The Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality issued a new report card today showing that the 50 states are running strikingly different anti-poverty systems.
As one of three national poverty centers, the Stanford center issues an annual "State of the Union" report on poverty and inequality, with this year's focusing on the country's ongoing experiment with highly decentralized poverty policy.
The report shows that, by virtue of such decentralization, poverty and inequality come in a great many forms. Although some states are deeply disadvantaged, other states have found ways to create a more vibrant labor market and fashion more viable institutions, among other strategies.
The implication, according to the center's director, David Grusky, is that "it matters a lot where the stork drops the child." If the child loses the lottery and is dropped into a struggling state, she’s at risk, Grusky suggests, of "growing up poor and unhealthy, failing to get a good job, and losing out on the American dream."