As an organization working to improve the lives of low-income Americans, we are big fans of the political economist and author Robert Reich.
Reich’s most recent book, “Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future,” argues that the problems following the “Great Recession” can be attributed to a growing income disparity. In short, the rich are acquiring a greater and greater cut of the country’s wealth as the middle and lower classes face economic vulnerability, rising debt, and job loss.
That is where we come in – oftentimes it takes just one illness, a loss of a job, or other unexpected expenses to push economically vulnerable people out of their housing.
Reich believes the answer is investing in “human capital” (as opposed to investing in financial capital like Wall Street bail outs) by specifically addressing the needs of those in poverty. This means a greater investment in job training and education, for example. As we see ending homelessness as an investment in human capital, these ideas resonated loudly in our office.
For more, watch Reich break it down in this short video:
The good news is you can see Robert Reich during the Thursday plenary session of our National Conference on Ending Family Homelessness. Visit the conference website to learn more about, and register for, this year’s conference.