Social Question

ETpro's avatar

How should the US address the problem of poverty?

Asked by ETpro (34550points) October 28th, 2013

We’re a rich enough country to do it. The US GDP is the largest of any nation on Earth, and this even though China and India each have three or more times the population. I’m not suggesting we just hand out money for not working. The problem we face is generational poverty. To be fair, China and India have generational poverty as well, lots of it. But they are working to reduce it, and succeeding. The Republican Party here seems determined to add to the rolls of the poor, seeking to balance the out-of-kilter budget entirely on the backs of the poor, middle class, and elderly so billionaires and multinational corporations can have even more. Are our billionaires so at risk that we should impoverish everyone else to support only them? Or have they just bought the legislators and the judges and set them about rigging the rules of the game so only the owners win?

If we take the game out of the hands of the greedy would-be oligarchs, how can we change the rules so generational poverty begins to disappear?

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51 Answers

gorillapaws's avatar

Education, immigration reform, legalizing marijuana, and spending our money on domestic projects that have a high rate of return for the economy like education and scientific research.

The minimum wage needs to go up too, and there needs to be some way of getting companies to pay back the cost of public assistance that their employees are using. In other words, if you’re a company with billions of dollars in annual corporate profits, there should be no reason the government has to supplement those profits by providing public assistance to your employees because you’re too cheap to provide a living wage.

I’d like to see a massive push in green technology, to help us transition away from a fossil fuel economy, to a renewable one. This will have huge economic implications in the long run.

zenvelo's avatar

Investment in Human Capital.

There are a few ways to increase the productivity curve, which also raises living standards. That is investment in Human Capital. As any good capitalist knows, an educated productive work force is necessary to increase output, and one of the benefits of that is an increase in demand and jobs.

Jaxk's avatar

Wow, a well thought out question. You have no idea what to do but you’re certain the Republicans are stopping you from doing it. We have spent in excess of $15 trillion on the war on poverty with little or no, success. It would seem that the democratic programs you so dearly love don’t work. Maybe we should try getting them back to work.

Lulaa's avatar

I think government employees, not of the actual military, should have to save for their own retirements, as we do in the private sector. Their salaries should be lower as well. Also, new job creation should not be government jobs. I could go on and on and on….I could write a novel :)

tom_g's avatar

@ETpro: “Are our billionaires so at risk that we should impoverish everyone else to support only them? Or have they just bought the legislators and the judges and set them about rigging the rules of the game so only the owners win?”

Correct me if I’m wrong (and I’m likely wrong), but doesn’t capitalism depend on a large, impoverished, powerless class? What effect would the elimination of this class on the economy and the people who are currently benefiting from the current economic system?

@ETpro: “If we take the game out of the hands of the greedy would-be oligarchs, how can we change the rules so generational poverty begins to disappear?”

I’m an idealist when it comes to these matters, but it seems pretty clear to me that we need to engage in drastic income redistribution. The could be through extremely-progressive taxation and the elimination of an regressive tax, the creation of universal single-payer healthcare, etc.

Spoiler alert: Don’t come at me with “clueless socialist dipshit” comments. I know I don’t have details or a clue as to how to fix this. But I do know that it’s pretty clear that “fixing” this fucking awful economic system we have now will likely require doing more than opening a soup kitchen. And yes, I know I’m a socialist – and a dipshit.

JLeslie's avatar

It is starting to feel more and more impossible. There needs to be a cultural shift in the populations who as a group do things that maintain themselves and future generations in poverty. I say as a group, meaning there are many in the “group” who don’t. People do move up the social class strata and find their way out.

We also need to pay people more. It has to be worth while to work and not collect goverment program money. I am not saying doing away with the government programs, because if somene needs it, I think it should be there, but the people who “work” the system would be less likely to do so if working was way more lucritive. Also, being born into the system I think deprives someone of learning what it is like to live outside of the system. How much more freeing and psychologically empowering it is. I am not saying there is any shame in needing help, I am only saying people need a chance to experience working, being paid well, and being able to support themselves and their family. I think most people do want that, regardless of whether they were born into the system or not. I think it is a basic human quality to want to be independent and self sufficient. In our society money is freedom, and people want to be free.

