SOCIAL SCIENCES

Invisible Americans: The Tragic Cost of Child Poverty

Knopf. Jan. 2020. 240p. ISBN 9780451494184. $25. SOC SCI
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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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