An age- old problem
The issue of poverty is an ageless wonder indeed, both in the sense that it’s a problem affecting people of all ages, and also one that will just never die off, no matter how long it has been an issue.
While people may hope to one day eradicate an issue ever so detrimental to the well-being of those it impacts, poverty is a tricky beast. At best, a collective effort can minimize this.
People will slip through the cracks. Poverty can be inherited if one is born into a family with parents who grew up themselves learning nothing but bad habits to cope with mounting grocery and utility bills. It can keep people in an abusive relationship together, even if one half wants to get out. With the support of the spouse’s income a mitigating factor, getting out may not be an option.
The government has an important role to play in making headway. The work it is now putting into the poverty reduction strategy could go a long way in at least helping move some people outside of the poverty bracket.
One matter to be cognizant of is how eligibility for different social programs will benefit the population. If an individual’s income from a job suddenly pushes them outside of the eligibility bracket for a drug card, for example, he or she may not be inclined to take a job. Increase the eligibility threshold for a social program, and soon you will have new people just on the periphery who potentially may feel disappointed to not be receiving such benefits while themselves working a low-playing job with few benefits.
The aging population is certainly a concern as well. Seniors from the baby boom generation will need a lot of attention.
But the young people of today are an important group, too. If they are given the proper level of treatment, with strong support for education, nutrition, athletics, and other enriching matters, the future generation will be all the more prepared to avoid the pitfalls of poverty. The youth represent a great long-term investment.
Of course, that leaves those in the middle. Today’s working poor, the disabled, single parents and many aboriginals face challenges that need addressing.
It’s a balancing act in need of careful consideration. In an ideal world, nobody should be left behind.