Reid Cramer is director of the Asset Building Program at the New America. His work aims to promote policies and ideas that significantly broaden access to economic resources through increased savings and asset ownership, especially among lower-income families. His book, The Assets Perspective: The Rise of Asset Building and its Impact on Social Policy, was published in 2014. Previously, Dr. Cramer served as a policy and budget analyst at the Office of Management and Budget, where he helped coordinate policies on housing, savings, economic development, and program performance evaluation. He has a doctorate in public policy from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, as well as an MA in city and regional planning from the Pratt Institute and a BA from Wesleyan University.

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While poverty is traditionally associated with immediate economic hardship, it is particularly debilitating if it persists over time and is passed on across generations. This is true throughout the world. People can still succeed despite short dips in income, but it is much more difficult to thrive without the array of individual resources and …

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