Shelley Poverty Q1

Published by Paola Avendano on

Job opportunities will lift and keep people out of poverty. Education and training can help people develop and maintain skills to get the jobs they want and to achieve income growth and advancement.

A steadily improving economy and a relatively competitive labor market will provide many different opportunities, enabling people to have the freedom and confidence to change jobs. The tighter the labor market, the better the opportunities. In a rapidly growing economy, employers will sometimes offer training and pay for education, creating even more opportunities. So government policies should encourage economic growth and not stifle it with high taxes or excessive regulatory burdens.

Not everyone can be lifted out of poverty by employment opportunities, however. Some people are in poverty because of non-economic factors – health, substance abuse, or family issues, for example. Economic growth provides the public and private revenue to make it possible to have a generous safety net to help people who are in difficult circumstances.

The worst way to provide both job opportunities and safety-net programs is to treat businesses like criminals, harassing and hounding them until they close down or leave California. That causes a downward spiral – more people falling into the safety net, but less revenue to pay for it. Raising taxes on businesses exacerbates the problem by causing higher prices, raising the cost of living. California has the highest poverty rate in the country when the cost of living is taken into account. The wrong government policies actually push people into poverty.