Published: Sunday, Jan. 12 2014 12:00 a.m. MST
This is what happens when the Federal government believes it can spend your
money better than you can.In 1964 the "official" government
rate for those, in the U.S., living in poverty was 15%. Today, in 2014 (15
Trillion dollars and 50 years later) the official rate is just barely below
15%.Only the Federal government can spend that much money and be so
ineffective at solving the problem!
How much is 15 Trillion Dollars?With that much money the Federal
government could have turned 15 million people into millionaires simply by
handing them over the money.
Nice piece of rhetoric. What specifically do you think should be done? What
government programs do you favor eliminating? What new programs do you suggest
to replace them? North Carolina, for example, drastically cut all welfare
expenditures. The results have been disastrous for the poor, especially the
working poor. And every conservative answer to this intractable problem has
added up 'make their lives even more miserable. That'll show
"Wages are up and prices are down, and leisure time has exploded."Interesting comment in that every Labor Day, there are reports about how
Americans work more hours and have fewer leisure hours than most other developed
countries, particularly across Europe. Most families have two-income earners to
make ends meet.The other point is that much of our cheap goods in
this country is built on the backs of developing world workers, suffering from
low wages and near sweat-shop working conditions -- from the clothes we buy
(think Bangladesh clothing factory fire disaster) to the electronics we buy
(think Foxcomm's suicide nets for workers making Apple products). While marriage may play a role, other factors such as access to
education, having fewer children, women's rights, access to clean air and
water, healthcare, etc., have all helped lift people around the globe out of
poverty. In America, we see less support for education, healthcare,
clean environment... in fact, many of our poorest live in communities downwind
of polluting industries (think Louisiana'a oil refinery districts) where
the costs of healthcare prevent investments elsewhere.Poverty is
complex .. just hope conservatives don't say marriage is the fix-all.
Any discussion on poverty that does not include the word "work" is
incomplete. This one is incomplete.Good points on marriage, though
-- indicating that solutions to poverty are not to be found so much in public
legislation as in private morality.
"How can we improve the lives of the growing numbers of unmarried mothers
and their children? So far, a dominant approach has been to encourage their
mothers to marry. The flaw in this argument is the assumption that
all marriages are equally beneficial. In fact, however, the pool of potential
marriage partners for single mothers in impoverished communities does not
include many men with good prospects for becoming stable and helpful partners.
The new unions that single mothers form tend to have low levels of
relationship quality and high rates of instability. A nationally representative
study (Graefe and Lichter, Penn State) of more than 7,000 women found that
approximately 64 percent of the single mothers who married were divorced by the
time they reached age 35-44. More importantly, single mothers who marry and
later divorce are worse off economically than single mothers who never marry.
A more promising approach is to focus on reducing unintended or
May be all those trillions of dollars is the cause of poverty, that money has to
come from some where. Prices are up wages ain't even close to keeping up.
A nice list of platitudes and general statements based on dubious social science
but not a single solid concrete policy idea of how to actually accomplish any of
the generalizations. Pretty typical- please put your money where your mouth is
and give even one direct and well developed idea and policy recommendations. We
all know poverty is a bad thing all this did was say that again with no
substance. Stable marriages- great. So how exactly do we get more of those? I
could go on but I wasted my time reading the piece and I am now wasting more
time on this.
I recently read an opinion piece where the writer made the argument that
marriage does not affect poverty. She argued that if a woman with a child
marries an unemployed man then she will still be poor. But the relationship is
more concrete. If an 18year old girl sleeps with her boyfriend and becomes
pregnant, she is going to have a real hard time to go to college. Her boyfriend
and she have just written her an express one way ticket to a series of
low-paying jobs, junk cars, poor quality housing etc. I have seen that.If she has a son, he will grow up without a father's example and he
may very well grow up angry. He is more likely to end up in the juvenile
justice system. I have seen that also.The Deseret News editorial
board should be commended for looking for different ways to fight poverty
because the old methods are not working.
