Income inequality has been increasing for decades with profound consequences for society. Studies show that high social and economic inequalities are a major factor in determining physical and mental health, as well as overall social cohesiveness. Americans are working harder and more efficiently than ever before, yet a growing number of middle- and low-income families face temporary and permanent poverty due to stagnating wages, falling family incomes, and increasing job insecurity.
JCPA is committed to building a more just and equitable society, especially as a growing number of middle- and low-income families face temporary and permanent poverty due to stagnating wages and increasing job insecurity. We strongly support raising the minimum wage and expanding eligibility for the Earned Income and Child Tax Credits. Our nation needs a robust social safety net that includes important programs like Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). JCPA continues to advocate for policies that help empower older adults to live healthier, more independent lives free from poverty. To lift the next generation out of poverty, we also urge lawmakers to provide full funding for child nutrition programs, such as the Summer Feeding Program and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Food insecurity is one of the most acute hardships that many Americans, including children, face across the country.
Another crucial factor in the fight against poverty is education. Education is one of the most important determinants of lifetime earnings, social mobility, and health outcomes. Yet our nation’s public schools are chronically underfunded and underperforming, especially within low-income and rural communities. The problems that afflict our education system begin early, starting with the inaccessibility of affordable, high-quality preschools. Increasing the availability and affordability of early childhood education is one of the surest ways to close the achievement gap.