How Can We Cut Poverty Today?

In the video below, the Center for American Progress proposes five things we can do to cut poverty now.

In short, the five things are:

  1. Create jobs
  2. Increase the minimum wage
  3. Expand access to high quality pre-k and childcare
  4. Make the workplace family friendly
  5. Don’t make poverty worse

In the following video, these points are explained in a bit more fully. Take a look:


This list is a good start. But it is just a start. What else do you think we can do to address poverty and inequality? I would love to hear your ideas in the comments below.

10 replies »

  1. It would be a very difficult thing to do in a society where growing far richer than your neighbors (no matter how) is considered good, but I think something that needs to be done is to incentivize service work and volunteering, and teach children that materialism, corporatism, and conspicuous consumption are unhealthy goals.

  2. Since public school is a way out of poverty for many, maintaining a viable public school system is crucial. And a challenge, amidst a trend toward charter schools, vouchers, etc. that dilute funding away from the public schools to which low-income families have access.

    • Naismith, I agree. My wife is a first year teacher at an urban school (and my children attend schools in the sane area). The challenges are immense. I am amazed by what my wife and her colleagues do with so little. Yet, they can only do so much. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Do you think any of this will help older people who are about as poor as they can be, and getting all the help they can? Most have done their best to work, although they often are women who raised the adults who are part of this discussion. I get that children are important, and everyone wants to be in the middle class, if they aren’t pushed out of it already. I realize that it’s not politically sexy to discuss poverty at all, so it’s a wonder anyone is. And in view of that, maybe discussing poor elderly folk is asking too much. Maybe we should creep off and quietly pass away in the night. Yet we’re here, seeing and hearing about “better lives” for all–but us. We see ourselves with another ten, twenty, maybe more years, stretching before us, trying to pay our bills, stretching our tiny incomes a little further, maybe getting enough food–nothing grand, mind you, and not so healthful as we wish–for a meal or two a day. I’m not fool enough to expect this to become a part of the conversation, of course. Unless someone wants our vote, the poorest elderly are usually pretty much forgotten. So I’ll just leave it here, put in the record as it is, for those who rarely have a spokesperson.

  4. I favor replacing most welfare programs with expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit. The overhead saving can make EITC even bigger. Also require schools to stay open hours most people work to make it easier on working parents (and improve teaching of kids). I’m mixed on increasing the minimum wage but if we expand the EITC then we need a higher minimum wage to avoid simply subsidizing businesses and encouraging them to pay lower wages. But we can somewhat make up for that by adopting Scandinavian like corporate tax rates.

  5. Another consideration in our everyday lives is that many of those folks in low-paying jobs are in situations where a tip is either expected or acceptable. And those of us who can afford to can make it a point to tip really well. That extra $3 may make a huge difference to the waitress, especially if the person at the next table does it as well:) It’s a fairly direct person-to-person contribution, no concerns about a charitable organization misusing funds.

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