We also need to pay more respect to all jobs. I have seen on fluther and hear it in my own life how people look down on people who work at McDonald’s or do other “minimum wage jobs.” Well, I find it quite sad that people show no respect to people who work hard, I don’t care what their job is. It is a vicious cycle of not resecting people, paying them wages that are disrespectful, and keeping huge profits. Fine some businesses struggle, but a lot of businesses are paying mega salaries to senior management and having huge profits on the backs of people who aren’t paid well.

You need to somehow convince the portion of the American public who believes rich people getting richer will rev of the economy faster than the lowe and middle class having more money in their pockets. Why they think it I will never understand. America used to pride itself on our middle class as a way of differentiating between us and the third world. We believed it made our country more prosperous and a better place to live.

@Lulaa A good portion of government workers make less than if they were in the private sector. It is only recently private sectors did away with pensions. What about the private sector? You don’t think they have something to do with poverty?

Lulaa's avatar

@JLeslie The gap between government employees and private sector is widening quickly. This isn’t just in pay alone. It is the same in medical benefits, pension and age of retirement.

As you said in your post, “a lot of businesses are paying mega salaries to senior management and having huge profits on the backs of people who aren’t paid well.” It is not a far leap at all to see that this is the same situation with a lot of government employees and the general private sector who pays their salaries, their pensions and their benefits.
Then, the government employee can retire at a much younger age and collect that pension that the private sector worker is still working long past that age to pay for. Not to mention, the private sector worker is still trying to put away enough money to retire before they die.
I wouldn’t be so presumptuous as to say that all government employees fit into that category, but a great proportion does. This cannot help our economy. I cannot see any way that it does.

JLeslie's avatar

@Lulaa I agree with you that age of retirment is lower in general for government workers than people in the private sector, but part of that is their salaries while working tend to be lower. It is a trade off. I know you excluded military, so I will too. Civil servants don’t get lifetime health care like the military as far as I know. If they retire at 55 because they put in their 30 years, they still have health insurance troubles and they cannot access their IRA’s or Social Security yet. Maybe parts of the government do have health insurance for retirees that I am unaware of. I am thinking teachers probably do have group policies of some sort. I don’t think my mom did? She retired from the FDA, but my dad is retired military so they use his benefit so I don’t know all she was eligible for.

What percentage of the US populationndoes the government employ that you think it has a huge impact on poverty? Also, how will taking pensians away from government workers even help the impovershed? I don’t understand how A helps B.

KNOWITALL's avatar

My single mother, even with college, was unable to find many jobs that paid enough to make ends meet on our own. When wage equality is throughout the US, we’ll begin to see improvements.

Lulaa's avatar

@JLeslie This, of course, isn’t just the federal Government that I am speaking of. State and local governments are just as dangerous.

Of all state-level pension systems in the United States, there is a 4.1 trillion dollar gap between assets and liabilities. For each American, that would mean over a $13,000 debt. In some states, the unfunded pension liability would mean a per-capita cost of more than $20,000! A. would help B. by not putting that amount on each person. I think I would be better off financially without that responsibility.

And that is not even considering Federal employee pensions.

Pensions are a time-bomb. We can look at Detroit and see that more clearly than ever since pensions were a pushing factor towards bankruptcy for them.

JLeslie's avatar

@Lulaa I don’t think $13k on average is going to break anyone (I am assuming that is some sort of total amount, and not a yearly amount) not that I am agreeing with how the pensions are done, I don’t know enough about it. I feel pretty sure the poor are not paying any part of the $13k, so how is getting rid of pensions and that debt on society going to help the poor? If the guy making $500k pays $26k and the guy making $25k pays zero on that debt, I still don’t think we have helped the poor.

