Encouraging savings and assets among low- and moderate-income families should be part of the national strategy to restore household and economic stability. Research shows that low-income families can and do save. Savings can help families weather emergencies and prosper, and asset building can help reduce the societal and fiscal cost of poverty. But current savings incentives primarily go to higher-income families, while many safety net programs penalize low-income people for saving. A broad-based asset strategy that complements rather than displaces a strong social safety net can foster economic opportunity for all families.This essay is taken from a symposium on asset building in the new issue of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas.
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