In 1968, the Kerner Commission concluded that America was heading toward “two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal.” Today, America’s communities are experiencing increasing racial tensions and inequality, working-class resentment over the unfulfilled American Dream, white supremacy violence, toxic inaction in Washington, and the decline of the nation’s example around the world.
In Healing Our Divided Society, Fred Harris, the last surviving member of the Kerner Commission, along with Eisenhower Foundation CEO Alan Curtis, re-examine fifty years later the work still necessary towards the goals set forth in The Kerner Report. This timely volume unites the interests of minorities and white working- and middle-class Americans to propose a strategy to reduce poverty, inequality, and racial injustice. Reflecting on America’s urban climate today, this new report sets forth evidence-based policies concerning employment, education, housing, neighborhood development, and criminal justice based on what has been proven to work—and not work.
Contributors include: Oscar Perry Abello, Elijah Anderson, Anil N.F. Aranha, Jared Bernstein, Henry G. Cisneros, Elliott Currie, Linda Darling-Hammond, Martha F. Davis, E. J. Dionne, Jr., Marian Wright Edelman, Delbert S. Elliott, Carol Emig, Jeff Faux, Ron Grzywinski, Michael P. Jeffries, Lamar K. Johnson, Celinda Lake, Marilyn Melkonian, Gary Orfield, Diane Ravitch, Laurie Robinson, Herbert C. Smitherman, Jr., Joseph Stiglitz, Dorothy Stoneman, Kevin Washburn, Valerie Wilson, Gary Younge, Julian E. Zelizer, and the editors
College education is one of the most important investments a family will make. But between the viewbooks, websites, insider gossip, and magazine rankings, students and their worried parents face a dizzying array of options. What do the rankings really mean? Is it wise to choose the most prestigious school a student can get into? What are the payoffs of higher education, and, by the way, how do we pay for them?
In a unique approach to these conundrums, an economist and award-winning teacher walks readers through the opportunities, risks, and rewards of heading off to college. Warning against the pitfalls of numerical rankings, Malcolm Getz poses questions to guide a student toward not necessarily the best college but the right one. Famous professors suggest quality--but do they teach undergraduates? Are smaller classes always better? When is a state university the best deal around?
In a concise overview of decades of research, Getz reviews findings on the long-term returns of college education in different careers, from law to engineering, from nursing to financial management. Sorting through personal, professional, and institutional variables, he helps families determine when paying $40,000 a year might make sense, and when it merely buys an expensive rear window decal. He breaks down the formidable admissions game into strategies to improve the odds of acceptance, and he offers tips on tax breaks, subsidized loans, federal grants, 529 accounts, merit scholarships, and much more.
Shrewd and sensible, Investing in College is an invaluable resource and a beacon of sanity for college-bound students and the families who support them.
Investing in Natural Capital presents the results of a workshop held following the second biannual conference of the International Society for Ecological Economics. It focuses on the relation of human development to natural capital, and the relation of natural capital to environmental processes.Because we are capable of understanding our impact on the environment and the importance of managing it sustainably, humans play a special role in our ecosystem. The book emphasizes the essential connections between natural ecosystems and human socioeconomic systems, and the importance of insuring that both remain resilient. Specific chapters deal with methodology, case material, and policy questions, and offer a thorough exploration of this provocative and important alternative to conventional economics.
In 2004, U.S. consumers spent $5.2 billion purchasing bottled water while the government only invested 5 percent of that amount to purchase critical watersheds, parks, and wildlife refuges-systems vital to clean water and healthy environments. How can we reverse the direction of such powerful economic forces?
A group of dedicated business-people-turned-environmental-entrepreneurs is pioneering a new set of tools for land conservation deals and other market-based strategies. These pragmatic visionaries have already used these methods to protect millions of acres of land and to transform the practices of entire industries. They are transforming the very nature of conservation by making it profitable.
Drawing on his vast experience in both business and land conservation at The Nature Conservancy (TNC), William Ginn offers a practical guide to these innovative methods and a road map to the most effective way to implement them. From conservation investment banking, to emerging markets for nature's goods and services, to new tax incentives that encourage companies to do the "right" thing, Ginn goes beyond the theories to present real-world applications and strategies. And, just as importantly, he looks at the lessons learned from what has not worked, including his own failed efforts in Papua New Guinea and TNC's controversial compatible development approach in Virginia. In an era of dwindling public resources and scarce charitable dollars, these tools reveal a new, and perhaps the only, pathway to achieving biodiversity goals and protecting our lands.
Conservation professionals, students of land conservation, and entrepreneurs interested in green business will find Ginn's tales of high-finance deals involving vast tracts of pristine land both informative and exciting. More than just talk, Investing in Nature will teach you how to think big about land conservation.
