15 thoughts on “How to solve poverty in America

  1. Clearly, The problem is availability of jobs. The Fairtax corrects the current system’s taxation of productivity and, thus, jobs. Jobs have flowed overseas in response to the current system. The Fairtax corrects this and many other unfair aspects of the current federal government revenue collection system.

    • Clearly, The problem is availability of jobs.

      This isn’t clear at all. There are literally millions of jobs unfilled today. Why? The reality is that many low income workers are low income for a reason: they decline to get basic job skills.

      When I say basic, I mean very basic, like showing up to work on time and finishing your shift. In a survey a few years ago, the biggest complaint that employers had was finding “qualified” candidates. When pressed on what this means, many sheepishly replied that many applicants fail the drug screening test.

      • your are right about drugs. Two large steel fabricators I know say over half of applicants can’t pass a drug test. I’m sure legalizing marijuana will solve this problem-NOT!!

  2. make it so the banksters and wall street can no longer skim off billions of dollars from the top of the country’s finance and somehow get it to salaries for people who buy things to make the need for others to provide those goods/services, which IS new jobs!
    How? Don’t ask our “leaders” Maybe just that everybody had less stolen from them would accomplish that as they would likely spend that extra.

    • make it so the banksters and wall street can no longer skim off billions of dollars

      Just how would you do this? This is exactly what is protected and encouraged by the current set of politicians. Enormous sums in the forms of kickbacks, such as campaign contributions and reciprocal hiring, is precisely how politicians and bankers collude against the general public.

      The problem is the government’s involvement in that industry. And your suggestion is … more government involvement?

  3. Three things are needed. First and foremost is a need to make it “worthwhile” to work. This involves removing all of the incentives for people to stay home. Second, is to remove the uncertainties of the market concerning business, e.g. there is no incentive for a business to hire someone if the the cost of that individual exceeds his contributions to that business. Finally, recuse any legislator who has never had to meet a payroll, from ever signing on to any “regulation”.

  4. U.S. manufacturing output is about 90% of what it was in 2007. Well-paying manufacturing jobs have been pared by both outsourcing and technology efficiencies. Consequently what’s left are either lower paying service jobs or high risk start up business ventures (if funding is available).

    Unemployment rates are meaningless as the labor force participation rate has dropped significantly in 5 years.

    What we appear to be facing is a distinct divided between high tech/high skilled jobs and stagnation for the less skilled and less educated. Old style manufacturing is dying out and so are the “middle class blue collar” jobs that went with it.

  5. The real solution: get rid of welfare, get rid of the minimum wage, get rid of employer liability (in other words if you accept the job you accept the risks of the job), get rid of the minimum age requirement as well as compulsory education. get rid of unions, etc. In other words, get rid of all barriers to employment as well getting rid of any alternative to not being able to work (except private charity).

    • A better way to put this is: remove all government interference from the market.

      It’s a good suggestion, but when you see comments like JMWinPR’s above, you know it’s a futile suggestion. The reality is that pretty much in unison, American consumers and producers beg for government intervention, in the form of special favors and protections.

    • Gil,

      You are advocating a return to the laissez faire capitalism of the nineteenth century. That might reduce the unemployment rate, although even that is doubtful. It would certainly increase poverty.

      There is a reason the voters progressively rejected laissez faire capitalism throughout the twentieth century. They know that the clear majority of them will be jeopardized by it.

  6. How to solve unemployment in America

    This is precisely the attitude that got us into the mess we’re in. Unemployment isn’t a society “problem” to be “solved”. I have an idea: let’s leave people alone and stop dictating the actions of others and let people live their lives as they see fit.

    This is in fact the most radical idea in the history of mankind and something many at AEI embrace. It’s disappointing to see some at AEI reject it.

    • Or to put it another way: unemployment isn’t a problem rather being unemployed at the public’s expense is the problem.

  7. Hard to generate jobs when the Fed keeps a noose around the neck of the economy…and yes, tax consumption not production…

  8. The results of 1996 weren’t all positive. Wage abuse as well as parent(s) dealing with obtaining child supervision are some of the problems that came with the 1990s welfare reform. It benefited companies that hired people on welfare but not necessarily those on welfare.

    And so when Robert Doar says that gov’t assistance for low wage earners helps poverty, what it also does is to help companies obtain tax-subsidized payrolls while some of these same companies do all they can to avoid paying taxes. If we support that, how can we complain about both people receiving welfare and about deficit spending?

    It seems that Doar’s concern here is how to help companies take advantage of poverty and the attempts to relieve it.

  9. Talking about “the poor” conveys the attitude that poverty is something that happens to “those people,” and that it is largely the result of morally irresponsible behavior.

    The real problem is that our economy is no longer creating many jobs that enable ordinary but hard working people to earn middle class incomes. Both political parties are complicit in this.

    The Immigration Reform Act of 1965 made it possible for the employer investor class to import cheap labor. The North American Free Trade Agreement of 1994 made it possible for that class to export good jobs. Both of these were promoted and signed by Democratic presidents. Both had bi partisan support in both houses of Congress.

    An additional factor is computer technology. It enables geniuses to earn vast fortunes while reducing the economic value of jobs most Americans are able to learn. Automation and off shoring are both made possible by computer technology.

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