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Martin Luther King Jr. is jostled in Memphis as the march he's leading on March 28, 1968 turns violent. Photo courtesy University of Memphis Libraries.

Featured Documentary: King's Last March

Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. More than four decades later, King remains one of the most vivid symbols of hope for racial unity in America. But that’s not the way he was viewed in the last year of his life.

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in collaboration with Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity

Provide mobile-accessible bank accounts and graduated social services; reduce program bureaucracy

File under: banking, taxes, security, identity, simplify, welfare, technology

0 (0 votes)

From: Greg H., Roseville, MN

1) Revise tax law to eliminate any taxes on savings for individuals earning at or below three times the federal poverty level. This will help get people up and moving.

2) Provide a state bank account to everyone who cannot get a private sector bank account. This would be used for saving money and being able to deposit paychecks. Lack of a bank account due to changing addresses and employment status puts some people at the mercy of payday lenders and the vicious cycle of never ending loan payments.

3) Provide a cell phone-based mechanism for people in poverty to transfer credit and money from their bank. (It's working in Africa!)

4) Revise social services from the "either you get it or you don't" model to the graduated, tapering-off model. Many folks suffer from having to remain in poverty to keep one or two critical social services benefits that low paying jobs don't provide and that they require to keep a job (for example health care for a chronic illness). Often, when they get a job, their new income eliminates their qualification for all social services even though that income isn't enough to cover food, daycare, transportation, and other expenses. Give them partial coverage for daycare, health care, or other needs. Help them succeed.

5) Embed more identity security technology in the social services distribution system to prevent fraudulent double-dipping. That would free up resources for real need.

6) Reduce overhead and redundant bureaucracy by decreasing the number of programs and organizations, and managing programs centrally. This would push more program dollars to the people who need them.


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American RadioWorks |
Martin Luther King Jr. is jostled in Memphis as the march he's leading on March 28, 1968 turns violent. Photo courtesy University of Memphis Libraries.

Featured Documentary: King's Last March

Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. More than four decades later, King remains one of the most vivid symbols of hope for racial unity in America. But that’s not the way he was viewed in the last year of his life.

Recent Posts

  • 02.12.16

    Making Sure Learning Sticks

    If you want to really learn something before a big test, put your books down. Research shows that the traditional method of “cramming” for an exam by reading the same thing over and over again, doesn’t work. (Rerun from Oct. 2014)
  • 02.04.16

    When School Vouchers Are Not a Leg Up

    School voucher programs are controversial because they allow students to use public funds to pay for private school. A new paper is one of the first to show a school voucher program actually lowering student test scores.
  • 01.28.16

    Learning Financial Literacy

    Most teenagers are not learning about personal finance in school, according to an annual survey on financial literacy. Our guest this week says that needs to change.
  • 01.21.16

    Questioning Inequalities in Higher Ed

    College was once considered the path of upward mobility in this country, and for many people, it still is. But research shows that the higher education system can actually work against poor and minority students, because they often end up at colleges with few resources and low graduation rates.