Invisible Americans: The Tragic Cost of Child Poverty

Knopf. Jan. 2020. 240p. ISBN 9780451494184. $25. SOC SCI
Madrick (Seven Bad Ideas) unpacks the complicated history of poverty in America, focusing on child poverty and its devastating effects. This socioeconomic study utilizes extensive secondary sources to make a compelling argument for cash allowances to reduce the number of children living in poverty in the United States today. Natural experiments from Europe, Canada, and a Native American tribe offer insight into how child cash allowances correlate to long-term benefits of a child’s physical and mental health, as well as education performance. Madrick dispels poverty myths created during the Reagan and Clinton administrations, reinforcing that cash allowances positively impact a child’s welfare whereas cutting funds increases the likelihood that a child will fail to thrive without reducing poverty significantly.
VERDICT With passionate advocacy, Madrick addresses a systemic problem with a simple solution. His argument will appeal to those who champion economic policy change that centers the child.

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