Moving America’s Families Forward: Lessons Learned from Other Countries
By Melissa Boteach |
Melissa Boteach, Vice President of the Poverty to Prosperity Program, testified before the House Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Human Resources, November 17, 2015.
Thank you, Chairman Boustany, Ranking Member Doggett, and members of the subcommittee for the invitation to appear before you today. My name is Melissa Boteach, and I am the Vice President of the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress.
I am excited to join you today to talk about lessons the United States can take from other countries in terms of cutting poverty and promoting shared prosperity. There are a number of innovations across Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, or OECD, countries from which the United States can learn. In today’s testimony, I will underscore two main points:
- First, one of the most important lessons the United States can take from other advanced economies is that policies that improve basic labor standards, increase women’s labor force participation through stronger work-family policies, and strengthen social insurance have been critical for cutting poverty, mitigating inequality, and ensuring people can find and keep good jobs. I will provide specific examples of how other countries are using these policies to promote greater economic security and opportunity.
- Second, efforts to examine individual reforms in other countries cannot be divorced from this broader policy framework. It is important not to cherry-pick lessons from other countries absent the context of their stronger labor market protections, work-family policies, and more adequate income security programs for families who struggle to make ends meet. This lesson has important implications as Congress seeks to reform work and income supports in the United States.