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How to end poverty


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A big topic, I know.

Today at lunch I listened to a discussion about Los Angeles schools that are now offering dinner at school. Long story short, the kids are not getting enough to eat at home due to poverty so the school (the government) is now feeding those children 3 meals a day.

Some better off families want to use the program in order to free up evening time for activities.

It was a Christian talk show, so the solution to poverty was to restore a marriage culture, as children in families with their married bio parents typically fare better than children of single parent homes. Children in single parent homes are 5x more likely to live in poverty, according to the show.

The show seemed to assume working poor single parents.

I googled briefly for "how to end poverty" and found some interesting ideas, just wondering if anyone here has (pretty sure someone has pondered this) thought about it or has ideas or can even share someone else's ideas of how to end poverty.

Also... Jesus said the poor would always be with us. Do you think He meant the existing governmental order was responsible to provide for the poor? What do you think He meant?

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Dude, what he meant is pretty clear. I'm sure you know the verse; said as a lady pour expensive oils on his feet, and people around him protested the extravagance.

Deut 15:11 was the word on how people should respond to poverty. When he said "the poor will always be with you" he was referring to this injunction, which those around him at the time would have understood immediately:

"There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land."

Basically heck, you know, let the woman pour the oil; you've got plenty of opportunity to keep on helping the poor, and I'm gonna be outta here soon. Right now, this is fine, because you can help the poor tomorrow.

Basically, be charitable, always.

Regarding the political bent of your question: There was no "existing government order" such as has a parallel today. There was a theocratic assortment of tribes. I would think you wanted to make sure you were following Christ's injunction, you'd err strongly on the side of making sure you were doing what you could to help the poor. For me, redistribution is fundamentally important to achieving that. I have no problem with the government facilitating that.

FWIW: If there was anything that could "solve" poverty without spending a bucketload of money, we'd so be onto that. But a marriage culture? Look, the Philippines is the only state in the world (bar the Vatican) that has a total ban on divorce. And it's *not* a wealthy state - it gets poorer and poorer and poorer.

The "how to end poverty" question, IMO, is really - how do we get the poor have more money? And most of the answers have to deal with the reality that people with money tend to be loathe to give it up. Given that: security of tenure, education, health - It's all connected to everything else. There is no one "cure"; no one size fits all. We keep on chipping away at everything, all the time. Or we don't. Generally, slowly, things are getting better. I mean, life is still nasty, brutish and short for people at the very bottom of the heap. But it's longer, and for many, less brutish, than it has been. And hopefully that will continue. (Though you know, disproportionate impacts of climate etc etc.. The poor are going to be &$^%).

And, I know, I'm not talking about The American Poor. But you're asking a philosophical question. Divorcing responses from the rhetorical frame in which questions are asked/situated means you might actually look at the core of your question, which is the abstract relationship between the state and poverty. Don't talk about America. Talk about everywhere else first. It's so much easier to be rational when the discussion is impersonal. Then talk about the USA. Because just talking about the USA falls into a political conversation, not the really important conversation, which is philosophical and sociological.


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Poverty has many causes.

There are fundamental economic causes of poverty (things like factories shutting down and moving to cheaper/less regulated areas). There are also things that can make any existing poverty much, much worse. Conflict is one of those things.

On a global scale, various wars and conflicts benefit some profiteers and make things hell for everyone else. There's a huge drain on resources, there's loss of productivity if workers aren't available or businesses are bombed, there's the human toll, and there's the fact that people get nervous about investing in war zones.

Corruption is also a destructive force that makes some rich, while making everyone else poorer. The economy just can't function if everyone is done on the black market, and it also drives away investment.

On a smaller scale, there is an enormous cost to family conflict. Some of those costs are easier to calculate than others.

- Couples that separate need to divide their assets

- When couples separate, the same amount of income is needed to support two households instead of one

- If a couple with children separates and decides on joint parentings, there will be duplication of many items so that the children have 2 homes

- Legal costs of conflict

- Lost productivity due to stress or even depression

- In cases of high conflict, deliberate destruction or fraud by a spouse

- impact on children of dysfunctional environment or lack of stability, including long-term mental health and future relationships

- lost opportunities to advance without family/partner support

- more eldercare issues (my mom was an only child of divorced parents, so there was a double burden)

- parent/child conflict carries even bigger risks, as kids have huge risks of being homeless, substance abuse, and of being exploited. Their odds of completing higher education are far lower. As for the parents, they are left without family to care for them as they get older, which means that they are at high risk for elder abuse/neglect/exploitation.

Pushing ill-advised marriages, banning same-sex marriage or making divorce much more difficult don't do anything to strengthen core family values or reduce family conflict.

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