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Solutions To Poverty

World poverty continues to increase, why can't we come up with some viable solutions to poverty?

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 ---Terry on 4/19/07
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Yes Madison, the unemployment figure is the number of people collecting government unemployment benefits. And as I said at the outset, that number is historically very low right now. Even given that a significant number of people in that group collect unemployment pay even though they can go to work right away, but choose to take it easy till the benefits run out, or have plenty of money saved up to live on, or take on a job under the table while still collecting.
---ralph7477 on 5/4/07

Lynet, the situations you describe are unpleasant to be sure. However, keep in mind that tough times do happen and people adjust accordingly. If there are no jobs, people need to move to where there are jobs. If one job isn't enough to live on, live cheaper or get a second job. Madison has three jobs. While the situations seem dire when we witness them first hand, none of it is new to humanity. There are always alternatives and people are very resourceful to meet the challenge.
---ralph7477 on 5/4/07

Ralph: My point is that the unemployment statistics do not reflect the actual number of unemployed people in this country. They only reflect the number of people collecting unemployment benefits from the government.
---MAdison1101 on 5/3/07

1. It is unbelieveble how quickly things have gone down in this Michigan.
Ralph7477, Those numbers are come from surveys in states where people are working ang there are jobs to be had. They do not include places such as Detroit, though they say the national average.
Here in Detroit, people are leaving the city in droves. The jobs are gone, and the housing situation is horrendous. People are having to leave their properties due to foreclosure, and some just walk away.
---lynet on 5/2/07

2. If you walk into a McDonalds, Kentucky Fried chicken, etc you will see just as many middle aged servers asyou will young ones. Lot's of people have to work in fast food to suppliment a job, or as their only job. Some people who can't find jobs that pay enough tolive off of work two different fast food jobs.
Prices are escalating on everything as though they're making the ones who stay behind pay more to make up for the ones who have left.
Sue is right pray for us.
---lynet on 5/2/07

Sue, I do feel for families like yours. All of us can find ourselves struggling financially in the blink of an eye. The problems in the US auto industry have far reaching effects. Some people don't think corporations should make a lot of money. Well, when corporations are nearly bankrupted by labor union demands for more and more, we end up with the situation in Michigan. I'll pray Sue, that the Lord might present you and your husband with some new options and opportunities.
---ralph7477 on 5/2/07

Madison, I don't know what your point is. Yes there are millions of people not working, hence the unemployment rate. The fact remains that the picture has been improving steadily for years. There will always be people unemployed at one point or another. There has never been full employment and there never will be. There are also a lot of scam artists who make a full time job out of not working. So I'm still wondering...what's your point?
---ralph7477 on 5/2/07

I understand what alan of uk is saying. We all have something to be thankful for. But also it is so easy to just sit back with your legs crossed and say, man I have got it made, while others in this nation is hurting. Don't anyone get too comfortable. You do not ever know what is going to befall you down the road. Not even in this country.
---catherine on 5/2/07

Ralph: The unemployment statistics do not reflect the number of people who were laid off and ran out of their benefits before finding work. As has been indicated on another blog, many of our manufacturing jobs are now outsourced.

Also, it is not a matter of working at McDonald's being demeaning. It is the fact that you cannot support yourself on the earnings.

There are also the underemployed, who work part time because they cannot find full time work.
---madison1101 on 5/2/07

jared, as a social worker, I have seen plenty of people who are emotionally and/or physically incapable of holding down a job, or holding down a full time job.

In order to qualify for SSI a doctor has to verify that there is a health issue preventing a person from working. It is not just a free ride.

I also have a nephew who is mildly retarded, and has severe emotional problems. He does work part time, pushing shopping carts at Wal-Mart. He is not capable of full time work.
---Madison1101 on 5/2/07

Perry ... You are quite right to ask that question, and no I am not giving my entire wealth to Africa.
I was not trying to appoprtion blame, burt just to point out that the many references in this blog to relative different wealths within America were (in my opinion) addressing the full issue.
---alan_of_UK on 5/2/07

Ralph, Where I live people are being forced to sell their houses (and nobody can buy them), families are in need and there are no jobs left. My husband is a machinist, 54 years old, and not making enough to pay the rent, and believe me, our rent is not that much. I live in Michigan, the 'motor city' but all jobs are being outsourced. Pray for our beautiful state please.
---sue on 5/2/07

The unemployment rate is really high these days? Huh? The US unemployment rate is presently well below the historical average and is at the lowest rate in six years. The rate was much higher throughout most of the 90's also. Taxes paid to the IRS set an all time record in April. Somebody sure has to be working in order to pay all those taxes.
---ralph7477 on 5/2/07

Madison, to be quite honest there are jobs disabled people can perform I know because my sister helped many disabled people find jobs. I am not unconcerned with the situation but let's be honest. Are people really unable to work or unwilling? by far the majority are unwilling. it is embarrassing to work at McDonald's if you used to do something better.
---Jared on 5/1/07

Jared: Where I live, if a person is living on SSI because of a lifelong disability, it is impossible to afford to really pay for rent and support oneself. They are living well below the poverty line and through no fault of their own.

