Wrong target for education

Why are people low income or in poverty? When I Googled the question here’s what I got.

In the United States more than 40.6 million people live in poverty, caused mainly by wage inequality, inflation and poor education. The vast majority living in poverty is uneducated people that end up increasing more unemployment and crime.

Nearly twelve million of the total in poverty are children. They are in poverty because of all the above and the impact on the stability of the family. The inability of the parents to support the child’s learning for whatever reason, adds to the problem.

What is the key? Seems like it mostly linked to education, basic and skills education and thus the inability to obtain a decent job. This of course leads to low wages and greater impact from inflation.

What poverty is not linked to is a college education. Many students “graduating” from high school lack basic skills in reading and math. Many who attempt college are woefully unprepared and fail. Many require remedial courses before college level courses. A recent report says 60% of students are not prepared for college level courses. In other words, we are setting students up for failure or merely to take up space in college and obtain no value from their diploma.

The fact is you do not need a college education to earn a good living and support a comfortable lifestyle. You do need a solid basic education, possibly skills training and you need directional support, ideally from parents, and you need motivation.

The immediate focus needs to be on quality elementary and secondary education for every child no matter where they live. And to make sure those motivated to college are fully prepared and enter an efficient system, something we do not have now.

So why in the face of these realities are elite progressive politicians pushing not for fundamental educational changes, but free college for all, and loan forgiveness that can only lead to even lower college standards?

Should we also ask why those with college loans, most of which carry manageable monthly payments, say they struggle to pay when they have degrees that are supposed to raise them on the income scale? Some dropped out of college before graduation? Is there a link to preparedness?

This all reminds me of the political left’s push for home ownership through subprime loans as if owning a home was the only route to take and ignoring that many who needed a subprime loan or zero down payment could not afford a house.

11 comments

  1. “When it comes to poverty in the United States, there are two main lines of thought. The most common line of thought within the U.S. is that a person is poor because of personal traits.[1] These traits in turn have caused the person to fail. Supposed traits range from personality characteristics, such as laziness, to educational levels. Despite this range, it is always viewed as the individual’s personal failure not to climb out of poverty.”

    “Rank, Yoon, and Hirschl (2003) present a contrary argument to the idea that personal failings are the cause of poverty. The argument presented is that poverty in the United States is the result of “failings at the structural level.”[3] Key social and economic structural failings which contribute heavily to poverty within the U.S. are identified in the article. The first is a failure of the job market to provide a proper number of jobs which pay enough to keep families out of poverty. Even if unemployment is low, the labor market may be saturated with low-paying, part-time work that lacks benefits (thus limiting the number of full-time, good paying jobs).”
    (Wiki ^^)

    I’m right in the middle, I suppose. Of course it is possible to climb out of poverty. For some of the people. And “personal failings” accounts for some, but not all poverty.

    And…

    the labor market may be saturated with low-paying, part-time work that lacks benefits (thus limiting the number of full-time, good paying jobs).”

    It’s the math. A lot easier to climb out of poverty in the U.S. than some other countries.

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    1. “They” say that’s one difference between a conservative and a liberal; the conservative says, “I worked hard for what I have.”
      The liberal says, “I worked hard for what I have, and I was lucky.”

      Lucky to be born in the U.S., for one thing, instead of Zambia. (60 percent of the population living below the poverty line and 40 percent of those people living in extreme poverty.)

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      1. The luck is the absence of misfortune that cannot be overcome or avoided. Other than that it’s up to the individual and, of course, we have no control over the circumstances of our birth. But there are reasons why people in the same circumstances end up in different places.

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      2. You sound like the first explanation, that a person is poor because of personal traits.

        I agree that accounts for who will individually get ahead and who will not, but for any given country, it will not change the basic poverty level.

        There will still be fewer poor people per capita in Germany or Canada than the U.S. Must be something in the political, economic, or social systems.

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  2. No. No matter how well we educate and motivate, there will still always be a percentage stuck there (about ten plus percent in the US, depending on how it’s defined) There is just no place for them to go. I’ve known a lot of them. Working poor. In my own family. Laborer, secretary, waitress, janitor, etc. They are mostly not bad people, neither uneducated nor lazy. I was a little luckier.
    Just saying, don’t blame the victim, and most of them don’t even consider themselves victims.

    It is what it is.

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    1. Sorry, I disagree. There is no such thing as no place to go, even if you have to create that place. They are not victims.

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      1. Sure there’s a place to go. But someone still has to sweep the floors, mow the grass, and bus the tables. Those jobs don’t pay well, so ten percent of the population will still be in poverty.

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      2. But it’s not the same population. Do they have to stay in that job? Those are entry jobs that you work up from and yes you can, everyone with the motivation can. I started out of high school as a mail boy being the lowest paid person out of 15,000, then became a low paid clerk, had to go to night school to learn to type to keep the job. Tried college at night and dropped out after a semester because I had to go for two years for no credit to make up what I didn’t get in high school. Didn’t start college again for another six years after two years in the army and then it took nine more years at night and Saturdays while raising four children. Most of my life I had two jobs. Those jobs don’t pay well, but not necessarily poverty. I know a young person who delivers pizza at $7.00 an hour. Not going to be a lifelong job, but we figured out he makes equal to $20 an hour now.

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  3. Just like:
    “Anyone can grow up to be president; but everyone can’t.”

    Anyone can work their way out of poverty, but everyone can’t.

    It is not mathematically possible.

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