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Making Work Pay Enough: A Decent Standard of Living for Working Families

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Publication Date: July 2008

Publisher(s): Tax Policy Center

Author(s): Gregory Acs; Margery Austin Turner

Special Collection: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Topic: Economics (Economic conditions)

Keywords: Families/Parenting; Economic Well-being; Poverty and Safety Net; Low Income Working Familes

Type: Report


One-third of America's families with children are low income, meaning their incomes fall below twice the federal poverty level. Although four in five of these families work, many don't bring home enough to cover the everyday costs of living. In this essay, Acs and Turner outline their proposals to enhance low-income families' purchasing power and reduce unusually high housing costs through a package of reforms and policy initiatives that tackle both the income side and expenditure side of family budgets.