Welfare assistance was never intended to be a permanent solution for those in need. Let’s work to change welfare back to a lifeline, not a lifetime crutch. Countless billions have been spent to keep our poor with their head above water, while their dignity is in total disregard.
Unless you’re a mechanic, if you were given a pail of tools and an engine to repair, you’d likely be an abysmal failure. Why should we expect a different outcome from the 43 million Americans, currently living on the edge?
A national mentoring program designed first, to teach general life skills, and subsequently around job training, must be an essential part of extricating our nation’s forgotten, yet growing segment, from a lifetime with little or nothing to hope or strive for.
Another key component towards permanently ending poverty is the introduction of a Unconditional/Universal Basic Income (UBI) for the entire population of US citizens and legal residents. This UBI would provide a minimum threshold income of 10% above the current US poverty limit guidelines.
In addition to providing an instantaneous shot in the arm to our nation’s economy, it would do away with the built-in stigma and public shaming associated receiving welfare assistance.
Finally, together with the mentoring programs previously stated, our nations dilapidated and often dangerous slums must be razed and re-built by members of the very same community that will ultimately inhabit the new structures. Let’s work to instill pride, a sense of community and ownership with affordable housing solutions.
Affordable housing is not a problem, it’s a solution.