Who supports poor people?

Thoughts on beginning to read THE POLITICS OF EDUCATION by Paulo Freieire.

Begin by assuming that the government should not be in the business of providing benefits for people who don’t work for them.

But who cares for really poor people?

People should not be poor. Everyone should be able to go to college and get a good job.

Who pays for college?

You can work your way through college like I did.

Not so easy.

Average annual tuition and fees for students attending public, two-year colleges in their communities were just $3,260 in 2013-2014, compared with nearly $8,900 for in-state students at four year college.

At the minimum wage of $7/hour, that’s a year’s full-time work to save for one year of community college. But that doesn’t count your living expenses while working. Then you have to work while in college to make your living expenses.

Get a scholarship.

Who pays for the scholarships?

Wealthy donors pay for the scholarships.

Have you donated a full scholarship to a community college?

What if you get a catastrophic illness?

Your employer health insurance will pay for it.

How many employers offer health insurance?

“The share of Fortune’s best companies that still pay for 100% of employee’s healthcare has dropped to 9% this year from a peak of 34% in 2001.  . . Part of the move away from plush health benefits is due to the rising cost of medical care, which becomes a burden on a corporations’ bottom lines.”  Mar 30, 2016,

Only 30% of employers with 50 or fewer employees pay for employee health insurance.

So how do we help people? Can churches do it? If your taxes went down by, say, 20 percent, how much of that would you give to groups that help put poor people back on their feet? How much do you give now, to your church, to local food banks, to scholarship funds? That’s the world we’d live in if the government stopped all those benefit programs.

p.s. Our family gives to local food banks and to scholarship programs. My in-law’s church offers its space to groups like AA, but spends its money on foreign missions.

 

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