can we hear a liberal response to the conservative view posted below?
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/18/us/18 … .html?_r=1
a conservative Patriot Post view-point:
NYT Sees the Light on Poverty ... or Does It?
With the number of Americans living in poverty hitting a 15-year high, The New York Times just published a story praising the scholarly establishment for finally "conceding that culture and persistent poverty are enmeshed." For years, recognizing such a relationship has been considered taboo. After all, let the notion of individual morality seep into public understanding of poverty, and society becomes less supportive of government welfare programs. But now, according to Princeton sociologist Douglas S. Massey, "We've finally reached the stage where people aren't afraid of being politically incorrect." Or have we?
Heritage Foundation Senior Research Fellow Robert Rector notes that while the Times touts the re-examination of the "culture of poverty," in reality little has changed. "One might imagine that experts researching the 'culture of poverty' would examine how marital collapse, eroded work ethic, and indifference to academic study contribute to financial poverty," Rector writes. "Guess again." Instead, he explains, experts continue to preach "that the main cause of poverty is 'material deprivation itself.' In other words, the cause of poverty is poverty: The cure for poverty is to artificially boost the incomes of the poor through welfare payments, free food, housing, medical care, and so on."
Of course, were this truly the cure, the $15 trillion that our government has spent on anti-poverty programs over the decades would have alleviated the entire world's poverty. Instead, the opposite has happened, and the real culprit remains taboo. "[E]xperts tiptoe circumspectly around the main cause of child poverty today: the collapse of marriage," Rector notes. Indeed, at the outset of the War on Poverty, the out-of-wedlock birthrate was 7 percent. Now, it's 40 percent (72 percent among blacks). Were single mothers on welfare to marry the fathers of their children, an astounding two-thirds would immediately rise above the poverty level.
Rector concludes, "The main problem for liberals in talking about the 'culture of poverty' is that any honest examination of behavioral roots of poverty will, almost certainly, diminish public support for the welfare state. Thus, any clear discussion of the links between poverty and behavior is to be scrupulously avoided."
There are just some people who want to do as little as possible in life, and are happy just getting by or letting others support them. I guess I was one of the latter for a long time, and although I wasn't poor, I was worthless.
Now I'm truly poor, struggling to make ends meet, and on public assistance, and I'm very happy. I can see how people get locked into that lifestyle.
I grew up very poor, and always wondered why my parents didn't do more to get ahead. I even asked them. They always said "Money isn't everything," which made me very angry. So I set out to get a husband with money, and I did, and I was miserable. Now I'm poor and happy, and while I don't understand a lot of how they live still, I can see how strong they are. They raised us with nothing, really, but love and hope and faith.
I don't believe the collapse of marriage is the entire reason children are raised in poverty. There are plenty of single parents who do well. We just don't hear about them, because ...well...they are doing well.
Fighting poverty is one of the top charity organizations going which says a lot for society. I think that single parents should be given a lot of help since they may have little resources. If 'welfare' is going to be below the poverty line (Canada) then allowance for 2nd sources of income should be allowed to bring them up to par rather than the practice of 'clawbacks'. Gov't should give up one week of their own salaries and have it put back into the economy rather than always looking how to save $$ from programs with cutbacks or taxes but that would never happen. Just some thoughts
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Disclaimer: Not addressing the hard working poor who are trying to better lives for their families; the underemployed; the unemployed; the needy elderly; the physically, mentally, emotionally, and psychologically handicapped who CAN'T help themselves; and, those who fell temporarily upon hard...
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