A young boy walks through the mud bare-footed towards his one room shack. He opens the waterlogged door to find his young mother feeding his eighteen month old sister cold beans. He walks towards the kitchen, which is really just a three-legged table, a lawn chair and a stove, and scoops the remaining beans from the stove onto a plate for himself. He gives his mother a kiss on the cheek and walks towards his corner of the room. His mother wipes a tear from her eye. Tonight she did not eat dinner with her children; she did not eat at all just as she had not eaten the night before.
This scene did not happen in a third world country like one might have believed. It happens everyday here in America. With the Presidential Elections quickly approaching, the candidates should focus on certain issues such as poverty and welfare. To help put a stop to poverty, the candidates must focus on the children living in the destitution, the education of the families, and the monetary wages of the families that are often making less than $15,000 a year. Politicians believe these things to be true in order to cut down on the poverty level. Putting an end to poverty starts with the children of the families.
Vice President Al Gore feels very strongly about this. If the government provides nutritional support programs and food stamps, the likelihood that the children will become mature and flourish increases. Galbraith feels the same was as Gore. “If the children, though badly fed at home, are well nourished at school… then there is a chance that the children of the very poor will come to maturity without inhibiting disadvantage. ” (Galbraith, 246) If the physical well being of the children is watched very closely, then this would decrease the probability of poverty when the children are adults.
Programs that could help the poverty level include Gore”s idea to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). By doing this, the EITC would reduce poverty and child poverty rates. The EITC has already lifted 4. 3 million people out of the poverty level, 2. 3 of which were children. “(If the) physical well-being of the children is vigilantly watched… then there is a chance that the children… will come to maturity… (246). ” Secondly, the Governor of Texas, and Republican candidate for the 2000 Presidential Election feels that education is an important way to end poverty. George W.
Bush feels that giving federal funds towards school districts in poverty-stricken areas will help expand the number of children and families that will rise above the poverty level. “We will give schools new freedom to excel in exchange for proven results. When a school district receives federal funds to teach poor children, we expect those children to learn. And if they don”t, parents should get the money to make a different choice. ” (George W. Bush www. vote-smart. org/speeches/mtv. phtml? func=speech=m00) Bush also feels that money should be given to those children that are pursuing secondary education.
Providing a $1,000 grant to students who took Advanced Placement and college classes in high school is just one example to encourage students of all social classes to try their hardest. Bush also provided the idea that better and safer schools should be built in the impoverished areas. Like Bush, Galbraith feels that education is a very important issue in the fight to end poverty. “The effect of education and related investment in individuals is to help them overcome the restraints that are imposed by their environment. (246)
If the government helps to make the schools more effective in teaching, then the schools will make the poverty level more effective in decreasing. Lastly, the government must help families learn how to manage their finances. The two major candidates for the Presidential Election did not cover this topic. Obviously Mr. Gore and Mr. Bush did not feel that this would have been a successful idea. Galbraith on the other hand, feels that this is very important to help rid the country of poverty.
The only way to solve the problem of poverty is to help people help themselves. ” (245) One might, however, realize that society would not want the government so closely involved in their lives. This issue would not be of concern towards the Presidential Candidates, but of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). So in that sense, the government is involved with the finances of the people of America, whether they like it or not. The hopes of a nation are to get rid of all poverty. They want to feed and cloth and educate the little boy that lives in the one-roomed shack.
They want to teach the parents of that little boy so that way, they can be hired at better paying jobs; they want to help the people with their finances. The man that wins this presidential election is going to have to understand that there is poverty out there, and that there are things that he can do about it. William Pitt once said “Poverty is no disgrace but it is damned annoying. ” Galbraith answered that with “In the contemporary United States, it is not annoying but it is a disgrace” (247). The leaders of today should help diminish the poverty level from a disgrace to non-existent.
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