Also, there are many people who run out of their unemployment benefits and cannot find a job after their benefits run out. The unemployment rate is really high these days, especially in some states like Michigan.
---Madison1101 on 5/1/07

Alan, you are certainly right that all UK and US citizens are very wealthy in comparison to many in Africans.

First, this entails that a lot of whinging about "two Americas" and "inequality" is specious.

Second, the poor in Africa are not poor because we are wealthy. US and UK were once poor too, but Christianity-inspired capitalism cured that grinding poverty.
---Ktisophilos on 5/1/07

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Madison, I know this. I've been trying to get a job for the past year. this is where living according to your income is important. there are things that you can do to pay your bills.
---Jared on 5/1/07

Jared, with the unemployment rate in this country, your suggestion about getting a job is impossible for every adult in the US.
---madison1101 on 5/1/07

Alan, does that mean you're giving up your wealth, and will you be moving to a camp?

We know the world's situation, so what is your solution, Alan?
---Perry on 5/1/07

K... It is not just about Americans,
Every American, and every UK citizen, even those on the lowest incomes, are absurdly wealthy beside those in the refugee camps in Africa.
---alan_of_UK on 5/1/07

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the solution to poverty is to get a job, live according to your income, plan ahead and save money in case of an emergency, and don't make costly errors in your lifestyle (babies out of wedlock, drugs, alcohol, tobacco use)If everyone did that then there wouldn't be poverty.
---Jared on 4/30/07

Economist Thomas Sowell points out the absurd inefficiency of government welfare:

"... how much money it would take to lift every American man, woman and child in poverty above the official poverty level. That sum has consistently been some fraction of the money actually spent in 'anti-poverty' programs. In other words, if you gave every poor person enough money to stop being poor, that would cost a fraction of what our welfare state programs and bureaucracies cost."
---Ktisophilos on 4/30/07

yes Madison, there are different branches of welfare. some are welfare recieptants for many years. Bigger government is not the answer. we should depend on God more.
---wayne on 4/30/07

Perhaps the answer to question can be found in Matthew 26:11"FOR YE HAVE THE POOR ALWAYS WITH YOU; but me ye have not always.
---Mima on 4/28/07

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By the way, poverty, welfare and homelessness is not something I don't understand. I am retired from the Salvation Army.
---Susie on 4/27/07

Wayne and Susie,
Welfare benefits is totally different from subsidized housing. You are talking about two entirely different programs. Welfare was reformed in the 1990s. Not the Federal Housing Authority. They are operated under totally different budgets. I do know what I am talking about.
---Madison1101 on 4/27/07

Wayne and Susie2: Welfare, where people receive money, is under the authority of the Department of Welfare, and has its own budget and rules, which were changed in the 90s to require recipients to work, and have a five year limit.

Section 8 Housing is under the authority of the Federal Housing Administration and does not have the five year limit that Welfare has. They have an entirely different set of rules and regulations, and are operated differently.
---Madison1101 on 4/27/07

Alan, I fail to see how the fantasy scenarios you put forth have anything to do with real life. If you look around the world, the most poverty stricken people are found in countries run by thugs and dictators who suppress freedom and hoard the slices for themselves. In countries with freedom and free markets, there is no limit of the slices available to go around. In places like the USA, we are free to bake more pies.
---ralph7477 on 4/27/07

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Madison, here where i live there is federal gov housing available for no, or low income women with kids, some pay only 30.00 per month. they get so much for each child. the more kids they have the more they recieve. i know some that have lived there for the past 10 years and they are not going to school. So don't pretend you know everything.
---wayne on 4/27/07

Madison...Would you like to hear the one about my other sister who had ten kids? Prime example of welfare system. I won't even go there. You may have learned a lot at grad school, but I learned a lot in the world.
---Susie on 4/26/07

Madison...I have a suggestion. Go down the local projects in your city, knock on any door, and ask the residents how many years they have been living there. That will answer your five-year limit idea.
---Susie on 4/26/07

"Limits" on resources are usually not caused by shortage of physical stuff but faulty economic policy.

