The remainder of the poverty readings were centered around welfare benefits, and the lasting impacts of poverty, both on a community and on the individual.
The individual impact is most telling of how poverty is such a clear cycle that continues to feed itself. If growing up poor causes you to develop at a slower rate, which can create some of the stereotypes connected to those living in poverty, which in turn leads to a lack of opportunity, then what is created is a self fulfilling prophecy. It is no wonder that children who grow up in poverty are more likely to develop slower with regards to their intellect. Any normal person would struggle with the everyday challenges and stressors of living each day with uncertainty of your next meal, of without knowing where you will sleep at night. I have mentioned this before in a poverty post, but as long as we are not meeting those lower levels of Maslow’s pyramid, you are unable to begin to address the higher levels (belonging, self-esteem, self-actualization).
When people profit from something, there will be very little honest drive to change it. No one will want to hurt their profits, and absorb that personal cost. Allowing poverty to be a profitable industry only allows the issue to persist. Real change can only come from making the end of poverty profitable. How do we focus on rewarding programs that reduce community poverty, how can we reallocate resources to penalize profiteering from others misery, and ensure that programs are working and achieving? Too often organizations struggle to perform and grow at a steady rate, often a determining factor in continuing to receive funding, because there is more support needed ,to ensure success, from more than a grant. A problem should not be simply throwing money at it, but it should be a refocus of all resources to turn ending poverty into the real money maker.
Considering how poverty impacts every facet of society, and the work to continue to support poverty creates a substantial burden on our economy, shows that there is a real need to begin rolling up our collective sleeves and to begin addressing this challenge head on. We talk about how the social safety net is often under attack in federal budgets, and this one in particular. I wish we had a more deliberate conversation on how to create a societal resource net for poverty. How to hold corporations accountable, how to garner support from every corner of our society and economy to pour resources into changing the tide.