What are the TEN things that could reduce, even eliminate child poverty in the United States?
The solutions suggested don't involve governmental assistance/handouts nor charity at all but changes in a person's lifestyle and mindset. All people have to do is to be more responsible and accountable regarding their actions.
I've been to the Philippines and have seen a lot of poverty. Here are some of the things I've noticed which can also be applied to the United States. I've also learned a lot of these things through my religion.
Some of these can be used to get out of poverty and others can be used to prevent it.
1 We need more entrepreneurs. They're the ones that create jobs.
2 People actually caring about getting out of poverty. I've talked to many very poor people that are completely fine with being in poverty because that's all they've known their whole lives. They get support from the government and family and they don't ever look for a job because getting a job is too hard.
3 Balance your budget. If you can't afford something, don't buy it. If you are in debt. Get out of debt. Know the difference between a need and a want.
4 Savings for when times get tough. It doesn't matter if it's money, food, or something else you can store for when you have financial trouble.
5 Know when welfare helps and when it hurts. There's a difference between giving someone a kick start to get them going and letting them mooch off of you.
6 Good parents. Teach your children how to work hard. Teach them how to be patient and wait for the right time. Teach them good morals. These are the things that will get them a good job. Studies show that families with good morals do better financially.
7 Learn skills that can save you money. Things like car repair and home repair can save you money when you don't have to pay someone to do it.
8 invest your money. It's like saving it, but your money grows faster, but beware of those get rich quick scams.
9 Set goals. Some goals you can set is when you will get out of debt. When you will get a job, and how much money you will save and invest.
10 Stay close to your family. More important than financial security is good family relationships. If you are having a hard time with money, they can help. You can do the same for them.
Okay, I am going to tread lightly because this is a huge topic in our schools and communities and affects my classroom personally. The Bible says the poor will always be with us, but poverty has become more than "the poor", it has become a cultural thing, a mindset, a worldview, and its own clique if you will. It has also become a generational cycle that is difficult to overcome.
1. A better distribution of wealth, not in a communist way, but in a way where there is access to money for all people willing to work. For those unable, at least a willingness should be shown.
2. More education at all levels to teach more than job skills. I read an article about a gal who because of her "looks" couldn't get a good-paying job and was stuck at minimum wage. She had the skills for something more advanced, but had broken teeth and came from a bad neighborhood and wasn't "hire-able." So, education that would include how to look professional and where you can get access to these things. And education on how to work as a team and work independently, become trustworthy, responsible, show up on time, etc....
3. Teach contentment. I've lived at the poverty range before and I remember struggling from paycheck to paycheck, but I was truly content at that time. I didn't want for more. I had enough and even when I didn't know if I'd have enough to cover the rent, I felt God always provided. This mindset helped me, too, because I wasn't always lusting after the next fashion, the next big thing in technology....
4. Fix our communities! Give power back to the people in communities who are aching, but unable, to fix their neighborhoods. Cut the red tape so they can act.
5. Those of us who have knowledge need to share that knowledge.
6. Those of us who have resources need to share those resources. I don't necessarily mean charity.
7. Teach fiscal responsibility. How to budget, how to save money, how to wait on a big purchase, how to invest, how to know when leasing is a worse option than buying....
8. Eradicate the poverty culture mindset of an unexpected windfall is money to be shared rather than money to be handled wisely.
9. Hire teachers who believe, truly believe, in their students' potentials and are willing to invest time in teaching more than academics, but life skills and character building.
10. Teach our children to strive to improve what they can improve, to be the change they want to see, and relearn empathy and creative problem solving.
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