"It's expensive to be poor."
A quote I've spent some time pondering. On my daily commute I pass a section of Highway 6 with a large population of homeless people. Recently I've decided to keep water bottles in my car to offer them instead of cash (this works especially well now in the fall since I don't have to worry about giving them OVERHEATED PLASTIC water bottles THAT MIGHT SORTA CAUSE CANCER IDK). But what exactly am I offering? Am I just refueling them so they can continue begging? Hell, would my dollar really have made any difference? These questions bring me back to my quote at the beginning. While it's no one's fault specifically, I do wonder if the social safety net services are the last line of defense. Should my government be doing more to help battle poverty?
And I don't just mean to focus on the homeless. I also look at single parent households who just cannot make ends meet. With multiple children, medical issues, and more often than not, a minimum wage job, debt is only a few feet behind. And let's not forget the predatory lending and the absurd interest rates associated with most in-house financing businesses offering a "helping hand" that so many low-income families are forced to accept. Is it really so surprising to find that being born into poverty almost guarantees you stay in that social and financial bracket? Single-mothers collecting welfare checks aren't our problem. Our problem goes back to the classroom.
The way I see it, education is the answer. Putting more money into our education system should be our first priority in the battle to end poverty. Make higher education cheaper! Don't force ridiculous interest rates on college students trying to get a loan! Stop looking at this in the short term and focus on the endgame.
Shit guys, Wendy is a good start.