Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Poverty Games

"It is my contention that...the shaming of the inside game relies more on the liberal value commitments of expansionists themselves rather than on careful empirical analysis."

David Imbroscio,Urban America Reconsidered: Alternatives for Governance and Policy

Finally, someone has called the question on the common and supposedly trenchant critique of the community development movement -- and the related advocacy for the outside game -- connecting to regional opportunities --as a superior approach. We've been listening to the outside game analysis for a good fifteen years -- from the likes of David Rusk, Mryon Orfield, and Bruce Katz. It basically argues that community development corporations (CDCs) have failed to alleviate poverty because they are too small and disconnected from regional opportunities.

So, we're now at the point where we might ask: Has the outside game solved poverty? Achieved some notable progress? And we might add: No excuses about federal will, economic conditions, financial resources, etc. What's the impact? Imbroscio argues that the evidence of positive impact is slim indeed.

"In fact, the achievements of both games have been woefully inadequate given the massive scope of the problem..."

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