It is obvious that the poverty and economic pain felt, especially in rural communities, influenced the results of the election, much to everyone’s surprise (especially in the pollster business).
Now that we have the results, it is imperative for each of us to understand Paul Ryan’s poverty plan, a Better Way. As one of our board members, Jim Masters, commented this morning, this is probably the plan that Trump will defer to, given there are no other plans on the table yet. Please download and read, “A Better Way“.
If we want to the government to support an approach like Circles it will need to be framed first in terms of “bootstraps.” Benefit programs will be seen as a necessary evil if they remain temporary while people chase work.
Eliminating the Cliff Effect is a nonpartisan, no-brainer. And I believe, the timing is good to bring that problem forward to Ryan’s team to solve without dismantling the subsidies in the process.
I believe that strategies like Circles will continue to be popular with this administration because it is “community driven”, taps volunteers to improve the results of formal community and government programs, and is focused on moving people permanently out of poverty. We should continue to talk about the bootstraps and benefits package(s) necessary for more households to increase their earned income. Of course, unless there is MORE AND BETTER economic development throughout the country, the human development side of the equation can only go so far in reducing poverty rates. Automation, artificial intelligence and globalization are going to continue, regardless of what policies are in place. We must advocate for stronger economic development programs. Again the lack of good jobs drove these election results. People need better jobs.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts
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