Since the 1970s, the middle classes in America has seen no real increase in their income, while costs like health care and education has soared.
With many manufacturing and certain white-collar jobs being sent overseas, those affected have been left to compete for jobs that pay less than the ones that got exported.
If you do want a well-paying career, you’ll at least need an undergraduate degree, a move that saddles inexperienced youth and contact-less career shifters with crushing amounts of student debt.
With fewer opportunities to go around, lower average pay, and climbing costs, poverty has become an increasing problem in this country.
The size of protest marches has gotten bigger, drug addiction and fatal overdoses have increased, and survival crime has started to become a problem in some cities and regions.
This troubles concerned citizens like Larry Polhill, who has been involved in anti-poverty causes for many years.
Like Larry, we believe that poverty is not a moral failing of an individual, but a systemic problem which can be fixed through good policies.
Fortunately, community, business, and political leaders have begun to rise up to meet these challenges. In this article, we’ll detail how they can banish poverty within a generation if they stay the course on the following initiatives.
Strategy 1: A universal basic income to pay for the necessities of life
Think handing out free money to everybody is a bad idea? Halfway through the 2020s, you’ll be screaming at your government for it.
The self-driving car will be the trigger for one of the biggest unravelings in the job market since the dawn of the internet.
With truck drivers, bus drivers, cabbies, and others set to be replaced by autonomous vehicles, the transport industry will soon be gutted of labor.
Considering that it is the #1 industry in America with regards to employment, this is scary news. If nothing is done, poverty will increase exponentially, along with all the problems tied to it.
When Barack Obama, Mark Zuckerberg, and Elon Musk all endorse UBI, or universal basic income, you know that something with serious economic implications is about to happen.
If you pay someone enough so that it makes paying rent, groceries, and car payments easier, it greatly increases the amount and velocity of their disposable income.
With amounts of $1,000 per month proposed, it will help make the lives of poor people and unlucky workers immeasurably better.
Strategy #2: affordable houses for the homeless
The surging cost of living and stagnant wages have left many in our society two paychecks away from the streets. As a result, it shouldn’t be surprising that homelessness has been so tough to stamp out.
Traditional anti-homelessness initiatives have focused on addiction and mindset, with limited success. This is because these conditions are mostly symptoms and not root causes of homelessness.
The lack of affordable housing and stubbornly low wages are the main culprits in our view. As such, actually constructing affordable housing and moving homeless people in is the best solution at this time.
Salt Lake City decided to take this route, and they are about to become the first city to effectively fix their issues with homelessness.
If other cities follow their lead, these municipalities will save tons of money over the long term.
Strategy #3: Make higher education and health care a right of citizenship
In America, one of the biggest obstacles holding us back from a poverty-free society is the state of our health care system.
Providing world-class care only to those who can afford to pay, it puts everybody else at the mercy of insurance companies who often try to get out of paying claims.
What’s more, education above the secondary level has become prohibitively expensive at a time when most decent jobs require at least a Bachelor’s degree.
As mentioned earlier, students are forced to kneecap their ability to live a decent life by taking on obscene amounts of debt, with many loans cresting above six figures.
By making these systems free for people to access, many lives would be saved, bankruptcies would be avoided, and labor shortages in certain industries would be fixed.
Disposable incomes would become bigger, triggering an economic boom, and with no health insurance premiums, families would save thousands every year.