Feb 3, 2019

Solving the problem of American poverty

Felix Salmon, author of Edge
Expand chart
Data: Robin Hood Poverty Tracker/Columbia University Population Research Center survey of 2,877 New York City adults between 2015 and 2018; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

42% of New Yorkers have lived in poverty at some point in the past three years. That's according to a tracking survey operated by Columbia University and Robin Hood, which polls 4,000 households every quarter. (Not all of them were trackable across three successive years, but 2,877 were.)

The big picture: The key result from the poverty tracker is that people experience poverty in waves. Roughly 28% of New Yorkers who exit poverty will re-enter within three years. That number rises to 39% for black New Yorkers.

Driving the news: Tomorrow, Robin Hood will announce a $25 million program that's intended to fund research aimed at not only bringing households out of poverty but keeping them out of poverty. The ideas will be exported nationwide, with the help of Tipping Point Community and the Gates Foundation.

  • One proven intervention: CUNY ASAP is a scheme designed to ensure that college students graduate with an associate's degree within 3threeyears. It effectively doubles graduation rates, and that in turn slashes the probability that the graduate will ever return to poverty.
  • Another key policy is New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan to extend public health insurance to 600,000 currently uninsured residents. When people return to poverty, it's often because of unexpected health care expenses.

The bottom line: Philanthropy can't fund these schemes, only government is big enough to do that. But philanthropists can certainly fund studies that demonstrate what works. Those studies, in turn, make it much easier for city and state governments to enact new laws and policies.

Go deeper: The geographical wage gap has stopped closing

Go deeper

Facebook employees stage "virtual walkout"

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

"Dozens" of Facebook employees staged a "virtual walkout" Monday over the company's decision not to take action against President Trump's provocative messages in the face of nationwide protests against police violence, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: While Twitter added fact-check labels and hid the president's most inflammatory tweet — "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" — Facebook has said Trump's statements do not violate its policies, and that the platform aims to promote free speech.

Updated 18 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump lashes out at governors, urges them to "dominate" protesters

President Trump berated the nation’s governors in a video teleconference call Monday, calling many of them "weak" and demanding tougher crackdowns on the protests that erupted throughout the country following the killing of George Floyd, according to multiple reports.

The big picture: Trump blamed violence on the "the radical left" and told the governors, who were joined by law enforcement and national security officials, that they have to "dominate" protesters and "arrest people" in order to bring an end to the unrest.

Updated 18 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Noam Galai, Jamie McCarthy, Josep Lago/AFP, Alfredo Estrella/AFP, and Narayan Maharjan/NurPhoto, all via Getty Images

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 6,206,773 — Total deaths: 372,752 — Total recoveries — 2,661,643Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 1,793,780 — Total deaths: 104,3450 — Total recoveries: 444,758 — Total tested: 16,936,891Map.
  3. Public health: Fauci says“My meetings with the president have been dramatically decreased” — Coronavirus looms over George Floyd protests across the country.
  4. Climate: Your guide to comparing climate change and coronavirus.
  5. Economy: A busy week for IPOs despite upheaval from protests and pandemic.
  6. World: Former FDA commissioner says "this is not the time" to cut ties with WHO.