Lulaa's avatar

@JLeslie Ahh, but see, it is all tied together. That is the beauty (or lack thereof?). Any kind of budget we can fix and any kind of debt we can eliminate, will certainly help balance things for every American in general. Businesses do better, hire more people, have more assets, pay more.

I must say on a completely different note, though: it is incredibly refreshing to be able to have a good solid debate without it turning ugly and petty. (I am an Askville refugee, lol). Thank you for that!

JLeslie's avatar

@Lulaa I am all for helping the government budgets, I just am not confident it necessarily trickles down to benefitting the poor. Are you going to give that money to the poor? Are we going to have lower taxes because we are “waisting” less of the tax dollars and now we will pay poor people more money?

Lulaa's avatar

@JLeslie That is almost exactly it. A lot of states are teetering on pensions. Without that debt, would there not be more money for businesses? If they didn’t have the financial responsibility of millions and in some cases, billions, of dollars in pensions to pay, could they not be more productive in their hiring and paying? A booming business needs workers, it is a given. A struggling business does not. How does a country full of struggling businesses help poverty? How can a poor person/family expect to ever get out of poverty without a lucrative job? But where, pray tell, is that job going to come from if no one can afford to hire? It is not pensions alone, JLeslie, as I said in my first post. I could write a book of ideas on how to help the impoverished. But it is not all that difficult to see how the lack of a pension debt would give America/businesses/families a boost. How does that NOT help the poor? It is most certainly a trickle down situation.

JLeslie's avatar

@Lulaa Back in the day long ago auto manufacturers were making hand over fist and paying shit to employees. Finally unions came in and the pay scales went up for the laborers. The poor people working in the factories did not get out of poverty because business decided, “hey, we are making loads of money let’s share it with the staff,” they had to be forced to with threat of shut down and eventually government regulations also influenced how businesses operated. It doesn’t matter if the economy is great if the poor person is still making poverty wages. It doesn’t matter if there are more jobs if the businesses are in collusion and pay low wages. Remember, we are not talking about the middle class, we are talking about the poor. Maybe some people out of work now will be hired, that will take some people out of poverty, but others will just be working in poverty instead of receiving government benefits and living in poverty.

The government having more money won’t trickle down so fast I don’t think. When Under Vlinton there was a surplus in the government many people really wanted him to cut taxes and give the money back to the citizens, he didn’t do it, but there would be pressure to do it, and a Republican President likely would. Then there is no extra money, the money is just still in the hands of citizenry with lower taxes, but the poor don’t pay taxes. They do pay some taxes of course, sales tax, FICA, etc, so if those get lowered then it will help. Do you think they will get lowered? FICA was lower for a w years there, and I don’t think it affected poverty much.

Lulaa's avatar

@JLeslie But see, now we are verging on the discussion of minimum wage and unions. These are other matters entirely that could also make up a few novels.

So, let’s back up and throw it into another light entirely. As retirement booms, states are crushed underneath huge pension promises. So, states cut budgets, lay off workers, eliminates programs, etc. Every budget cut does not necessarily have to do with wages. There are other programs that the poor may benefit from that can get cut. I have seen it happen here in my own state, in my own community. I don’t understand why it is so hard to see that this can negatively affect the poor.
I stand by my original answer (as one way to help poverty): we need pension reform and soon.
Thanks for the interesting debate JLeslie!

Linda_Owl's avatar

Well, for one thing we can quit “Demonizing” the poor Americans & stop trying to run them out of the various cities & into the suburbs. Education should be made available to these people (instead of pricing College out of the reach of too many students). We should emphasize the respect that is due to Education (& maybe de-emphasize sports?). A lot of these people could be trained as electricians, plumbers, a/c & heater repair persons, a lot of these people could learn to drive fork-lifts so they could work in various warehouses, etc. Maybe a number of them could learn enough IT to repair computers & fax machines. You really should study these people & quit seeing them thru dim & smoky glasses… these are poor people, but they deserve respect & help.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk At $7.25 an hour, 24 hours a week,with no benefits.

