The best way to reduce the poverty rate is to convince people to avoid poverty in the first place by finishing school, delaying parenthood, and getting a job (any job). High school dropouts are roughly three times more likely to end up in poverty than are those who complete at least a high school education. A common reason why teens drop out of high school is out-of-wedlock births. Teenage pregnancy initiates a single mother into a life of dependency that is difficult to overcome, especially if she goes on to have additional children. Over half of welfare money is spent on families that began with a teen birth.
Getting a job as a solution to poverty may seem like common sense. Granted, not every job pays a wage that will catapult a family into the middle class. However, every job provides job experience, and that leads to a better job. Maybe today's minimum-wage, service industry employee is not on a track for management. But he is showing that he is a reliable worker who can learn and perform duties, something a future employer will value.
So, listen this campaign season as candidates offer their solution to the rise in poverty. Be wary of promises to throw more money at the problem. That clearly doesn't work