It is a never-ending cycle.
Theresa Funiciello also wrote a book about poverty. In her book, she claims that one of the ways to help control it is to get rid of the welfare system. Throughout her book, she talks bad about welfare workers, explaining about their rudeness and pushiness, and even called one of the workers "huffy." Then she explains how she was able to get herself off welfare and tells about how well she is doing with her life now. By her observations, the only reason poor people stay poor is that they are getting free food and checks from the federal government. She thinks that if they do away with Welfare, then the poor will start working, as she did. However, she misses the big picture about poverty in the United States. It does not always have to do with people who do not work, as Ehrenreich explained in her book. Ehrenreich had a job throughout her whole book, had no spouse or child to take care of, and still had a hard time making it. If Ms. Funiciello had looked at all the facts, she might not have ever written such an absurd book. If the editors had stopped to do a little research themselves, they might have also put a stop to a printing of the book. (Theresa Funiciaello, 1993, Tyranny of Kindness)
Every state in America has an area with severe poverty. From the inner cities of New York to the mountainous country in North Carolina, poverty can be found. Ehrenreich portrayed this as well, as she traveled all over the U.S. To find out just how hard it is to make it in every type of environment. The traveled to Minnesota, Maine, Florida and other places in an attempt to get a well rounded experience on the subject.
Another writer that talks about poverty is David S. Landes. In his book, "The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, he talks about a group called Project South, whose mission is to try and abolish poverty in the southern states. He explains that America is facing a growing political and social environment where low-income workers are struggling for jobs that pay a livable wage.
Public policy plans, welfare reform, privatization & criminal injustice, negatively impact lives.
As the scales lean sharply toward the rich and powerful, those who are exploited are taking action and fighting back. In order to develop effective strategies for social change and challenge institutional power, disenfranchised and marginalized communities must have a deep, full understanding of their economic, political and social realities. What they do is try and teach regular citizens how to get into politics, in hopes that once these poorer citizens make it in, that they might be able to make more changes to the economy. (David S. Landes, May 1, 1999, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations. 76-78)
Even though Barbara Ehrenreich had a lot of trouble in making it on poverty level wages, she might have been on to something in her research. There is no way that poverty can come to an end, but there might be a way for it to be better understood. If someone wants to learn why it is so difficult to make it low wages, then maybe they should just spend a day with someone who has a mortgage, a spouse, two children, a car payment and all of the utility bills and are trying to make it on six or seven dollars an hour. Many people would probably appreciate what they have a lot more when they see a child get excited because someone from the local church showed up with a present from the angel tree. They might also appreciate what they have a lot more when they see the electricity go off because there was a decision made between the electric bill and buying some groceries. If someone wants to see what the problem is with people who live in poverty, then they need to see it first hand. It is nothing that can be learned by reading a book, watching a television show or reading a newspaper.
There will never be a cure to poverty. That is a fact, and there is nothing that can change that fact. Nevertheless, maybe if society starts learning a little more about it and realize why it is that poverty has been hanging around for centuries, maybe they can start having a little more understanding and compassion for those in tougher situations. Once society has substantial knowledge of poverty problems, maybe then we can start working on a cure, even if it is not a permanent cure.
Joel F. Handler (October 1997)We the Poor People: Work, Poverty, and Welfare, 143
Andrew Solomon, (June 2001), "The Noonday Demon," 187
Rebecca Blank, (February, 1997), "It Takes a Nation: A New Agenda for Fighting Poverty," Princeton University Press, 54
Kate Kahan and Leandra Lipson, (July 2000), WEEL Journal, "Working for Equality and Economic Liberation" Self Published. 14