One thing you overlook is that you are far more scrupulous and principled than those you blindly support. Like them though, you’re stuck in the past where rent is $145/month; I can think of no other explanation for your lack of comprehension with regards to living expenses, and confusing the desire to eat and live indoors with greed.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@jerv There’s also children raised to believe living off of the govt is okay, a fact of life. I know half the people on fluther won’t believe it, but there’s ton of fraud as well.

tom_g's avatar

@KNOWITALL: “There’s also children raised to believe living off of the govt is okay, a fact of life. I know half the people on fluther won’t believe it, but there’s ton of fraud as well.”

Whether or not we agree on the scope of such activity, I am not concerned about this at all. I see it as a byproduct of a system that is inherently unfair. But this is certainly only peripherally-related to the question (I think), since “living off of the govt” certainly = poverty.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@tom_g Oh sure, people with seven kids and no real jobs getting back more taxes than some of us who bust our humps to pay our bills. All those kids living in squalor with no hopes or dreams for anything better. I think it’s the horror story Americans don’t want to face.

tom_g's avatar

^ I’m not following you.

Have you looked into how much of “your” money goes to pay for the programs that you refer to? I could be wrong, but it seems that you feel that you are being taken advantage of by the wrong people.

You could start by checking out something like this or this.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@tom_g I’m saying that some people born into the ‘system’ and raised ‘in the system’ will never want to be off the system. Some people are willing to be poor in order to not put forward any effort into working. It’s criminal fraud.

I don’t care for myself and my puny tax dollars, I care for those kids and their kids. You can’t bilk a system for generations and expect it not to reform or break the bank. It really infuriates me that people take advantage of services continually and everybody just keeps turning a blind eye.

YARNLADY's avatar

In this country, every worker pays approximately 20% of their income in taxes. This is all forms of taxes, to support our country’s infrastructure. This chart shows how our federal taxes are spent. Welfare is mostly under the Housing and Nutrition sections. Health is Medicare and Social Security.

According to what I read, somewhere between 2% and 3% of the welfare is fraud, but the rest is legitimate benefits. So about 4.7% of your federal taxes goes to welfare.

In socialized countries, such as the UK and Sweden, More than 50% of income is taxes, and the amount spent on health and welfare is much larger.

It is my belief that poverty is directly related to the lack of jobs. I have also read that if every job in the U. S. was filled, there would still be tens of thousands of people looking for work.

I hate to see jobs going out of the country, but companies look to their bottom line before they consider the social consequences.

Another big factor that causes poverty is drug addiction, and it is very wide spread. Don’t count out overpopulation as a contributing problem as well.

The solution would require a major change in human behavior, toward being responsible for the well being of all.

flutherother's avatar

It should raise the minimum wage. $7.25 an hour is too low.

jerv's avatar

@KNOWITALL Yes, fraud exists. But it’s fallacious to think that that means all claims are fraudulent. Voter fraud got a lot of traction despite being some small fraction of votes (far less than 0.1%). Let us assume that @YARNLADY is correct about a 2–3% fraud rate; are you vindictive enough to punish the >97% that are innocent? If so, then why not nuke the entire planet and kill every human because child rapists and serial killers exist?

ETpro's avatar

@gorillapaws Excellent initiatives. I don’t think you can ignore the education (call it rehabilitation to be more accurate) of the adults who are the product of generational poverty and who, through their actions today, are laying the foundation for the next generation like themselves.

@zenvelo Clearly that’s a major part of the answer. Thanks.

