Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Battling poverty--the complexity

Policy makers find it very hard, if not impossible to talk to one another across the widening socio-political chasm.  This appears especially the case when it comes to poverty and its alleviation. This inability to talk in light of largely unrecognized complexities makes the following compelling for me. 

So, how do we explain and understand why people are poor in the United States?  How about this as a starting point in answering this important question?

"Despite the conflicting nature of these left and right analyses, there is a strong case to be made that they are, in fact, complementary and that they reinforce each other. What if we put it together this way? Automation, foreign competition and outsourcing lead to a decline in well-paying manufacturing jobs, which, in turn, leads to higher levels of unemployment and diminished upward mobility, which then leads to fewer marriages, a rise in the proportion of nonmarital births, increased withdrawal from the labor force, impermanent cohabitation and a consequent increase in dependence on government support."

Read Thomas B. Edsall's opinion in his complete essay, "What Makes People Poor?"

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