Comments about ‘John Florez: Bureaucracies perpetuate poverty’

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Published: Saturday, May 11 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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10CC
Bountiful, UT

I like John Florez. His ideas are "thinking outside the box", which I'm always a fan of.

Poverty is often very complex, especially as families and multiple dysfunctions or disabilities are layered on top of each other (such as parents who are not engaged in their children's educations, which leads to lower academic progress, other problems, and the cycle repeats).

I think the idea of having a group of support staff that coordinate getting aid from multiple agencies is a great idea, and it could be a good starter job for a lot of new college graduates, especially in fields like Sociology, History, Economics, etc. I think it could have a positive impact, without a doubt.

Unfortunately, I think this idea will get batted down by conservatives, who would tend to see such a structure as a "concierge" service for the poor. "Aren't we enabling dependency? If they can't find support and keep appointments, maybe they need to learn some hard lessons".

I think conservatives will view it like companies view gift cards: if we make assistance more readily available, it will cost more tax money.

Man_of_letters
Salt Lake County, UT

"Furthermore, the social service industry has become too complex, impersonal and specialized where individuals who are hurting must navigate through a gauntlet of agencies to get help with their problem. Such a relationship and experience fosters dependency and a sense of futility, the beginning of the cycle of poverty. "

I can definitely see how this engenders a sense of futility, but I don't understand how failing to obtain the help one needs would make one more dependent upon the source which did not help them, as you claim.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Those who look to government for answers to end poverty will never escape poverty. The answer is simple. You work - hard. You study. You sacrifice. You apply yourself. You stay away from politicians who "have the answer". You move when necessary. Jobs don't always come to you. You have to go where the jobs are.

Those answers have worked for hundreds of years. My ancestors came from Europe. They escaped centuries of poverty of working in the coal mines of Europe and came to Utah to work in the coal mines. The work was almost the same. The hours were just as long. They were just as tired at the end of the day, but they were free to pursue their dreams.

Those who waited on the government for help are still waiting. Their children, their grandchildren, their great-grandchildren are still waiting.

No one forced my ancestors from Denmark to learn English. They didn't expect government to print anything in Danish. They didn't expect America to change to accommodate them. They changed. They prospered. They taught those principles to their children.

The secret lies within ourselves. Government has no answer.

KWL
Bountiful, UT

The sense of dependency comes from a system that may give or withhold needed resources for reasons the person seeking them has no power over. If upsetting the persons in charge of deciding if you get these resources makes them less willing to help, you quickly learn not to make demands.

Man_of_letters
Salt Lake County, UT

Thanks, KWL - that makes a lot more sense.

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