@Jaxk I might be asking even though I have a lot of ideas how to proceed, yet I am open to additional ideas. I don’t know whether it’s your ideology or you’re just a shill working for right-wing handlers, but you always assume the worst possible explanation and trot it out as if you know it’s the truth. The truth is I have lots of ideas, and am looking for more. That’s why I ask. The truth is Republicans are doing all they can to balance the budget on the backs of the poor and transfer ever more of the nation’s wealth to the wealthy and to huge corporations. The truth is what Democrats have advocated is often little more than paying people to remain poor. And the truth is if we’ve squandered $15 trillion trying to end poverty and only increased it, then we are doing something terribly wrongheaded, and both you and I ought to be interested in finding a way that’s both cheaper and more effective. We’d live in a far better nation if we didn’t accept generational poverty and the crime and squalor that comes with it.

@Lulaa Cutting pay, cutting benefits, this is a formula to eliminate poverty? I don’t think so. Somalia eliminated all those evil gubment workers and all the benefits they earned. For some strange reason, the country did not suddenly blossom into a model of paradise on Earth. I certainly don’t want all things done by government, but there are things that government should do, and we should pay those that do those jobs well just as we should pay those who serve us our fast food well.

@tom_g I do not accept that capitalism relies on a large pool of wage slaves. Capitalism works well for the bulk of its citizens in many nations. The Scandinavian countries and Germany are good examples. The robber-baron model isn’t the only possible model.

I agree that extremely progressive taxation is needed. That’s what is employed where capitalism is working for everyone.

@JLeslie Very good points.

@Linda_Owl I completely agree with that. The powerless are not the ones setting up the system.

@jerv Thank you.

@KNOWITALL I absolutely agree that’s an essential part of the solution. But what you teach them has to be true. If the game is rigged, then teaching people hard work pays is teaching them a lie.

@YARNLADY You make some good points, but that post kind of rambles and I don’t see any suggested solutions in it. Can you wrap several of those facts into some sort of action plan?

@flutherother Agreed. That minimum wage amounts to a massive taxpayer subsidy of low wage multibillion dollar corporations like McDonald’s and WalMart. They get to pay their employess a less than living wage so they can rake in billions in profits, and we the people chip in to feed and house their employees.

jerv's avatar

Notice that most nations don’t have quite the divide between rich and poor that we do, and those that do are places we don’t want to emulate. Other First World nations have safety nets, but have a relative lack of people who have so much money that the only way they can “spend” it is to invest and make exponentially more money. In other places, everybody invests in the country, and everybody reaps the benefits of the country succeeding; here, the middle-class and small business owners bear most of the tax burden while the top earners and megacorporations get subsidized.
Given the increase in per-worker productivity, I don’t consider it unfair to ask that a rising tide lift all boats instead of just the luxury yachts. Yes, executives deserve compensation, but so do those that implement their ideas, and those who would if there were positions available for them in the workforce. Granted, the latter may require investing in training so that thereare more qualified applicants than just the children of the rich and those willing to take on enough debt that they’ll never repay working at what many employers pay (the days of working your way through college are gone, just like 8-tracks and leaded gas).

YARNLADY's avatar

@ETpro My solution is in my final sentence, and is far, far in the future.

mattbrowne's avatar

By focusing on good parenting.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@jerv I never used the word “all”. I also believe there is more fraud perpetrated in government programs than most people.

ETpro's avatar

@KNOWITALL Fraud is rampant in private enterprise. And if your Republican Party has its way, and deregulates big business entirely, fraud will become the only sensible way to make money once you have lots, and there will be no American Dream.

jerv's avatar

@ETpro I wouldn’t go that far, but I will say that the reason that the private sector is as heavily regulated as it is is that there is a proven history of fraud and abuse. In fact, the abuse of the current regulations is why so many are forced onto public assistance in the first place.

@KNOWITALL How much fraud and abuse do you think is committed by large corporations? I just want to make sure we aren’t doing the whole “double standard” thing here.
Also, you dodged my question about how many innocents you are willing to hurt in order to punish the guilty. I would be wary of cracking down too hard even if the number was 50%... and I think you would be paranoid if you claimed it was that high. But maybe I just have a lower threshold for what I consider “acceptable losses” than you do; I actually care about collateral damage.

