Carl Nathe

By

College: Business and Economics

UK's Ziliak Quoted in New York Times' Story on Poverty

Published: Jan 7, 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 7, 2014) University of Kentucky Gatton Endowed Chair in Microeconomics James Ziliak, who also is director of UK's Center for Poverty Research, was featured in a Sunday (Jan. 5) New York Times' article examining the war on poverty in the U.S., 50 years after President Lyndon B. Johnson made the declaration in his 1964 State of the Union address.

 

In the story, reporter Annie Lowery writes that the debate over the government's role in creating opportunity and ending deprivation has flared anew.

 

Ziliak, a faculty member in the Gatton College of Business and Economics, is quoted as saying that for poverty to decrease, "The low-wage labor market needs to improve. We need strong economic growth with gains widely distributed. If the private labor market won't step up to the plate, we're going to have to strengthen programs to help these people get by and survive."

 

In another portion of the Times' article, Ziliak was asked to comment on the 1996 Clinton-era welfare overhaul which drastically cut the cash assistance available to needy families, often ones headed by single mothers.

 

"As of 1996, we expected single mothers to go to work," Professor Ziliak said.  "But if they're shelling out most of their weekly pay in the form of child care, they can't make sense of doing it."

 

In her article, Lowery cites evidence from researchers indicating that in the half century since President Johnson issued his challenge to the nation, the federal government has succeeded in preventing the poverty rate from climbing far higher.

 

                        

 

MEDIA CONTACT:  Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200; carl.nathe@uky.edu

 

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