The launch of this report starts the clock on Half in Ten's goal to cut poverty in half in ten years, tracking progress along levers to achieve the target, including: good jobs, strong families and communities and economic security.
Each year, Half in Ten will provide an update on our progress that will include the latest data available and analysis of the changes on the indicators from year to year. With this report, we hope to hold elected officials accountable, build the grassroots movement to reduce poverty, and dispel the myth that "the poor will always be among us."
As the report shows, cutting poverty in half is possible if we build the political and public will to do so. Our nation cut poverty in half from 1959-1973 and reduced it again by 25 percent from 1993-2000 as a strong economy combined with public and private initiatives lifted millions of Americans into the middle-class.
Support our goal to cut poverty in half in ten years? Join thousands of advocates and sign the Half in Ten pledge today.
Why a goal to cut poverty in half?
Foundational American values hold that hard work and equal opportunity should yield a life of prosperity. All workers want a good job where they can earn family-supporting wages with the benefit they need to provide for their loved ones. Every parent wants to be able to provide their children with a better life and standard of living than they had. And every family seeks a modicum of economic security and dignity should they fall on hard times, knowing that they can weather an economic storm through a combination of their own personal assets and access to a government safety net that they can contribute to by paying state, local, and federal taxes.
These values are not only an important part of our national ethos. They are also fundamental to long-term U.S. competitiveness. A hand up to struggling families in times of need means a larger pool of people contributing to the workforce, starting businesses, and building assets for future generations. A goal to cut poverty in half in 10 years is an affirmation of these foundational American values of hard work and equal opportunity, and a critical part of an overall plan to strengthen our economy and expand our middle class.
The report, Restoring Shared Prosperity: Strategies to Cut Poverty and Expand Economic Growth, shows we are far from fulfilling these pillars of the American Dream. We also show a pathway to help us get there and describe the indicators by which we should measure our progress.