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It's A Gray Area: Government is not the road out of poverty

May 03, 2013|By James P. Gray

The road to success for communities struggling with poverty is generally not hard to find, or even to travel. All it requires is a firm reliance upon yourself instead of government.

To drive that point home, candidly ask yourself what government has actually done for you in the last five years. Yes governments make promises, but have they kept you safe? Educated your children well? Provided you with a good job, or any job at all? Provided you with good health care?

Probably not to any satisfactory degree. So why do you believe the governments' promises for the next five years?

Instead of placing your faith in more government promises, put your reliance upon what works, which is you , as well as your family, religious organization and community. Here are three concrete suggestions that will guide you to success.

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First, avoiding poverty is generally not hard to do if you follow these three simple rules: Get at least a high school education; do not have children outside of marriage; and get a job – any job. Once you obtain an education, learn and demonstrate a good work ethic. Show that you are reliable and can perform, and money and job security will follow.

The second suggestion centers on schools, because a good education is the key to just about everything. So please ask yourself this: Who is in a better position to know how and where a child should be educated, the child's parents, or the government? I have never had anyone respond with anything but the child's parents.

Facing that obvious answer, we should set up a system in which the parents can control how and where the government money that is paid for their child's education can be spent. If that happens, the parents will demand — and receive — excellence.

How are your government schools doing today in educating your community's children? Many are failing — particularly those in minority communities. But in Milwaukee, where parents were given the power to choose about six years ago, virtually all of the schools are performing quite well. And the same results are now being seen in New Orleans for the same reason.

You can call this power a school voucher, scholarship or consent card — it doesn't matter. This system of school choice works! And that would be the biggest boon to poor and minority communities.

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