Self-Employment for Low-Income People [Kindle Edition]

Only 53.17

Self-Employment for 

Low-Income People [Kindle Edition]


?Can people who are unable to earn enough to raise their

families above the poverty line because of a lack of education, skills, or sobriety

become self-employed and do better both financially and socially? Balkin, thinks the

answer is yes. He reviews the literature on this topic, including programs that have

been tried, both in the US and in Europe. Balkin's judgments are formed by his own

experiences in encouraging the development of such self-help programs and writing

about them. One purpose of the book is to provide practical suggestions on steps

policymakers should take or avoid but, in truth, experience with self-employment

programs has been minimal. Perhaps that is why nearly a third of the book is devoted

to the entrepreneurial experience of various groups, including the Amish and

followers of Father Divine. Readers will be intrigued about the possibilities of

turning low-income scam artists, prostitutes, and welfare mothers into commission

sales people, masseuses, and vending-stand operators. Excellent bibliography.

Provocative reading for academic and general audiences.?-Choice

In this work, Balkin examines whether low-income people should be

encouraged to engage in self-employment as a route for economic improvement. The

author has gathered ideas and material from a diverse literature and experience base

to provide practical suggestions for those who operate self-employment programs, fund

self-employment programs, consider policy concerning self-employment, and look for

alternative strategies to alleviate poverty, create jobs, and improve economic

development. Among the questions Balkin explores are the reasons self-employment is a

significant and successful alternative in some ethnic groups but has not been in

others, why it is successful in those groups, and whether and how it could become a

viable option. Balkin examines the various studies of groups in the U.S. such as the

Amish, the Gypsies, and the Koreans, who have tended toward self-employment, using it

as a successful mode of economic activity. He explores the cultural backgrounds,

forces, and networks that contributed to their success in order to identify the

factors most likely to predict the effectiveness of future self-employment efforts

and programs. He also analyzes low-income groups where self-employment is relatively

rare, suggesting policies and approaches which might be taken to encourage successful

self-employment among these groups. Balkin looks at programs in the United States,

Europe, and the Third World, which have assisted the self-employed and recommends

ways in which policies might be implemented to help U.S. low-income workers undertake

successful self-employment. Finally, estimates of the job creation potential for

self-employment programs are provided along with a discussionabout the importance of


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