During the Carter price controls, some oil wells were closed because it was costing money to keep them open. When Reagan removed price controls, these it was worthwhile to open the wells. Thus the "limits" to oil supply were immediately broken. And it wasn't long before the price became less in real terms than it was under Carter's misguided price controls.
---Ktisophilos on 4/26/07

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Ralph ...
If all who would like a luxury yacht had one, where would they all be moored, and how would they sail the overcrowded seas?
And how would the fish survive, to feed us, in the polluted waters?
That's the maths behind my previous comment.
There are limited resources on this planet, and too many starving, without all the Christians taking a greater slice of what is available
---alan_of_UK on 4/26/07

Susie: You are wrong. Welfare is not a lifetime option in the US. In 1995, the Welfare Reform Act was passed and signed by President Clinton. It puts a five year, lifetime limit on receiving benefits for anyone. It also requires the recipients either work or go to school to receive benefits. I suggest you study the subject. I studied it in great detail in graduate school.
---Madison1101 on 4/25/07

Madison...My view is from experience. After many years of ministering in homeless shelters in Las Vegas, I can tell you that it has nothing to do with the availability of housing. It has to do with life choices. Although there are a few families who are homeless because of situations beyond their control, believe it or not, many adults choice to be homeless rather than answer to anyone. They prefer to live on the streets than to be in government housing where they are expected to abide by rules.
---Susie on 4/25/07

Brother...God can see you through this situation. Remember one thing. Material things are not important. There is nothing you have now that is more important than you family and friends. The Lord will see you through this. We will be praying for you and that God will touch your body and heal you.
---Susie on 4/25/07

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"You have a really strange view of the social welfare system in our country."

I was born into EXTREME poverty where we went DAYS without food. Have five brothers and two sisters who have all taken different roads in their life. Welfare is lifetime for some families, but it doesn't have to be. Education and hard work are the only two ways out of poverty. Instead of living on welfare as I had learned early in life, I decided to work and continue to work after 40+ years.
---Susie on 4/25/07

randy, I never said that the richest people are the most godly. I said that the Bible forbids favouring either the rich or the poor. And it happens to be true that the bottom 40% pay only 14.5% of all federal taxes but receive 55.6% of all federal spending.
---Ktisophilos on 4/25/07

The top 20% pay 25.1% of all federal income taxes but receive only 15% of all federal spending.

Indeed, the middle class faces a huge tax burden. Blame that on demagogues who raise taxes with the excuse that they are soaking the rich. This appeals to those who violate the command against covetousness. But this comes back to bite them, thanks to bracket creep, while the super-rich limousine liberals find ways to evade taxes.
---Ktisophilos on 4/25/07

Alan of UK, could you please explain your baffling statement, "If Christians all prospered to the selfish extent that we want, the rest of the world would starve."
Are you saying that when one person prospers another one starves?
Or are you saying that Christians would let other people starve even though they had the means to feed and help?
It just makes no sense to me.
---ralph7477 on 4/25/07

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there is a program in here in ky that says if a woman wants the k-chip (insurance for kids) and to qualify for the free rent program she has to be unemployed. I've heard woman say they were told they would be better off to quit their jobs so they could recieve the benifets.
---wayne on 4/25/07

Ktisopilos, With your rationale the richest people are the most godly. So I guess you think that Paris Hilton must be a saint. Your statistics are wrong. The lower and middle classes shoulder most of the tax burden for the country. You need to check multiple sources not just one book.
---randy on 4/25/07

Randy, you are mistaken. Because of the "progressive" tax system, the rich pay proportionally much more. Pres. Reagan supported a flat tax, and was inspired by the biblical tithe: God prospers you 10x as much, you pay 10x as much, not 50x. "Progressive" taxation violates the biblical principle of equal treatment under the law (Leviticus 19:15).
---Ktisophilos on 4/24/07

Economist Dr Thomas Sowell pointed out: "those in the top 20 percent and those in the bottom 20 percent are mostly the same people at different stages of their lives." Obviously many people start at low wages, then work their way up.

