Comments about ‘Getting unstuck: Why some people get out of poverty and others don't’

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Published: Sunday, Nov. 10 2013 6:00 p.m. MST

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Salt Lake City, UT

IMO we may confuse Education with Culture in describing what is needed to break out of the lower rungs of poverty. The culture of poverty breeds itself in attitude and behavior. A person may have degrees(s) but lack the culture of budgeting, deferring gratification, goal-setting and plain old "grit".

Our materialistic society is built upon having what you want, now. Don't worry about payments just sign you name and drive it, eat it, wear it, live in it now. We create a culture of seeking the latest item regardless of need or ability to afford it, i.e., pay cash.

A culture of saving, deferring wants and selflessness in service and life will focus us outward and we will find the way out of poverty, be it financial, cultural or emotional.

In my not so humble opinion.

Samurai Jake
Salt Lake City, UT

A higher focus on financial education is what our country needs. Children continue hearing that they need to work hard in school, to get a good education, to then get a good job. This is wrong. Especially when many of the jobs kids work so hard to get a good education to qualify for, are paying at or below poverty level to begin with!

A job is one of the riskiest agreements that adults enter into. The potential for being fired at any moment, for any reason, is scary business. While education may boost some to a new level, the real issue is the type of education we are providing the future generation. Traditional education provides little to no real world instruction on money, credit, savings, investing, and the like. Being guided on how to read your own financial statement should be the highest priority, as opposed to teaching math most kids will never use, or being forced to write 30+ page research papers for university assignments that, if we're being honest, typically remain unused and forgotten about once the assignment gets turned in. Real life financial how-to's are what's missing in our current educational system.

Wasatch Rebel
Kearns, Utah

The article overlooks a few problems that are causing upward mobility to cease. One of these is no father in the home. Studies have shown that homes without fathers remain in poverty much longer than homes with two parents. Others have mentioned institutionalized welfare, and that is a big problem, but again, it generally stems from no father in the home.

Clearfield, UT

Shame on any business that refuses to hire someone that is unemployed. That is not the American way. If I find out a business does this I will not patronize them. The answer is in the scriptures. Give a man a fish you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime.

Kings Court
Alpine, UT

Ready "Understanding Poverty" by Ruby Payne. It explains all you need to know about generational and situational poverty and how to overcome it.

Taylorsville, UT

Those who "make it" follow the rules you outline, but they also learn to live within their means. It doesn't matter how much you make. If you spend more than that, you're on the road to destruction.
I have no data to support this, but I also suspect that the successful NEVER spend any significant time on public assistance. Being on the dole is addictive.

Taylorsville, UT

I got an education and worked hard all my adult life. My first experience with unemployment came in 2003 after a 30 year career. I found it was WAY too easy to NOT find a job. Sure, there *WERE* no jobs in 2003, so that re-enforced the behavior. I was getting $444 per week TAX FREE for NOT working. Why would I ever take a job paying less than $20/hr under these conditions? My take-home pay would be the same. I was thankful for the money, but the circumstances made it far too easy to sit back and wait for the "ideal" position to open up, rather than accept an "underemployed" position.
I think welfare should be left to churches and the private sector. In those settings, there is better oversight, and a more personalized approach to finding appropriate "help" for the recipients. The government only knows how to throw money at the problem, which solves little and encourages abuse. It's also NOT charity if taxpayers are FORCED to provide the support. Charity needs to be voluntary.


Ruby Payne's book was not peer-reviewed, was self-published and has received much criticism.

Utah, with its large majority of Mormons, is the perfect place to show us how we don't need govt programs to deal with poverty, that individuals and charities can take over aiding the poor and needy.

high school fan
Huntington, UT

Over the past forty or so years, nine out of ten of my parents children made it out of poverty (but we didn't realize until much later that feel into this category) and we all did it the same way, we worked hard and mostly made smart decisions.
My parents never had help except my Grandpa's garden and as far as I know, neither have any of us children. We don't actually help those by helping those that don't want to help themselves.

Sandy, UT

Alt 34

Food stamp expenditures rose from 30 Billion in 2007 to 74 Billion in 2012. During the same time, expenditures per person were up almost 30 percent even though inflation was about 10 percent. Maybe we should all just get on food stamps. The commercials make it look fun.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Anecdotal stories are great, and I congratulate everyone of you on this board who has successfully improved your lot in life. The fact of the matter is that it is tougher to live the American dream, because we are losing blue collar jobs to automation and third world countries who have no regulations protecting workers and the wages paid are practically zero.

There are two problems at work here one is that we do have an entitlement mentality and there are those who would rather sit than work, and that has been well discussed. But the other part of the problem deals with those businesses who only have one concern, the bottom line. They no longer have an America first attitude, where they could live with a little less profit and keep jobs here at home. Hundreds of thousands of jobs have been exported, and the majority of jobs being created today are minimum wage jobs, and those jobs simply do not pay enough to raise a family on. American businesses must be part of the solution by creating good paying jobs here in America, or this problem will only get worse.

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