From Investing in What Works for America's Communities
Calabria states that since World War II, we have spent trillions on poverty but the results in terms of poverty reduction, in either numbers or share of population, are questionable. Noting that community development has moved from largely a top-down, Robert Moses-style system to emphasizing participation by the community, he asserts that neither has worked to the benefit of the community because both are easily and have been captured by rent-seeking elites for their own benefit. Providing federal funds to support community development may in fact only exacerbate this situation. The market, which acts as a tool for discovering strategies as well as determining which are preferred by the population, could yield more effective strategies than either top-down decision making or mandated participation.
Author: Mark Calabria, Cato Institute
Date of Publication: August, 2012
Last Updated: August, 2012