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How can we stop poverty? Solution?

How can we stop poverty?

 With 46.2 million People living in poverty in 2011, as reported by: Population Survey Data.


(September 12, 2012) 

• The Census Bureau today released data indicating that the overall poverty rate in 2011 was 15.0 percent – statistically unchanged from 15.1 percent in 2010. This represents 46.2 million people living in poverty in 2011.

• Today’s data indicate that there were 16.1 million children (persons under 18) living in poverty in 2011, not significantly changed from 2010. The child poverty rate was 21.9 percent, not significantly changed from the 2010 rate of 22.0 percent.

• In 2011, 6.6 percent of all people, or 20.4 million people, lived in deep poverty (had income below one-half the poverty threshold, or $11,511 for a family of four).

• The overall poverty rate of 15.0 percent in 2011 did not change significantly from 2010. In contrast, the poverty rate had risen significantly in seven of the prior 10 years from a recent low of 11.3 percent in 2000.

• These figures reflect money income only and do not reflect in-kind public supports, tax credits, most ARRA-funded expansions and temporary reductions in the payroll tax. Data incorporating these and other noncash benefits and how they affect measures of poverty will not be available until November.

In a country that is said to be the richest nation in the world, we still have poverty? What can be done to change that? How do we help? What do we offer these people that are struggling to get by every day?
For extreme poverty we need social programs, we need to do whatever possible we can help those that have fallen through the cracks. But for the rest, what do we do?
I have heard that the solution is more jobs, with 46.2 million people living in poverty – a job is not enough. We have millions of poverty stricken families working to three part time jobs. Many are working two fulltime jobs and are still struggling to get by.
I have also heard the answer is better paying jobs – higher wages. This is also a strange solution since most people know that any company that raises the wages of its employees also raises the cost of its products to cover the rise in wages. If the bulk of the economy is small business, mom and pop shops – they have no choice but to raise prices on their products or services. Just consider it part of the inflation problem.
Another solution is to stimulate the economy, get business thriving. The problem with this solution is that business ”thrive” when people spend. How can people spend when they have nothing to spend with? With every recession we are always told – a call to the masses, go and spend, that is how our economy works. But the last economic crisis, the last recession has proven one thing: how can you spend on frivolous things when you are watching every penny you spend in order to make ends meet. Or in this current economy – to make sure you have something to eat.
I have a solution and you might not like it.
What if we instead of telling people “you can’t make it and you need our help”, what if we told them that they have the power to change their circumstances? What if we told them I know you can rise above this – we will help you, because we believe in you. What if instead of telling people that it’s hopeless, why not tell them the truth – you have control, you can achieve, you can change all this.
It’s not wishful thinking or a positive attitude I am promoting: its truth that so many want to deny. The poor may be in dire need, but they can rise to the challenge, they can overcome – The American dream is still ALIVE and well.
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.“
~ Chinese Proverb
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