Why poor children are becoming poor adults
The White House is highlighting research that shows that when the rich have all the money, it's harder for kids to climb out of poverty.
Why all the attention to the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel? Because the divide between the rich and poor in this country is growing, and by the time the Great Recession hit, it was as vast as it had been at any time since "The Great Gatsby" days, according to the Obama administration.
The Great Gatsby Curve was introduced by Alan Krueger, chief economist at the White House. It shows that in countries where income is more concentrated at the top, in the hands of the rich, it's harder for poor children to climb out of poverty as adults.
The horizontal axis shows income inequality, and the United States ranks the highest among several developed countries in that regard. The United Kingdom, France and Japan are roughly tied for second place.
The vertical axis shows intergenerational earnings elasticity, or how much your income is affected by that of your parents. As that number gets higher -- and it's very high for the U.S. -- the harder it is to move out of the economic class you were born into.
That's simply unfair, Krueger said in a speech last year. "Restoring fairness to the economy would be good for all parts of American society," he said. "This is not a zero-sum game. The evidence suggests that a growing middle class is good for the economy, and that a more fair distribution of income would hasten economic growth."
I think we need more parents talking about money. My financial education in order (from when I was 3 to 18) is literally:
1. Money doesn't grow on trees.
2. Money doesn't grow on trees.
3. I can't afford that right now.
4. We can't afford that right now.
5. Get a job.
6. When you get a credit card, don't spend more than $30.00.
I wasn't taught the importance of saving the money I was given or the money I earned. I wasn't taught how to budget. I spent money and racked up debt like the financially ignorant person I was, until I finally got sick and tired of being broke. I realized I can do precalculus but didn't have the discipline for a budget.
Much can be done to help poor kids not become poor adults; I'd like to start with the common sense approach first.
It's all a question of education. Did your parents have stock ownership, retirement accounts, or an investment portfolio? If not, how can you expect that they'd be able to teach these practices to their children?
I grew up in a dirt-poor family, and my grandparents' and parents' version of investing was an old fashioned savings account at the bank, coupled with Social Security.
I had to go to college before I found out about C.D.'s, stock and bond ownership, IRA's, 401K's, Roth accounts and self-funded annuities!
Didn't realize welfare was the path to wealth.
I come from a single parent home with a mother who lived off the welfare system. I am now a single mother; however, I have never been on the welfare system. I refuse to live off the welfare system. I am considered part of the low income bracket, though.
There are opportunities and support that children have in higher income families that children in lower income families don't. Financial support for continuing education, financial support for living expenses, more direct interaction with an adult figure, either from parent or nanny, that enhances skill sets, instead of latch key children because the parent(s) work long hours, opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities which promote self-esteem, teach teamwork, create social networking, etc. I am not be able to provide these things for my daughter. Please don't mistake this as an excuse; this is NOT an excuse.
Half my monthly income pays for rent for a tiny place which enables me to live in an affluent neighborhood in the top school district in my state. (The high schools have a 99% graduation rate.) Why? Because I am hoping that by providing at least a solid elementary educational foundation for my child, I can give her a leg up and hopefully counteract some of the other obstacles we may face.
It's not necessarily a learned behavior, laziness, or lack of effort. Sometimes, it is just a fact.
It's because the Democrat party wants there to be more poor people dependent on entitlements (most of which are promoted and voted for by the Democrats). Poor people tend to vote Democrat, so that's a guaranteed voting bloc right there.
It is shameful that a lot of you are relating this to welfare, many families are poor and they are not on welfare. Being poor is not necessarily being on welfare. The problem they are stressing is that kids who grow up in a poor household will have a very slim chance of getting out of that classification. In my opinion these kids and their parents' don't have the know how to stop the cycle and that may have something to do with the ending results.
The reason why poor children are becoming poor adults is because of the transmission of learned behaviors. We learn what are parents were taught. If you want to break the cycle, you need to adjust the learning curriculum of elementary learning, particular in eighth and ninth grade. You can teach children at this age practical skills in budgeting. I propose a "Budgeting Project" where the children are taught how to run a household ON A BUDGET with the cost of a mortgage (or rent), the cost of food, the cost of maintenance, cost of gas, electric and water, etc. Teaching children how to save for home improvement and MOST IMPORTANTLY, the need for home improvements and why it's important in the long run. Sadly, parents don't teach these skills because they themselves don't possess them.
Why are the rich to blame for poor parents and poor children? The choices that parents make in life and then pass down to their children influence how your life turns out. If you DON"T finish highschool,if you get pregnant to young, if you KEEP getting pregnant when you can't afford more children and never marry. If you are an abuser of alcohol or drugs. If all you have are parents or a single parent who doesn't want to take the time or effort it takes to raise healthy children then of course you will more than likely be an unsuccessful earner. Quit blaming the rich.
(I'm not talking about welfare bums, I'm talking about hard working people who never had the opportunities you Ivy Leaguers have).
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A basic income policy can actually ensure a decent standard of living for everyone.
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