Liberals deliberately ignore that to foment their class war, and to confiscate more money that people earn. But they need the money for what Reagan called the closest thing to eternal life on earth: government programs.
---Ktisophilos on 4/24/07

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God is watching you.
Might I suggest, when praying, thank God for all things, be specific about what you need from him, and then leave it up to Him, tell Him that whatever it is He wants for you, His will be done. Then, accept His will without doubting. He is faithful, I know He is, I do not doubt that you too will be delivered. It may not look like you think it should, but you will know it when it comes.
My testimony is built on the faithfulness of God.
Bless you, and yours
---lynet on 4/24/07

Government does not recognize people, only money, and how to use/keep it.
So, programs are created many of which can't function effectively,(new issue) with unreasonable guidelines, deadlines, and paperwork involved,
As a result, more money than you would believe goes right back to the government becasue the programs were not able to disburse/spend it in a timely manner. The next fiscal year, the amount goes down, because it has been determined that less is needed.
Who loses?
---lynet on 4/24/07

What is the reason for poverty?
Solve that, and we will be one issue closer to helping those that need help.
No one person has all the answers, we can't even ask the right questions.
One thing I've learned is no one is immune, because poverty is not just homelessnes, or hunger.
Poverty can strike the spirit and soul of a person, it can place a blinder over your eyes, and a shield around your heart, and we might forget that if you don't plant, I won't eat.

JESUS wept ...,
---ltnet on 4/24/07

Seems to me that people tend to turn to God when times are hard... after personal difficulties, during wars and famines etc. The poor widow gave more than all the others... Mark 12:24. Being poor may have spiritual benefits.
---Dan on 4/24/07

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It is very easy for me to believe the statements made by Susie.
In situations such as those which require Governmental assistance,educating ones self, a part time job and still needs are far from being met, only experiencing it first hand can touch on the brink of conceptualizing the harsh realities of true poverty.
Most Government programs offer a bandaid on a gunshot wound type of benefit. Being able to get them is no small task.
Wayne, I like your question, let's see.
---lynet on 4/24/07

Jana ... Do you mean that if I asked for an income of a million dollars a week, God would give it to me?
If Christians all prospered to the selfish extent that we want, the rest of the world would starve.
Is that Christian charity? Is it loving our neighbour? Is it feeding twe hungry, clothing the naked & visiting the sick and lonely, as we are commanded?
---alan_of_UK on 4/24/07

What Randy says applies in the UK as well
---alan_of_UK on 4/24/07

Ktisopilos, I didnt make any political distinctions but the poor in this country tend to be more liberal. It still goes to the fact that the rich give a smaller percentage of their income than the lowest echelons. The rich pay proportionally less taxes as well.
---randy on 4/24/07

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Rancy, research has consistently demonstrated that liberals who are always talking about compassion are the least generous. Their idea of "compassion" is generosity with *other people's* money! Conversely, conservatives are usually generous with their *own* money. They also realise that private charities far better serve people than massive impersonal government bureaucracies.
---Ktisophilos on 4/24/07

Susie: Those government handouts are not a lifetime benefit. Plus, to receive welfare, the recipient must work, or be attending school or training. As for subsidized housing, there is not enough of it to meet the need, or we would not be having people living in homeless shelters or on the street. You have a really strange view of the social welfare system in our country. madia3794
---Madison1101 on 4/24/07

brother: I plead with you, believe in God and speak to Him..He said ask, and it shall be given, seek and you will find...THIS IS TRUE BROTHER only if you give your whole heart to Him and let Him guide you..I have been in such a situation and in the end gave all to life now is awesome now that I follow God closely..of cause at times we fail but God is only a prayer away...Try it I pray brother..guaranteed...
---jana on 4/24/07

I agree with Susie. Get rid of all the things we cannot afford and our cost of living will go down. Read your bible. The Word tells us the poor will be with us---always! So dont focus on world poverty just do what you can to help someone who is less fortunate than yourself. Begin with your country. Then your problems want look so large. Try it. Bless someone today who has less than you and your family.God will bless you for it.He will take care of the rest.
---robyn on 4/24/07

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brother, don't even think about it, and I know you're not planning anything illegal.
I have a older lady friend. They had a gas station. The pumps were old, new laws demanded an upgrade. He could not afford it, the business went under. He was distraught and did the unthinkable. My friend has had many difficulties. God will hear your prayers. We can pray in agreement with you here for your needs to be met, brother. Please, don't entertain those thoughts, God has a plan.
---Raine on 4/24/07

Ask God to fulfill your financial needs, he will gladely fulfill all your needs that includes your financial ones
---mark on 4/23/07

I think that we are on the brink of it. Me and my wife have been struggling all our lives so far to make ends meet. We had 5 children and only one home now who is 16. I had a heart attack six years ago and our income went down even more. I'm trying to hang in there, but all our needs have not been met. Pray that I don't do something foolish.
---brother on 4/23/07

Problem is that so many people think they are poor because their two car payments, their new house payment, their credit card payments, etc., are too high. They are living way beyond their means. Americans have too much stuff.
---Susie on 4/23/07