Jaxk's avatar

@ETpro

I can’t believe you accuse me of partisanship after your rant promoting class warfare and attacking republicans. It was a clear message on what kind of solutions you wanted and mostly you got them. More welfare, raise the minimum wage, basically all the things we’ve done over the past forty years that haven’t worked. The single most effective step anyone can take to climb out of poverty is to get a job. 4 out of 5 people in poverty don’t have a job and generational poverty is even worse. It occurs when people figure out how to live on welfare and their children simply follow suit. It’s not because they don’t earn enough at their job but rather because they don’t have a job. Hell, they’re not even counted in the unemployment figures because they aren’t looking for work.

Clinton signed welfare reform and it had some positive impact on getting people off welfare and back into the workforce. The key is to get a job in the first place, any job. Once you have a job it is easier to get a better job. I understand you don’t like rich people or business in general but the best way to create jobs is with growing businesses. The handouts haven’t worked and the massive expansion of welfare only serves to expand the generational poverty you seem to decry.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@ETpro @jerv I have no idea how much fraud is perpetrated by big business, too much I’m sure, but I’m also just as sure there are/were a few Democrats involved in sending some jobs overseas, which killed the middle class.

It’s interesting that my bringing up fraud in government programs has seemed to get you both riled up, I wonder why that is?

@jerv Let’s not make idiotic assumptions about whether I care about innocents & collateral damage, that’s tantamount to name-calling and childish.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk Sending all of the economic gains to the top, allowing wages to stagnant, subsidizing megacorporations on the backs of small business has worked so well! Look at how the poverty rate declined between 2000 and 2008. And when did we raise the minimum wage appreciably? Last I checked, the only raises it got were still decades behind inflation.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk You must know I have savaged Clinton for agreeing to “fair” trade acts that exported jobs and then signing Welfare to Workfare into law after ensuring there would be no jobs to transition to. But the question is what do we do about growing poverty, and I haven’t heard a solution from you. Do we just accept it as the new American Exceptionalism. America is exceptionally like Haiti. I don’t want that.

Jaxk's avatar

@jerv

I know that’s the argument from the left but it misses the point. First hiking the minimum wage won’t help those without a job and since the majority of those in poverty have no job, you’re trying to address a different problem. The argument that those at the top have reaped all the gains is a democratic talking point that needs a little context. The top 1% have indeed grown wealthier over the years. They have also increased their share of the tax burden dramatically. In fact back in 1987 the top 1% paid 25% of the tax burden while today they pay over 40% of all taxes. Notably the bottom 95% paid about 55% of the tax burden back in 1987 while today that burden has dropped to 39%. In other words the wealthy pay substantially more while the middle and lower incomes pay substantially less. It is also significant to note that during this same period means tested entitlements has more than tripled. It may be popular to say just tax the rich more but we’ve been doing that for decades, as well as transferring that money to the poor. It hasn’t worked nor will it.

Jaxk's avatar

@ETpro

My answer was in my first post. We need more jobs and an incentive to get people off welfare and into those jobs. You can’t solve the poverty problem without putting people to work. And you don’t put people to work by paying them not to work. I know the democratic motto is empathy, empathy, empathy but it’s time for a little tough love. If you want to continue this war on business, we will turn into Haiti with more people in poverty because THEY DON’T HAVE JOBS.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk The working poor is another problem, and a significant enough one that it must be addressed. And when you consider both that government assistance doesn’t pay much and than government assistance pays more than many jobs, I have to wonder about the real reasons for unemployment.

Yes, the top 1% pay 40% compared to 25%, but how much bigger has their share of earnings gone up? And if that money has been going to the poor, why do the rich have a larger percentage of the wealth than they used to?

Jaxk's avatar

@jerv

More of them are working.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk…and still on the government dime (and thus, living at taxpayer expense) despite that. I see a problem there.

Jaxk's avatar

@jerv

The government has no dimes. Any dimes they get, they took from those that are working and they certainly haven’t given anything back to those that paid.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk Police, roads… yeah, I suppose anything for the public good doesn’t count.

