NYT: To Beat Back Poverty, Pay the Poor

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Goaldeje

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James Madison


http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/03/to-beat-back-poverty-pay-the-poor/

The city of Rio de Janeiro is infamous for the fact that one can look out from a precarious shack on a hill in a miserable favela and see practically into the window of a luxury high-rise condominium. Parts of Brazil look like southern California. Parts of it look like Haiti. Many countries display great wealth side by side with great poverty. But until recently, Brazil was the most unequal country in the world.

Today, however, Brazil’s level of economic inequality is dropping at a faster rate than that of almost any other country. Between 2003 and 2009, the income of poor Brazilians has grown seven times as much as the income of rich Brazilians. Poverty has fallen during that time from 22 percent of the population to 7 percent.

Contrast this with the United States, where from 1980 to 2005, more than four-fifths of the increase in Americans’ income went to the top 1 percent of earners. (see this great series in Slate by Timothy Noah on American inequality) Productivity among low and middle-income American workers increased, but their incomes did not. If current trends continue, the United States may soon be more unequal than Brazil.


http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/03/to-beat-back-poverty-pay-the-poor/


I thought this might be an interesting debate topic. I think this is a tremendous idea, given that we are already in a welfare system, why not have some goals for those on welfare to meet? I also told my wife this morning (she sent me the article) this is completely unrealistic for the US b/c of partisan BS, but if it were done on a state or local level? Possible?

Thoughts?
 

Sarge

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Put the poor in the Army
 

fansince62

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better still......find a voice/leadership for the poor who..

1) are actually people of integrity

2) aren't getting rich themselves off the backs of the poor

3) are genuinely interested in the welfare of the poor

4) demand responsibility from all players in this long-term struggle

5) admit where some of the favored policies have been hugely destructive to the inner cities

6) ensure that every dime is spent to maximize return to respective communities....and not power aggregation, SEIUs, ACORNs, corrupt Fannie/Freddie execs/pols.....
 

Goaldeje

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James Madison

FS, I actually agree with most of your post, my question is, how?
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fansince62

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FS, I actually agree with most of your post, my question is, how?
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sounds trite...but the poor themselves are gonna have to pierce through the rhetoric and see who has the ideas, longevity and integrity to serve them and the wider community. there are some religious leaders who have been seeing through the haze...for example, school voucher programs have worked well and some religious leaders in big cities are changing their pov. I hear these folks on the radio every now and then. they speak about self determination and accountability. there's no magic formula....but there are paths.

you know...I see immigrant Chinese families all the time who...through generations....move from the ranks of the indigent to the wealthy. the community nurtures it, the culture expects it...the first generation work around the clock.
 

Goaldeje

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James Madison

OK. I guess the issue is that you seem to be expecting an awful lot from a group of people who generally aren't well educated, and who often come out of a cultural background that doesn't value education. I suspect most of the poor people need a little more help than just being told to get off their ass and make something of themselves like the Chinee do. There are so many factors that inherently work against the poor in America that it is difficult for us to comprehend their situation.

I do think trying to provide that help at the federal level is foolish. State and local governments should be the one to administrate aid as needed. And should also feel free to put requirements on those receiving assistance as the article suggests.
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fansince62

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OK. I guess the issue is that you seem to be expecting an awful lot from a group of people who generally aren't well educated, and who often come out of a cultural background that doesn't value education. I suspect most of the poor people need a little more help than just being told to get off their ass and make something of themselves like the Chinee do. There are so many factors that inherently work against the poor in America that it is difficult for us to comprehend their situation.

I do think trying to provide that help at the federal level is foolish. State and local governments should be the one to administrate aid as needed. And should also feel free to put requirements on those receiving assistance as the article suggests.
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that is one way of looking at things!

leadership + culture + desire/will. that's what it takes in the end.
 

redskins26

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there has to be incentives to work as of now there is no incentives so they just keep collecting those welfare checks and staying poor. also i think if you are on welfare you shouldnt be able to have luxury items like 50 inch tvs and cable telivision and all this other crap
 

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