How do we fix the U.S. Poverty Issue?

September 19, 2008

I’m not a government official and I’m not an accountant, but it seems that the U.S. government is going about helping the poor the wrong way.   The way economy going, we all need to look more at how this process works before we all find ourselves in need and stuck with this kludged of a system.

What can the government do to make this process work better?   Is just giving fish to the hungry the best route or showing them how to fish a better solution?   Over the years, I’ve looked deeper at people on the streets and it brings a tear to my eye to see a 6% homeless go to 12% in New Orleans after Katrina.   Yet, we see Louisiana attempting to make a change by putting nicer homes, but forgot that not everyone can afford these types of locations, which in turn puts more people on the streets.   Is it the governments fault for giving them aid in the first place instead of giving them direction on how to change their life?   Is it the governments fault that there are people that don’t understand what it takes to be successful?   Is it the governments fault for setting up temporary HUD homes for people to live in and in some cases also paying the people to also live there, yet the next generation is getting their own HUD home?   No, the person isn’t getting a lot of cash for living there, but paying people to live in a house doesn’t really seem like we are solving the problem.   We are only creating a situation where kids are growing up seeing they can get something for free, so why try?   We are teaching our kids today that everyone is a winner, why?  So the kids that put in that extra effort have nothing to look forward to?   When you move the system the opposite direction then something else has to give.   Is a free place to live the best way or is it so some officials can keep people around to do the jobs no one wants to do?

What would this country do without the poor?   Does that mean the rich have to carry their own trash, clean their own house, or watch their own kids?   What a catastrophe!

Over the last few years, I’ve talked to some friends and family to find a hole in my thought process.   I haven’t really found one so I now come to you.   Here is my suggestion which I would love to over see, but current do not have the funds or the history of running a business to prove I can.  I have a lot of time and thought on the subject and figured it’s time to start writing it down.   Why can’t we setup a school for adults only?   Anyone making less than the poverty line, which is different based on the place of residents and for this example let’s saying its $20k a year.   They apply to the school and if accepted, pay them $20k as if it where a salary job.   Teach them the trait of their choice and help them understand, enjoying a job makes you more likely to succeed in it.  The training consists of a 7 days a week, 8 hours a day, for one full year.  That should wean out the lazy and concentrate more on the people that are willing to work hard for a year so they can change their lives forever.  They also have to have work ethics, the same as a job.  If they seem to only be there for the free ride, they would be replaced by someone that wants to be there.   Now, I know what you’re all thinking, that’s a lot of money not even talking about the $20k a year, but for the school, the teachers, the materials, and the training.   I also know there will be a lot of scammers that take part in trying to get in so they can have a free ride, screwing someone else over that’s still waiting to get in.    That’s going to happen there are just too many dishonest people out there to stop that.   Hints our system today has a very high percentage of that, just look around.   It has to be monitored and move quickly against the offender and move on.   Here is the plus side of it.

  1. The government can start pulling back on the hand outs.  Meaning our taxes should be less.
  2. They will spend less on this school than they do on the cost of maintaining the current process today.
  3. After the year is up for the student and they get their first job in what they have trained for, they have to put money back into the system, until their retirement.   Now because they have proven their work ethics and commitment, helping them find a job should be very easy.   They should be making more than double the poverty line so putting in a small percentage should not be a problem to someone that now has their life changed for the better because of it.   I know double the poverty line isn’t a lot, but this is someone that has only been doing this for a year, in a few years time it will only get better for them.
  4. After 40 years or so the people that have graduated now are putting cash back into the system that helped them, causing the school to be more self-sustained.   Finding that balance on how many people can be taught at a time per school, how much money will be brought back into the school and how much charity contributions the school gets can be tricky and would need a better suited person than myself to figure out.

This is all at a very high level and I can answer any questions anyone has for me.   Suggestions are very much appreciated.   I would like to see the people of the U.S. come together, build a system that really works and get some contributions to start a process like this.    A school like this in every major city could make a world of difference in many people’s lives and help teach our kids that working in the real world means you have to try, because you can succeed no matter who you are.   This of course isn’t for the U.S. only.  Once proven, it can be built in countries for those that are in need to find a passion and making money while doing it.


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