Jaxk's avatar

@jerv

I’ll give you credit for tenacity. In my personal experience, the government didn’t build any of the roads in my town, they were built by the developer. Although the government did take a significant slice of that pie in the way of fees, permits, and licenses. Don’t even get me started on the police. Most police activity is where the crime is and that is in the poor neighborhoods. I’ve donated more in direct contributions to police charities than I’ve ever received in services.

The poi8nt is that the wealthy pay the lion’s share while receiving the least benefit. I don’t have a problem with that relationship until someone tries to make it sound like the wealthy don’t pay their fair share.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@jerv @Jaxk What we also need to address is the fact that we working poor may not be able to afford food on occasion but always make too much to get any help?

On a rare occasion, like after one of my husband’s seizure episodes, I carry the mortgage, food, gas, insurance, everything all by myself. Am I whining, no. Could I have used a hundred bucks for groceries, yes.

Basically I tapped my savings (because yes I am responsible) but there are people all over the US like me who only need help on occasion, during a tough time, and none of us qualify for jack. So that’s the real story about the working poor, we’re one accident or unfortunate circumstance away from devastation and our government could care less.

If it weren’t for charitable and religious institutions a lot of us wouldn’t survive, literally, those rough times. That’s one of the reasons that fraud and people making a living off the government dole really makes me angry, some of us try and try hard to NOT need help from anyone, yet I was told once by a government employee that if I just would get pregnant, they could help me. That’s so sad.

gorillapaws's avatar

This is a video on Wealth Inequality in America. If you’ve not watched it you should. I think it explains why the top 1% pay such a large tax burden, and also why it’s clearly not enough.

Giving businesses more money won’t cause them to hire more people. Companies hire more employees because there is more demand and the current employees can’t keep up. It’s a last resort. My family runs a small surgical practice. If we got a huge business tax break this year, we wouldn’t hire any more people, my father would simply take a bigger salary at the end of the year. If we got a flood of new patients, then we would seriously consider expanding the practice into a larger facility. We would probably bring in more providers, support staff and administration to accommodate the increased demand.

Here is a good video from a billionaire CEO explaining why Rich People Don’t Create Jobs.

annabee's avatar

In my opinion, most people (unless you’re Jesus, Mother Teresa, or are poor/sick, or on the verge of poverty yourself) will want to better their own lives first before helping others. Since the have nots are unable to better their own lives, it stands to reason that the government should instead be helping those who are capable of bettering their own lives first. The idea being that once the haves are satisfied with their lives, they will be less inclined and possibly more willing to jump aboard on helping the have nots.

21,000 people die everyday around the world from hunger and yet non-necessity products are selling fairly well.

Satisfaction, however, is subjective and never fully achieved, but there is an acceptable level. Some might not need much to be satisfied, while others need a lot. I, myself, require a lot to be satisfied, so I’m not even going to consider addressing poverty until I’m at least close to satisfying my own wants first. If the government were to help me reach those goals quicker, than I personally would be more inclined to help address poverty. The gov can start by getting rid of the tax burdens which will put more money in my pocket and a step closer towards satisfaction.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk So… you want Capitalist earnings and Communist taxation? Your town is entirely privately owned? I thought schizophrenics lived in fantasy land, but…. WOW!

@gorillapaws Unlike @Jaxk, your family actually understands how free market economies work; supply and demand. How hard is it to understand that poor people are less likely to buy even essentials, though the rich spend a smaller fraction of their money since they can often buy everything they need or want on one months income or less?

Linda_Owl's avatar

Since all of us have shared our views, you might find this Link to be very interesting

http://www.npr.org/2013/11/02/241897572/how-to-turn-adult-education-into-careers-quickly

This link is all about EDUCATION & I love the closing line!

ETpro's avatar

@Linda_Owl How rare. A post with a proven, common-sense solution. Thank You!

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