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Single mothers (and fathers too) usually qualify for every government handout there is available. They can get into low-income housing, paying little or nothing. They qualify for food stamps and medical coverage in most states. I've known many families where both parents are in the home, where the father worked two (and sometimes three) jobs to provide for his father so they could have a mother at home. And I know single mothers who have done the same.
---Susie on 4/23/07

Poverty is a spiritual problem. The bible says, "Beloved I wish above all that thou mayest prosper and be in good health even as thy soul prospers." As your mind is renewed in the word of God and as you begin to believe ALL that God has for you, that's HE's a God who "supplies all of my needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus," you will begin to prosper in EVERY area of your life, not just money.
---SeekerofHim on 4/23/07

Jana, research has consistently demonstrated that in this country the richest give proportionally less than the poorest. There are exceptions but the rule is the more you make the less you give. As an industrialized nation the US is outspent, by a large margin, for every $100 of output by every other industrialized nation except for Greece. This does not speak very well for us as a Christian country.
---rancy on 4/23/07

Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of God.
If we truely lived by this then we would be much more understanding of the needs of the poor.
The only answer to stopping poverty is sustainable living.
The only solution to poverty is a self sustained eco-envirnoment.
China are said to be building a city from the ground up which will be fully sustainable from within, this is the kind of randical idea which could work.
---johnlovesginalyn on 4/23/07

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If we can't live in minimum wage, then what is the answer?
---wayne on 4/22/07

Noone can ever come up with some solutions to poverty, None of these people believe in God, they worship a wooden or dead God and unless they change, it will never happen. Not for us to judge and criticize the rich.They have every right2 how they spend their funds, They pay huge taxes and donate huge more so than we on this forum do I am sure however, God blessed them with all the riches 4His purpose. Should they reject help needed, then God will judge them accordingly.
---jana on 4/23/07

If everybody who has something would share, there would not be any poverty. And I do not mean always to world charites either. And always asking, "where in the world has my money gone and to whom". Hows that?
---catherine on 4/23/07

The real minimum wage is ZERO. If an employer can't hire someone whose productivity is less than a decreed wage, then he won't hire him at all! Meanwhile, that person is deprived of the chance to learn valuable job skills such as turning up on time, following instructions and pleasing customers.

Most people on minimum-wage jobs don't *stay* there. Rather, they have the chance to develop skills, so that their productivity is worth more, so they can earn more.
---Ktisophilos on 4/22/07

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Local charities based on biblical principles are far more likely than government welfare bureaucrats to know whether a person needs monetary help or a boot up the backside. E.g. they can be rightly judgmental (as Jesus commanded in John 7:24) between a widow who has just lost the father of all her young children, who deserves help; and a woman who has children by different men she never married **and persists in her behaviour**, who deserves shame not payment.
---Ktisophilos on 4/22/07

Read "Who Really Cares", by Prof. Arthur Brooks.

"Religious Americans are more likely to give to every kind of cause and charity, including explicitly nonreligious charities. Religious people give more blood; religious people give more to homeless people on the street."

Brooks was actually raised as a leftist liberal, and was so surprised by his findings that he had to recheck his data before he would accept it.
---Ktisophilos on 4/22/07

Billions of souls have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ, how many souls might be saved with the money wasted on antiques, jets, jewelry, fancy cars, mansions, wardrobes and watches. Did you know that 2,500,000,000 people in this world live on less than $2 a day? Do you want to help buy another Rolex, or help a missionary get a megaphone, some Bibles, a bicycle, a warm coat or even a pair of shoes. Simon learned in Acts 8:18-19, you can't buy God's blessing and power. It's not for sale.
---Rachel on 4/22/07

Dan ... That is an insuklt to the Christians in the refugee camps.
God will give us spiritual prosperity ... temporal material prosperity is not of the bible
---alan_of_UK on 4/22/07

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Perry: Isn't that not what I said? I know God will judge the just and the unjust. I know that he blesses believers more if they do good deeds, obey Christ. The ones that don't help out their fellow neighbor, God won't bless them as much. Re-read my replies.
---Rebecca_D on 4/22/07

Ktisophilos has it right. Freedom and free markets are the best way to help the most people out of poverty. Minimum wage is not sufficient to support a family because that is not the purpose of it. Minimum wage is paid in exchange for minimum skill. Thankfully, because of freedom we enjoy in the USA, a person can create his own job and work to earn as much as he needs.
---ralph7477 on 4/22/07

Oh hooey patootie. That sounds very new agey to me. Poverty is an attitude.....
Tell that to your brothers and sisters in
Christ in the 3rd world countries. Are they any less in Christ because of their poverty?
A single mom on her last five bucks has the wrong attitude?
---Dan on 4/22/07

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