I think that poverty of today isn’t like the poverty of the past – in America, our poor people are overweight from the availability of cheap, fast (unhealthy food), so they’re not like the thin, emaciated, starving people of Sudan. In America, 98% of homes have a color TV, 78% of American teens have a cellphone. I don’ t mean to make light of people living in poverty, but the quality of life for those living in poverty in America is vastly better than it was in the 1950’s.
Is it because of the expansion of government programs? It could be. But when I see that 31% of of the households receiving food stamps earned any income from a job that tells me there’s not enough incentive to work. I know this firsthand. When I was in between jobs and collecting unemployment, I had enough money to cover my bills plus a little extra. Oh and my loving landlord didn’t charge me rent while I was unemployed, which helped a lot. I thought I’d get the 99 weeks of Obama unemployment, but little did I know at the time, unemployment is state run. The election of a Republican Governor in NC resulted in changes such that you only get 20 weeks unemployment in NC. Well, what do you think happened? When the unemployment ran out, I made getting a job a much higher priority and started a job 4 weeks later.
The moral to this story is when you pay people enough to not work, they’re going to …… wait for it…… drum roll……. not work. When you give people incentive to work or disincentivize (possibly not a real word) the avoidance of work, they will work.