War on Poverty, Part II: Supporting the Solutions Nationally: Education & Social Progress
By: Yesenia Rojas
While unemployment rates increase and wages continue to plummet, many families are facing dire challenges, such as: increased housing costs, access to child care, and meeting other basic needs. If wages are not accommodated to suit the basic needs of breadwinners, then we have no fighting chance to stay afloat.
What can we do? Support assistance programs. As congress considers reckless cuts this new year, we must instead fight for their funding.
Even though our economy has experienced growth since the recession, not every citizen has felt the effects of these changes, meaning that intelligent and strategic investing is pivotal. The fiscal dialogue should face and tackle the issues that will impact the War on Poverty in years to come:
• Backing a fruitful economy that will serve everyone regardless of tax bracket.
• Making sure all citizens can feel the effects of a successful financial boom, not only those at the very top. Creating new jobs and supporting social agendas that will propel positive and fair change should be of utmost importance.
• 14.5% of U.S. women are in poverty and make only close to 76.5% of what their male counterparts do. Although females are predicted to participate more in the workforce than men in the next 5 years these numbers are proof that Americans can do more to employ and support families.
Data shows that between 1959 and 1973 America was able to "cut our poverty rate nearly in half" with the use of strong safety net programs—these programs are undeniably a driving force to achieving success in this war.
What benefits will we reap? Only the strongest foundation for eliminating poverty in future generations; the financial support system required to educate them. As the workers of tomorrow we must ensure that college is affordable for all students: race, ethnicity, gender and class cannot play a role in impeding success.
Everyone in our country should be allowed the opportunity to succeed; after all, freedom and equality are fundamental American values.
Our economy should reflect this financial abundance, making the future generation and their contributions crucial to our War on Poverty in the next 50 years.
Although the Half in Ten report states that "we haven’t responded well enough to the economic and family changes that have occurred,” the decisions we make now on policy support, education, and social funding will deeply affect the strength of our antipoverty programs and essentially our economic stability.