Reducing Poverty Is A Group Effort

Years ago, the USA government launched a social experiment and what academics found was that the earlier a child was transitioned out of a ‘poor neighborhood’ the better their future became. Families with income below the poverty-boundary ($23,283) who were selected for housing spaces in middle-class neighborhoods were able to lift future generations out of poverty (their kids would go on to universities and become middle-class). story

What the experiment failed to uncover conclusively were ‘those things’ within ‘poor neighborhoods’ that bred a ‘culture of poverty’; a pessimism that endangered taking short-cuts and ‘dropping out’. Since then a number of social activists, including private billionaires like Millennial hero Mark Zuckerberg, auteur Spike Lee and Gen X icon Bill Gates alongside community groups, are attempting to dissolve the bonds that perpetuate ‘the poverty mindset’. These bonds are like walls erected to create an artificial hierarchy to dominate the local opportunities and society of poor neighborhoods.

It isn’t enough that poor families have affordable access to the internet, provided by Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg.. kids have to be taught the possibility of technology by someone like Spike Lee.

“Zuckerberg and Gates push for Internet access for all, while Pope says social networks cause ‘radical loneliness’” story

‘Poor’ students in complex situations and daunting settings, can earn their Bachelors degrees through the internet, funded by Starbucks, so long as they are working part-time. story

The benefits of the internet originally conceived for ‘rural’ customers are being used to dissolve the bulwark that perpetuates poverty in hard-to-reach under-served neighborhoods. Artificial walls held up on both sides of the tracks by lackadaisical NIMBY’s as much as sex-traffickers.

Analogous to the internet is access to transportation. Poor neighborhoods are either sprawling or dead ends, cut off from regular bus services; or poor families are ghettoized in less serviced patches of the city.

“Transportation Emerges as Crucial to Escaping Poverty” story

“The groups are calling for transit to be free for people who receive social assistance, and for other low-income groups including seniors and students to be eligible for $50 monthly passes and $1 single fares.” story

How much of a priority is this issue of transportation equity? Toronto, the ‘vibrant tourist jewel’ of South-Eastern Ontario, has the largest percentage of people living under the income poverty-boundary in the entire country (Canada). In a city where the ‘rental and leasing’ mentality is more popular than ‘home ownership’ and where household debt eliminates ‘real’ wealth — those who accumulated that debt are ardent supporters of more free-wheeling capitalism to kick-start the economic engine that have fallen out of Toronto, as manufacturing jobs and corporate headquarters have moved to the suburbs.

The supporters of a free-wheeling capitalism have got it ‘ass backwards’ about the creation of ‘real wealth’. They have also misjudged their own NIMBYISM; how ‘good’ they actually are when asked to serve the ‘we’. To combat the stigma placed on youth and future generations of poor families, Toronto’s poverty reduction plan includes rewarding businesses with contracts that pro-actively combat this lazy bigotry of a common social failure.

“Toronto’s poverty reduction strategy includes using local companies within poor neighbourhoods, whose workforce is 50% composed of ‘identified priority groups’ like aboriginal youth.” – story