There are more myths than facts about poverty and the poor in America. We all need to start thinking and acting differently by seeing the poor as the key to a stronger economy for all.
Here are just five of the most common wrong assumptions we make about the poor:
False Assumption #1: Money will solve all the problems of the poor.
The Truth: If I gave a poor person a million dollars, there's a high likelihood that they will be poor again in six months to a year. Money and charity are only short-term solutions to helping the poor. Knowledge and resources in the form of financial literacy - combined with self-confidence, self-esteem, and aspiration - will lead the poor to a promising and different future.
False Assumption #2: Handouts to the poor are bankrupting the U.S. economy.
The Truth: During the elections, many candidates argued that nearly half of American households receive government benefits, but recent research by the National Poverty Center shows that a declining proportion of these benefits go to the poor, and most of what goes to the poor is in the form of in-kind benefits, not cash. In any case, the Center on Budget and Policy Studies confirmed in its research that total welfare funding was 0.47% of the federal budget - not exactly enough to bankrupt a national economy.
Watch the 4-minute movie on How The Poor Can Save Capitalism here.
Posted by Natasha Eldridge, Senior Fellow, Office of the Chairman