Monday, April 26, 2021

Poverty, education, and the American Way.

I firmly believe that everyone in this country should have a chance to move on up in the world. But what exactly does that mean? I believe that everyone should have the opportunity, no matter where they started, to succeed. This helps in so many ways, it helps to find new talent, reduces poverty, and overall helps people to live better lives.

Let's start with an ancient Chinese proverb. "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime." We should be teaching men, and women, to fish. Finding ways to help them improve their circumstances will always be of benifit. In Doctrine and Covanents, a book of scripture used by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Section 42, we read the following:

30 And behold, thou wilt remember the poor, and consecrate of thy properties for their support that which thou hast to impart unto them, with a covenant and a deed which cannot be broken.

42 Thou shalt not be idle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer.

By all of this, we should help the poor, especially those willing to work. We should give them skills so they can take care of themselves, and someday improve themselves, and thus be able to better take care of society.

I personally have benifited from policies inspired by these principals. When I was born, my father was working to improve his life situation by attending college. He received pell grants, student loans, and food stamps during that time. Since that time, nearly 30 years ago, he has gone on to be an engineer, further improving his life circumstances. As a result, I was able to also go to college, and while still on my own, I was able to do it with fewer student loans and pell grants, and have achieved a level of success.

Policies which can help students to rise above poverty should always be pushed forward. This benifits us all. By education, we have more engineers, scientists, teachers, and others who are able to help. We should also encourage those who are willing to take on trades, like plumbing, electricians, carpenters, welders, and other such skills. All of these are worthy skills, and have a measureable effect on all of us.

In general, I believe all should be able to work, all should have the ability to improve their life circumstance, no matter the circumstances they were born to, and we should be willing to help those around us to improve their life circumstances. These will pay dividends as well. It has been shown that President Biden's proposed free college tuition would pay for itself in 10 years. I know that I personally have paid far more in taxes as a result of my education than was invested of me. The same can be said of my siblings and parents. Some thought needs to be given to ensure that such money is not wasted, there are certainly some college degrees that aren't really worthwhile. Still, as a whole it benifits us all to have education. Most of those who receive pell grants go on to have quite successful careers. Remember, the proposal is only to allow for paying tuition. They still have to work to survive for the years they are getting that education, simply wasting their time is otherwise of no worth.

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