A firsthand account of overcoming ‘benefits cliffs’ to escape poverty

Written by Defending Ideas

October 3, 2023

Trying to get out of chronic poverty is challenging. Sometimes, government programs designed to help can actually make upward mobility feel harder to achieve.

On this episode, we talk with Chris Robinson, Graduated Circle Leader with the local nonprofit Circles Salt Lake. Chris shares what it was like when she lived in poverty and relied on government benefit programs to provide stability for her family. She describes her own experience facing “benefits cliffs” that too often disincentivized work.

Chris is joined by Michelle Crawford, Executive Director of Circles Salt Lake, who gives an overview of the work Circles does to help its program participants escape poverty and move toward self-reliance. Together, Chris and Michelle provide a very human angle to a complex policy issue, shedding more light on the importance of refining anti-poverty efforts to better support upward mobility for more Americans.

Show notes:

Defending Ideas is a weekly podcast produced by Sutherland Institute. On this show we are committed to renewing the principles of common sense conservatism, equipping listeners to become more effective champions of sound principle and good policy. Visit defendingideas.org.

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