One can argue that the “war on poverty” has not worked. However, Representative Paul Ryan’s “conversation” plan simply ignores some facts.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, from 1966 to 2012 the poverty rate has been consistent from 11 percent to 15 percent. This rate is in spite of the increasing income among the rich. In addition the near poverty rate has not decreased for many as those on the threshold tend to fall into poverty.
Ryan agrees that education is fundamental to reducing poverty yet he is not willing to support a budget that can fund education programs. It was nice for Mr. Ryan to visit the inner cities. Unfortunately, Mr. Ryan did not learn a lot about the poor. His suggestion that those training for a skill or getting treatment should be punished is counter intuitive. In essence he wants to punish children and other family members because the mother or father is not able to complete a program.
As Mr. Shipley noted, America’s economy is stratified. Mr. Ryan needs to account for how to help those unemployed and those marginalized in our society.