[I wrote this about six months ago. I seemed to define poverty broadly as "below the poverty line" and "systemically poor"]
We must eliminate poverty. Why?
- The poor cannot afford the education that make them nationally or internationally competitive, which in turn reduces the nation’s competitiveness internationally. Nor can they afford to surmount costs like moving, raising labor inflexibility.
- Homelessness, in particular, lands huge economic and ethical costs on society, whether we act or not. Homeless people lower property values in urban and commercial areas, where they tend to congregate. This in turn hurts commerce and thereby the community, both ethically and economically.
- When individuals and communities become lost in or destroyed by systemic poverty, we lose their production and innovation. In recovering this loss, the elimination of poverty pays for itself, while reviving and fostering communities.
How do we eliminate poverty?
- General: Reduce / eliminate cost of education.
- Rural poverty: Implement Conditional Cash Transfer programs to incentive education and individual well-being (prerequisite: universal health care)
- Urban poverty: Legalize drugs, advance prison reform, improve rehab funding, provide resources for community organization and self-management.