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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Questions for Wednesday 2/5

Post your questions here about the reading for Wednesday.

14 comments:

  1. The main solutions discussed in these articles seemed to be raising the minimum wage and early education. While I agree that the minimum wage should be raised and adjusted to the current cost of living, it was reported that college completion rates have soared. What types of early education would best help in the reduction of poverty?

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  2. One common theme throughout the articles is that poverty is not just an economic problem, but a cultural problem as well. When looking at one parent families, specifically single mothers unemployment rates soar. What about our cultural space can change to reduce this problem? How can employment be made more available to these women?

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  3. In the article by Jonathon Cohn in the New Republic, he addresses Lyndon B Johnson’s promise to end the war on poverty. Today, we realize this assurance was unrealistic. However, meaningful progress may certainly be achieved as noted in this article. Are there any practical methods individuals can take to achieve such progress?

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  4. -If congress approved to raise federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10, would it affect the prices of goods and would they go up as well?

    -The issues that they are talking about addressing have to do with raising the minimum wage and early education. A big issue that I see has to do with the rapid increase in population. What plans either than increasing wages and early education does the government have that can help reduce or eliminate poverty?

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  5. At the end of the article "The War on Poverty Turns 50: Why Aren't We Winning?" - a notion about Congress is posed that:
    "raising employment during a slack economy is precisely within its power. It's just a power that Congress chose to stop using."

    While I hear many conflicting opinions about job creation as a consequence of various government initiatives, how else can Congress bolster employment specifically? Or, what are some methods used by Congress (if it is truly a "choice" of using this power or not using this power) that have been historically less partisan?

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  6. In the New Republic article Jonathan Cohn addresses how LBJ should have never promised to eliminate poverty. If poverty cannot be eliminated--as demonstrated by other prosperous countries such as Scandinavia--what should the role of government aid be? Should the government go towards the conservative side of eliminating poverty, or continue aiding the poverty stricken in order to lower the poverty rate (even if it has been lowered by only a minuscule amount)?

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  7. In the article, "50 Years Later, War on Poverty is a Mixed Bag", it is stated that the best thing going forward would be to raise the minimum wage and early childhood education. Are there any other methods that would be effective in the reduction of poverty?

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  8. I think raising minimum wage is a great step. However I'm concerned with the possibilities of the cost of living going up as well as business cutting back hours on their workers. What can done to prevent those two things from happening?

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  9. In the article "The War on Poverty Turns 50: Why Aren't We Winning?" it mentions people dropping out of the work force. There are programs working to get people back into the work force, but are there any programs trying to help workers keep their jobs?

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  10. How much of a role is played by the CEOs of companies? A common problem that appears in many corporations is where the CEO and many higher-ups are paid in the millions, and as a result of this many people who are in the working class are underpaid or become unemployed. The obvious solution is to change the CEO's salary, but how do we go about making these kinds of demographic changes?

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  11. Though this collection of articles spans a range of publications, in terms of the political leanings of the publications themselves, there is not a voice to contradict the massive numbers quoted in the National Review which points out that, ”Trillions of dollars have been spent” and declares the war on poverty a failure. Jim Ziliak, in the New York Times article, suggests that one possibility would be for the private labor market to “step up” and improve to low-wage labor market but is there any evidence to suggest that this could work (or ever has worked, historically)? “Trillions of dollars” is a lot of money and that rhetoric, when used to characterize a “failed” commitment to a war on poverty is demoralizing. Wal-Mart, as a pronounced player in the private labor market, has not only done nothing to “step up” (as they clearly could) to ameliorate the problems of “the low-wage labor market,” they have (as of November 2013) started to accept and coordinate donations of food for their own employees who do not make enough money to feed their families. Back to the demoralizing number of “Trillions of dollars:” Wal-Mart profits $34,880 every minute. In 39 days, then, Wal-Mart profits 2 Trillion dollars. If there was a potential for the private labor market to “step up,” we may not be persuaded to think that “Trillions of dollars” was a lot to spend on social welfare in a span of 50 years. So, to return to the question: Is there any evidence to suggest that the private labor market ever would “step up” or can this only happen through increased governmental pressure and political mandate?

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  12. When Jim Ziliak agreed to be one of the speakers for CETA 2014 (thank you for so gracefully making this promise, Jim), he suggested that he talk about the 50-Year War on Poverty. I was instantly struck by the fact that I knew nothing about a social phenomenon that was already 50 years old and about which, at least in theory, all of us should care. My ignorance about the War on Poverty was all the more troubling because questions of inequality are at the core of what I teach and how I teach.
    In reading the assigned articles, I was struck by two facts: President Obama has called inequality the “defining challenge of our time” and indeed statistics show that poverty is unequally distributed, that it strikes alone lines of race and gender identification (for instance, “The New York Times” article quotes statistics that show that Black and Hispanic children are more often affected by poverty than white children). If poverty and inequality are so pervasive that our President has singled them out as the “defining challenge” of our time, what would it take for us to own them as such? In other words, what would it take for me and everyone else in this class NOT to be surprised to find out that there is a war against poverty going on? What would it take for us to actively participate in this war?

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  13. After reading the articles i feel that the best approach is to provide the opportunity to learn and the opportunity to receive not only better educations but better jobs. Im also not to sure about the idea of raising the minimum wage, because at some point that will no longer work, but as a short term fix its not that bad of an idea. Reading about the idea of raising minimum wage reminded me of this youtube video http://youtu.be/ZI9aDHLptMk.
    So my question is would it be better for the local or state governments to work on this war separately but together or just leave it up to the government?

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  14. As a person who comes from a single parent family, we had to use the Food Stamp program as well as a former cashier. Due to these aspects of my life, I saw both the good and bad sides of Food Stamps. I saw how it helped my family but I also saw how people abused their food stamps just by looking at what they were by buying. My question is, how do we monitor the use of Food Stamps so that they are being used properly?

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