The assumed or announced candidates of the 2020 election are talking about poverty in the U.S. This is of course of the utmost importance for our nation. Poverty can be reduced by either augmenting incomes of people in poverty and/or increase the quality of life of those in poverty. This can be done by making good health, healthcare, education, housing, water and sanitation accessible. It can also be done by reducing violence and disempowerment in low income areas.
Vox reported on each of the poverty reduction strategies that are on the table. They are: Kamala Harris’s LIFT the Middle Class Act and Rent Relief Act; Brown and Khanna’s GAIN Act; Cory Booker’s HOME Act; and Brown and Bennet’s American Family Act.
All of these are essentially augmenting the incomes of people in poverty by giving away cash, providing stipends, or providing an allowance per child. While they are important, they are not addressing the more nuanced dimensions that make up “poverty”. Poverty isn’t just about more income or tax breaks to help to pay for essentials. It is also about the quality of services (health, education, housing, safety, etc.) and opportunities (entrepreneurship programs, social connections, etc.) so that being in poverty doesn’t have to matter so much for a good quality of life.