There have been several posts about the War on Poverty already this week on this blog. And that is because and not to sound repetitive, but 2014 is the 50th Anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson declaring War on Poverty this week. And with poverty still be such a big issue in this country still having roughly twice as much people as compared with the rest of the developed world, now is the perfect time look at what works and what doesn’t when addressing poverty in this country today.
The information, evidence and facts are already in how to address poverty in this country. If the goal is simply to move people out of poverty and into the middle class. Having achieved economic freedom with the tools and income to be able to take care of themselves. Instead of saying that “we have a population in the country with practically nothing and what we are going to do is give these people very little in helping them pay their bills”. And then make the claim they no longer live in poverty because if you add up all of their public cash assistance, they no longer are officially in poverty.
Again we know what works in addressing poverty in America. Yes cash assistance, but short-term so people on poverty know they need to get their acts together so to speak. And improve their employment outlook by finishing their education. And prepare themselves to enter and stay in the workforce with a good full-time job. If you are actually talking about moving people out of poverty and into the middle class.
What doesn’t work as far as moving people out of poverty which is indefinite cash assistance. Coming with no opportunities for these workers to finish their education. Nothing be expected of them as far as improving themselves so they can take care of themselves. Giving them more money if they have additional kids while still on Welfare. Or giving them more money not working than what they could make working. Even if it is a low-skilled low-income job.
The New Deal and Great Society were designed for the most part with some exceptions, to give the less-fortunate some cash assistance to help them pay some of their bills. But without a lot of resources and encouragement or requirements for these people to improve themselves. And look for work or go back to work. And yes we have had some bad economic times over the last fifty years. But in good economic times you still need good skills to get a good job that you are qualified for. Which is why education and job training are two of the big keys in defeating poverty in this country.