We need to change our approach regarding poverty

| October 6, 2010 | 1 Comment

The Catholic Spirit asked readers in its Sept. 23 issue to answer the question: “What new steps should be taken to reduce poverty in the United States?”

It is my opinion that our ap­proach to poverty within the Cath­o­lic Church, and for that matter within the United States, is backward, or more accurately, upside down.

We donate monies at the parish level, which find their way up the ladder to regional or national levels, with the hope that some of that money will trickle back from whence it came. We have obviously needy people within our community; we donate money for poverty, but the poor people in our community are still there.

I believe that each parish should make the commitment that “No one within our parish, or within the community which we serve, will go to bed hungry tonight.” If every parish in the United States made and kept that commitment, basic poverty would be grossly reduced. I appreciate that reducing poverty is more than feeding and housing people, but that is where it must start.

Jack Hei


How do we eradicate poverty?  The simple answer is to get government out of our lives!  The government has created a class of dependent people.  Welfare has given the green light to people to live irresponsibly.  Single parent families and out of wedlock births have sky rocketed in this country.
Welfare keeps people trapped in poverty.  I know this from experience.  My mom had me out of wedlock at a young age, and I did not meet my dad until I was 10. We lived in subsidized housing. The majority of our income was from welfare and food stamps.  When you get a job, of course, your benefits are reduced and your rent goes up. Why work for $6 an hour when you can come out even while staying home? That is not to say my mom was lazy or didn’t want to work. She did a great job raising me with the little that we had. But why was it the taxpayers responsibility to take care of me? Maybe we would have gotten more help from family members if it wasn’t for welfare. American citizens would have more money to give to private charities, or even family members that need help, if they were not taxed to death.

If small business owners were not paying high taxes they could hire more people. This would help reduce poverty.

I am concerned that 67 percent of Catholic Charities funding is provided from the government (taxpayers). This money was confiscated from the American taxpayer against their will. I believe people would be more generous it they didn’t have to pay outrageous taxes and, in turn, make the “Funding Providers” pie chart show a smaller piece coming from the government.

We need to have less government regulations on businesses and less taxes. I believe that charities are good for helping those that cannot help themselves (sick, elderly, mentally unstable people). Hopefully, charities will be able to rely on private donations and less on government in the future.

Neil Miller
St. Peter, North St. Paul


Poverty cannot be solved until marriage is strengthened.  Female single parents are the major cause of poverty. This will be difficult in our secular society but it is the only way.

Richard F. McMahon

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Category: From Readers

  • Brent J Christen

    All are great answers. I'd also ask, define poverty. Are we talking not having food & housing, or not living a middle-class life style. Only lacking food & housing is true poverty.