Helping people move out of poverty makes our nation stronger.
The long-term objective of antipoverty programs has to be something more than providing a less meager existence. The starting point is a better public education system for all Americans, including the poorest among us, so that fewer people need assistance in the first place. Targeted job training, which can start as early as high school, can prepare young people for middle-skill jobs that pay very well but do not require four years of college. We also have to acknowledge that the massive increase in rates of imprisonment over the last twenty years, especially for young black men, has had disastrous effects on prisoners, their families, and the communities to which they return.