So back to the Poor…

Ok, JP, I didn’t mean to assume too much, but we do agree about Rick.

Let’s get to something more productive. It is related to politics, as everything is!

So, can you accept Shipler’s prescription for poverty?

"As a culture, the United States is not quite sure about the causes of poverty, and is therefore uncertain about the solutions," he writes. Though he details many ways in which current assistance programs could be more effective and rational, he does not believe that government alone, nor any other single variable, can solve the problem. Instead, a combination of things are required, beginning with the political will needed to create a relief system "that recognizes both the society’s obligation through government and business, and the individual’s obligation through labor and family." He does propose some specific steps in the right direction such as altering the current wage structure, creating more vocational programs (in both the public and private sectors), developing a fairer way to distribute school funding, and implementing basic national health care.

Government assistance is not all that’s needed. There’s the help of business, and the role of the individual and family. This implies several things. What steps should business take? I am guessing a willingness to take a chance and employ people who need the job and probably need training and acculturation.

And let us not treat people in poverty as monolithic. Some are ready to jump in and respond to help given. Others are different. Some are quite used to their benefits, and have no intention of changing. There are other economic factors, like black markets, drugs, gangs, on and on.

That is perhaps all old news. However, my idealistic ways are showing through here. Wouldn’t it be nice if the public and private sectors could work together better? And what if everyone had some confidence in the potential for both sectors to make a positive difference?

Take the comment that was quoted in Meet the Press and This Week from Time Mag (Murhpy): “Republican-primary voters look at Washington and do not want a skilled repairman. They want a TNT-wielding demolition team. And this voter fury is not at work just in the GOP’s grassroots. While voters on the right want to take a sledgehammer to Washington, the left has launched an occupying jihad against Wall Street and wealth in general.”

What does all that get us? It gets us Obama.


About Jim

I've been leading outdoor environmental education in the YMCA since the 1970s. I love teaching nature, history, current events, being a dad, fixing stuff, groups, and general thinking.
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