In broad, general terms, we can do a number of things. Increase the minimum
wage, for example, and reduce corporate taxes to get american companies back
home from switzerland. A single payer health care system will help, especially
because it removes a burden from employers. Improve education. We need a
societal shift in attitudes towards knowledge and intelligence. We need a
healthier attitude towards sex and procreation, and we need to empower our young
The litany of "buts" are already lining up! There are no "buts"
with those of us who have eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts that feel! It
is a failed experiment of colossal proportions. What's next? Fascist
Socialism or perhaps Communism?
Federal spending in 1965 was 17.2% of GDP. This year is projected at 22%. How is
that a 286% increase?
"But government gets in the way when it produces a culture of dependency, or
when it ties private enterprise in so much bureaucratic red tape it inhibits job
growth."Government for the last 30 years has been a tool of
private vested interests, particularly in the area of trade. For example NAFTA
rewards corporations in their flight from U S soil to Mexico and then to the far
east. This flight of well-paid manufacturing jobs has had much to do with the
stasis of poverty and the decline of the middle class in the United States.
Remember, capital always wants to pay labor as little as possible - right down
to the subsistence level if possible.The Deseret News simply cannot
see capital in anything other than a positive light. Perhaps this is because
the sources you use are very limited.
The editors of this article really miss the mark. They didn't even mention
the two types of poverty, situational poverty and generational poverty. I
recommend they read the book "Understanding Poverty" by Ruby Payne. The
key to ending generational poverty is mentoring. For instance, there are many
hidden rules to each social class and if someone from a lower class can
understand the things about living successfully in a middle class way, they too
can become middle class. This is most effectively done through mentoring and
showing people how to manage their money, their families, and their lives. Of
course, you have to be open to the mentoring and that can be a problem.
I've tried to mentor a few people mired in poverty and unless they really
want to be mentored, they will just reject the mentoring. They are comfortable
living the only way they know how. It can be hard to change the way you live
when you were raised that way. That is why generational poverty is so
entrenched and difficult to combat.
"Yes, many still suffer in deep poverty. But the key is to provide them and
their children opportunities to rise above handouts, to promote lasting
marriages and to unlock the creative forces of freedom." Amen! Anytime you/government give people free stuff is a recipe for disaster. There
is no doubt there are people who need help and they should be supplied for but
they must work for it regardless of their circumstances. Unless we/government do
that, the "fighting poverty" programs becomes enabler as it has been for
the past decades and $ trillions spent and nothing to show
As union representation continues to fall so will the middle class and the
chance for the poor to move up.
re:Hutterite"Increase the minimum wage, for example, and reduce
corporate taxes to get american companies back home from Switzerland."Simply lowering corporate tax rates won't improve the U.S. economy.
First, Switzerland doesn't account for a large potential number of
American jobs. Many/most jobs go overseas due to wage rates. Second,
Switzerland can balance its loss of revenue from lower corporate tax rates with
its VAT tax. The U.S. has no VAT or GST tax. (additionally, Switzerland has
personal income tax and other taxes, including a VAT tax of 8%) The
percent of revenue contributed to the U.S. budget by corporations has been
declining since the 1970's. Sequestration is hurting the U.S.
economy going forward due to spending cuts in research and development. Data from "Fiscal Year 2012 Historical Tables Budget of the U.S.
Government" Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
If we really want to help these people, we need to bring manufacturing back to
the US and give these people real jobs that add to the national economy. We
need to balance our trade with foreign countries s that we have a zero trade
deficit. Otherwise, the gov can continue to play Robin Hood by taking from the
rich and giving to the poor, while we continue to send 500 billion dollars a
year net to foreign countries.
I completely agree with this editorial. If you teach a man to fish (rather than
giving him a fish per day--figuratively speaking...) you will develop
determination and a positive desire to do for ones self--changing the world one
person at a time...it's a powerful thing!
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