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Friday, March 2, 2012

How to Cut Poverty in Half: Empowering People in Poverty to Move to the Middle Class




We've learned from experience the last eighty years of how not to fight Poverty in America and how to fight Poverty in America. In the 1930s we created the New Deal under President Franklin Rossevelt. That brought the Safety Net to America, basically a collection of Social Insurance programs. That help people in poverty sustain themselves while in poverty. And the Great Society from President Lyndon Johnson in the 1960s. Was basically adding on to the Great Society, if your a Progressive, except for National Healthcare and Universal Higher Education. This is exactly what you want to see, if your a Conservative or a Libertarian, you see these programs as going way too far. If your a Liberal such as myself, you like the idea of helping to sustain people while they are in poverty. But you would've gone farther in designing these programs. To actually empower people to get themselves out of poverty. So they aren't collecting Public Assistance indefinitely, living off of people who work for a living. And people who can pay their own bills, because they stayed in school, got a Higher Education. And made good decisions early on in life to put themselves in position to be in the Middle Class. Or even to be better off in life and be able to help people who aren't as fortunate.

In the 1990s with the Clinton Administration we took a different approach in the War on Poverty. A war to that point we had already been fighting for twenty five years. They said for anyone collecting Public Assistance, that they basically can no longer collect Public Assistance for free. That they can't just sit at home even if they have kids, that they have to prepare themselves to leave Public Assistance. And enter or reenter the workforce with a good job. And make themselves Self Sufficient and no longer need Public Assistance in order to survive. And they put this approach to full effect in 1996 with creating Welfare to Work with a Republican Congress. And along with a Booming Economy, we had a record low Poverty Rate in America. We got Unemployment down to 4.2% by 1998 and Poverty down to 13%. It was 25% in 1965 when the Great Society was created. When you give money to people in poverty and you just give them money to help them survive. But you do nothing for them to help them get themselves out of poverty. They are still going to live in poverty but with few extra bucks thanks to Tax Payers. But if you give those extra bucks but an actual chance to get themselves out of poverty. Through education, Job Training and Job Placement, then your really helping them have a good life. And be able to escape poverty.

When you call something a War on Poverty, you implying that you want to defeat it. Well we've been fighting this War officially for forty seven years and still haven't won it yet. Came very close in the 1990s but thanks to a couple of recessions, we've lost ground in this war. So what we need is a strong economy and take the next step in the War on Poverty. By moving people who are collecting any Public Assistance even if they are working. The opportunity to move out of poverty.