing Act is particularly relevant today, as there have been numerous efforts in recent years, both underhanded and overt, to undermine and ultimately overturn this essential law (as ineffectual as it has sometimes been).
And reminding ourselves what we must do to fulfill his dream Last Wednesday, April 4, 2018, marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. When I first sat down to contemplate this column, I envisioned it to be a personal reflection of what Dr. King meant, and still means to […]
‘Hidden rules of class’ help the poor do more with less Conclusion of a six-part series The culture of poverty has some universal characteristics which transcend regional, rural-urban, and even national differences… There are remarkable similarities in family structure, interpersonal relations, time orientations, value systems, spending patterns, and the sense of community in lower-class settlements […]
Growing up poor can lead to lifelong emotional problems Fourth in a six-part series To grow up in poverty can have a lasting impact on a child. What is less understood is how it affects the early relationships that shape a child’s social and emotional growth. – Abby C. Winer and Ross A. Thompson Chronic stress, […]