There are innumerable stories woven into the fabric of America of those who have risen above their circumstance, to become successful in attaining a better life for themselves and their family. Poverty is not always the result of sloth or apathy, and unfortunately in most instances it requires a moderate bank roll to escape the grip of indigence. Even in today’s enlightened society, the social services that are available to those impoverished citizens allows for little more than meeting the basic necessities of daily life. When opportunities present to improve financial position, the impoverished are left on the outside looking in, trapped in a vicious cycle that leaves them dependent upon government for their very existence.
In economic hard times, while our government loans billions of dollars to large corporations to survive the result of their own folly, the individual should be considered for a "bailout loan" as well as the corporate entity. Small loans in the $1,000 to $5,000 range for individuals could easily help reduce the burden upon the taxpayers, create new jobs for those with an entrepreneurial goal, and fill lower-paying jobs that are currently being shipped abroad. The possibilities of breaking the Welfare mentality that has become a way of life for many are limitless, and the chances of success are great with proper oversight.
If individuals facing poverty were presented with a hand-up rather than the hand-outs to which they have become accustomed, the immediate benefit would show in a sudden influx of economic activity. Loans to individuals would be used to obtain transportation to reach employment, for expenses associated with moving to regions that have employment available, and for the goods necessary for begin and maintain self-employment. The strain on the health care system would immediately ease, as many of those welfare recipients who receive Medicare currently would find employment with some form of medical insurance. Prenatal care, preventative health screenings, and improved nutrition for children would be addressed better, thus decreasing future health care costs.
Perhaps the issue of poverty would be more reasonably resolved with the examination of the the individuals it affects on an individual basis. While the era of the pioneer creating a sustainable homestead with their own two hands is over, the spirit of forging one’s own destiny is still alive and well in America. Rather than throwing billions at corporations and hoping for a positive impact, our government should invest in the individual – it is the individual that built this country, and it is the contribution of the individual that will best maintain our lifestyle.