Is the Government Responsible for Fixing Generational Poverty?

Recently, I had a lengthy conversation on my personal Facebook page regarding generational poverty.  I would like to talk about that subject and what the government’s role is. People have asked me what my plan is to end generational dependence on welfare.  I want to explain a simple concept — our government was not created to take care of people’s problems. Generational dependence was caused by government, and won’t be fixed by government solutions. Do I believe in a safety net? Yes, but like most people I believe it should be short term. This may not be a Libertarian idea. I will admit that. However, I didn’t put the safety net in place, so I have to work with where we are at.  Government has never created a solution to poverty. The bigger our government grows, the bigger the divide grows between those who are poor and those who are wealthy. I am not oblivious to the problem, I just disagree on the solution.

How do people get of poverty and whose responsibility is it to end the cycle?  I get a little emotional when people who have never struggled talk about poverty (and responsibility). Many of them grew up in good homes with parents who modeled responsibility for them. Having been on both sides of poverty, I understand that people in poor homes may not have the same opportunities or role models. However, this does not mean they can’t be successful adults or break out from this cycle. Look at any successful person and you will see hard work and perseverance have a lot to do with a person’s success.  This is not something government can do for a person.

I am not going to talk about how government fixes poverty because we don’t! I am going to talk about how government creates poverty.  Things people need to get out of poverty — incentive to work and improve their lives, a good education, affordable housing, and inertia! Yes, if you want to do better in life, you need to change. The government can’t do it for you. This post goes out to the college kids working two jobs, the single moms and dads working hard to pay their bills to provide their children with a better life, and the people who sacrifice to change their lives.  I believe you are capable of changing your lives and I don’t believe the government needs to do it for you.

Welfare programs create dependence on government.  When it makes more sense to stay home than to work, we create dependence.  As a single mother I understand how expensive raising a child is. But I also don’t think it is the government’s job to care for my children.  How do we change this? Should poor children and families be starved off of welfare? I don’t think like that. We can’t undo the problem we created by just ripping the safety net out, but we can make sure our kids go to good schools and have opportunities.  I believe in our public schools and that education is where we start.

I have talked to a lot of voters about choice in education. I believe our children deserve a quality education where they not only learn how to read and write ,but learn necessary life skills. I do not believe a successful education is measured simply by how children score on a test, but rather how prepared they are for life. Teachers and parents play a bigger part in a child’s success than any government program and I believe our kids’  education is the starting point for addressing poverty. There are, of course, other things we need to do, but the solution to poverty is not more government.

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