@Kent C. DeForrest: "Many people are willing and qualified to work, and
would work hard, but the corporate system we have created does not need or want
them. The system seeks to squeeze as much production out of labor as
possible..."The prime function of corporations is to maximize
profits for investors (i.e., stockholders). Not labor, not the government, but
investors. If that were not true, there'd be few if any investors, fewer
if any corporations, and probably no jobs. That's the nature of our
capitalist society.So, along comes labor unions to help boost wages
and benefits for their members. And what does that do? It cuts corporate
profits and thus dividends to stockholders. It also raises the cost of
production to such an extent that corporations begin to move their plants
overseas and... unions start to lose. That's were we are now. Everything
worked fine for unions until we entered the era of global economy where
corporations could find cheaper labor. Businesses now must use foreign labor to
stay afloat... which means jobs move overseas and the government starts doling
out benefits to the un- and underemployed.
@Ultra Bob:"Until we fix the economy, our efforts to fight poverty are
just whitewash to cover up the real problems."A strong economy
is a good step. But, in our economy/society charitable giving by private
concerns is the preferred method to assist the poor. If/when the government
gets into the business of charity it grows and grows until large segments of the
population are on the dole. Why? Because it's the nature of mankind to be
lazy and let someone else supply their needs. Then we morph into socialism.
We're headed that way now with food stamps growing like topsy... thanks to
Obama and his Democrat friends in Congress.
All these so called solutions imply that parents make the same wages and have
the same opportunities of the commentators. 47% of Americas don't pay
federal taxes because why? Because they are either children, retirees, or make
wages below the poverty line. Take these people out and you have a few remaining
souls but far less than those corporations and wealthy that take advantage of
paid for loopholes to the tax code. It's time to quit pointing the fingers
at the minimum wage earners and bring back good paying jobs and you'll soon
find improvements to your poverty program.
Is anyone on this illustrious committee currently living in poverty so that the
rest of the committee could have first hand comments of what it is like? We
tend to study things to death.
I've seen similar studies identifying common elements of a poverty-free
life. The author's list bears repeating:Get married before
having children.Stay off drugs [including cigarettes and alcohol].Stay out of trouble with the law.Graduate from high school.Obtain
a marketable skill.Get a job.Work hard.Stay close to God.Now look at each item in the list with the question in mind, Who is best
at providing this, or bringing this about? How often is your answer the
government, and how often is it something else, such as families, churches, and
voluntary associations?We should stop looking at government as the
first solution to poverty. A wealth of resources lie in between the individual
and the government, which we refer to as "civil society," and which
Toqueville identified as the key to America's success. These institutions
should be strengthened.
If we grant amnesty to 20 million illegal immigrants we will also increase by
about one third the amount of Americans below the poverty line.Due
to their income they will qualify for just about every imaginable government
When the unemployment rate is high then we have more poverty. It is not due to
free enterprise. It is due to restrictions on free enterprise which Mr. Obama
has done in a massive increase in red tape. It is harder to start or run a
business. The amazing thing to me is that as we see more and more poverty these
people continue to vote for the party that put them in poverty. No we can't
have unrestricted free enterprise, but it is being strangled now.
"Poverty is the natural consequence of a private enterprise, free market,
business oriented, business ruled economy."Hmmm....methinks
someone has some very dark goggles on. Maybe a review of the last two centuries
of US history and the resultant wealth creation, the circumstance of our poor in
relation to the rest of the world both current and historical, and the
innovation and progress of mankind in general, as a result of our capitalistic
system, would be in order.
Your solutions are too easy and obvious. We need to spend money on a government
study that takes years and meets in Las Vegas, raise taxes so others pay their
"fair share," start a new government agency dispensing entitlements and
then never assess the effectiveness of the program. That's the government
Many people are willing and qualified to work, and would work hard, but the
corporate system we have created does not need or want them. The system seeks to
squeeze as much production out of labor as possible, through either productivity
improvement or shipping jobs off to low-wage countries. This enables businesses
to minimize labor costs and put more money in the hands of the already wealthy.
Fix this, and you'll solve the largest part of the poverty problem.But it isn't just those in poverty who are getting the shaft. Even
those firmly entrenched in the middle class are losing ground every year and
have been since 1980 when supply-side economics became the favored conservative
economic theory. Neither party really understands the deeper economic problems
we face, but the Republican mantra of giving the wealthy more and more is
insanity of the highest order.
@watchmanSo then how do we adress why people may have children out of
wedlock, turn to drug use or be unable to maintain suffer isn't employment
to support themselves and their families? Simplistic answers are not answers to
the real question they only serve to make the self righteous feel better. You
are however right there is not a good reason for the legislature to take up its
own research. There is already very good research on this subject including a
very comprehensive research study by the university of Utah. My auspices ion is
the legislature did not like the results because it does not reinforce e their
contutents overly simplistic views on poverty.
In our government the only government action that occurs is when a private
profit is made by the action. And there is probably no way of ending poverty
and make a profit. Poverty is the natural consequence of a private
enterprise, free market, business oriented, business ruled economy. Because of
the advantages of the private enterprise, free market, business oriented,
business ruled economy, we readily accept the disadvantage of poverty. So while
we thing we are fighting poverty with the recommendations mentioned, we do
nothing about the true cause. In order to fix poverty, we must
first fix the economy. The most probable fix to the economy is to eliminate
unemployment and change the rules for the voluntary slavery of employees. Until we fix the economy, our efforts to fight poverty are just
whitewash to cover up the real problems.
Very good thinking on this poverty thing, Michael. You have probably identified
some of the most important things that contribute to our poverty problem, but
one other item should be mentioned.....the fact that we subsidize poverty. We
encourage people to stay in poverty by making them more dependent on government
via various programs such as food stamps, SS disability and other welfare
amenities. In fact, we have found that we contribute to generation after
generation of continued poverty and government dependency.Do you
think a 'Commission on Poverty' will recognize this and suggest we do
something about it? Perhaps the commission might even send a message to our
illustrious president on the same subject.
Agreed, Mike. However you can do all this and more, living a moral, productive
life, without having religion guilt you into it.