Cash transfers are but one form of income supplementation, and a fuller presentation of antipoverty proposals would include both transfers in-kind (such as food, housing, and medical care) and human investment programs aimed at increasing the earning capacity of individuals. Much discussion has centered on how to reduce poverty by getting more cash income in the hands of poor people. This collection brings together in one accessible volume the most widely discussed plans for reducing financial poverty in the United States through cash transfers.
Those who have tried to follow the American debate over cash transfers will undoubtedly have been struck by the confusing ways in which proposals are described and compared. Proposed beneficiaries sometimes provide the basis of comparison, as with proposals of old-age pensions or child allowances. In other cases, plans are described and compared as negative income taxes or welfare reforms by virtue of the administrative changes they imply or the mechanism for reducing benefits with respect to increased income. In this book, the proposals have been thoughtfully grouped to facilitate comparison. Specifically, they have been grouped according to the social problems which they are intended to solve, the advantage being that discussion of means is not so likely to submerge awareness of the ends intended. Arranged in this way, the proposals in this volume are primarily directed at the problems of welfare and poverty, and at the inequities in the tax system's treatment of poor persons. These categories are not, of course, mutually exclusive; the problems are interrelated and the solutions to anyone affect the others indirectly.
Organized in a manageable and comprehensive way, this volume presents some of the widely diverse cash transfer proposals that grew out of reformist debates. This collection will be of interest to a wide array of from scholars of public policy and politics to economics and economic theory.