Poverty is not complicated in terms of seeing its impact and affect on people.
However, the forces causing it can be beyond complicated.
The American economy has experienced seismic shifts since the end of World War II. Companies experienced great growth, A generation went to college. A great middle class emerged. Industry exploded with technological and product innovations. Wealth grew, and much of that wealth landed in the stock market as more and more companies "went public."
More recently, companies find it in their best interests to move out of the United States when it is time to build new facilities, manage labor costs and for other off-shore advantages.
Technological advancements displaced workers and continue to do so. Labor unions experienced a rather sharp decline in influence and power. The expectation of the coming economy involves additional job losses, especially for low or under-skilled workers.
Socially, continuing income and racial segregation result in dire consequences to the economy, to
public health, to public and higher education, to quality of available housing stock, to public engagement and to overall community well being. The division of rich and poor geographically hurts us all. The unfulfilled dreams of the American civil rights movement play a big part here.
Caught up in these and many other negative forces, a growing underclass struggles with intensive toxic stress, resulting in a spiral downward for tens of millions of Americans.
Poverty is growing.
Poverty is tragic.
Poverty presents possibly the most serious threat to our nation's long-term security.
What is necessary to overcome these negative forces? How, in fact, do we build wealth at "the bottom?"
Check back with me over the next few posts as I attempt to deal with these vexing questions.