With budgets squeezed at every level of government, cost-benefit analysis (CBA) holds outstanding potential for assessing the efficiency of many programs. In this first book to address the application of CBA to social policy, experts examine ten of the most important policy domains: early childhood development, elementary and secondary schools, health care for the disadvantaged, mental illness, substance abuse and addiction, juvenile crime, prisoner reentry programs, housing assistance, work-incentive programs for the unemployed and employers, and welfare-to-work interventions. Each contributor discusses the applicability of CBA to actual programs, describing both proven and promising examples.
The editors provide an introduction to cost-benefit analysis, assess the programs described, and propose a research agenda for promoting its more widespread application in social policy. Investing in the Disadvantaged considers how to face America’s most urgent social needs with shrinking resources, showing how CBA can be used to inform policy choices that produce social value.
Once viewed as a “brain drain,” migrants are increasingly viewed as a resource for promoting economic development back in their home countries. In Investing in the Homeland, Benjamin Graham finds that diasporans—migrants and their descendants—play a critical role in linking foreign firms to social networks in developing countries, allowing firms to flourish even in challenging political environments most foreign investors shun.
Graham’s analysis draws on new data from face-to-face interviews with the managers of over 450 foreign firms operating in two developing countries: Georgia and the Philippines. Diaspora-owned and diaspora-managed firms are better connected than other foreign firms and they use social ties to resolve disputes and influence government policy. At the same time, Graham shows that diaspora-affiliated firms are no more socially responsible than their purely foreign peers—at root, they are profit-seeking enterprises, not development NGOs. Graham identifies implications for policymakers seeking to capture the development potential of diaspora investment and for managers of multinational firms who want to harness diasporans as a source of sustained competitive advantage.
Americans are voting with their feet to abandon strip malls and suburban sprawl, embracing instead a new type of community where they can live, work, shop, and play within easy walking distance. In The Option of Urbanism visionary developer and strategist Christopher B. Leinberger explains why government policies have tilted the playing field toward one form of development over the last sixty years: the drivable suburb. Rooted in the driving forces of the economy—car manufacturing and the oil industry—this type of growth has fostered the decline of community, contributed to urban decay, increased greenhouse gas emissions, and contributed to the rise in obesity and asthma.
Highlighting both the challenges and the opportunities for this type of development, The Option of Urbanism shows how the American Dream is shifting to include cities as well as suburbs and how the financial and real estate communities need to respond to build communities that are more environmentally, socially, and financially sustainable.
More than ever, the economic health of a country depends upon the skills, knowledge, and capacities of its people. How does a person acquire these human assets and how can we promote their development? Securing the Future assembles an interdisciplinary team of scholars to investigate the full range of factors—pediatric, psychological, social, and economic—that bear on a child's development into a well-adjusted, economically productive member of society. A central purpose of the volume is to identify sound interventions that will boost human assets, particularly among the disadvantaged. The book provides a comprehensive evaluation of current initiatives and offers a wealth of new suggestions for effective public and private investments in child development. While children from affluent, highly educated families have good quality child care and an expensive education provided for them, children from poor families make do with informal child care and a public school system that does not always meet their needs. How might we best redress this growing imbalance? The contributors to this volume recommend policies that treat academic attainment together with psychological development and social adjustment. Mentoring programs, for example, promote better school performance by first fostering a young person's motivation to learn. Investments made early in life, such as preschool education, are shown to have the greatest impact on later learning for the least cost. In their focus upon children, however, the authors do not neglect the important links between generations. Poverty and inequality harm the development of parents and children alike. Interventions that empower parents to fight for better services and better schools are also of great benefit to their children. Securing the Future shows how investments in child development are both a means to an end and an end in themselves. They benefit the child directly and they also help that child contribute to the well-being of society. This book points us toward more effective strategies for promoting the economic success and the social cohesion of future generations. A Volume in the Ford Foundation Series on Asset Building
As the world faces unprecedented challenges such as climate change and biodiversity loss, the resources needed far outstrip the capabilities of nonprofits and even governments. Yet there are seeds of hope—and much of that hope comes from the efforts of the private sector. Impact investing is rapidly becoming an essential tool, alongside philanthropy and government funding, in tackling these major problems. Valuing Nature presents a new set of nature-based investment areas to help conservationists and investors work together.
NatureVest founder William Ginn outlines the emerging private sector investing opportunities in natural assets such as green infrastructure, forests, soils, and fisheries. The first part of Valuing Nature examines the scope of nature-based impact investing while also presenting a practical overview of its limitations and the challenges facing the private sector. The second part of the book offers tools for investors and organizations to consider as they develop their own projects and tips on how nonprofits can successfully navigate this new space. Case studies from around the world demonstrate how we can use private capital to achieve more sustainable uses of our natural resources without the unintended consequences plaguing so many of our current efforts.
Valuing Nature provides a roadmap for conservation professionals, nonprofit managers, and impact investors seeking to use market-based strategies to improve the management of natural systems.