Counterpoint: Economic equity is indeed a group effort

  • Article by: Susan Haigh, MayKao Hang, Chris Ferguson
  • Updated: December 1, 2013 - 5:05 PM

Here’s why you should care about gaps the Met Council seeks to address.

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jbpaperDec. 1, 13 6:33 PM

"If you’re a taxpayer, this kind of growth also means spreading the responsibility for funding the government and reducing dependence on public programs."----- One of the problems is that when you have a reputation for being a welfare state, whether deserved or not, you are going to attract people that have no intention of reducing their dependence on public programs. Maybe the Met Council can look into how many of those living in poverty moved here in the past year, five years, ten years. Is our poverty level a homegrown issue or have we become a magnet for those living in poverty?

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furguson11Dec. 1, 13 6:44 PM

"So what does equity mean when it comes to racially concentrated areas of poverty? Better access to jobs, housing and transportation opportunities will be part of the answer." I'm all for equity in opportunity, but that doesn't mean equality if the person presented with an opportunity does not take it. There is more going on here when we only have a 50% 4-year HS grad rate in Minneapolis or 75% in MN.

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redeye12Dec. 1, 13 7:56 PM

You want economic equity? Don't look to the gov't. The gov't has spent trillions of dollars in transfers and poverty is actually higher today than in the 60's when LBJ and the great society said they would eradicate poverty. Look to yourself. Stay in school. Study hard. Stay off drugs and alcohol. Don't father or bear children. Get post high school education. The trades are crying for skilled workers. Go to tech or trade schools. There are programs to help pay for schooling. Don't buy stuff-new cars, expensive toys, etc., when you get a paycheck. It's called hard work and dedication to a plan to escape the life of poverty, etc. A person can succeed if they want it and they work for it.

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bogie246Dec. 1, 13 8:19 PM

Let's see...the most liberal welfare plans and the largest income gap. Any chance they are related? If you want more of something, pay for it. We seem to want more welfare. Why do liberals insist on fighting reality?

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walterwhiteDec. 1, 13 8:58 PM

To summarize - Kathryn Kerstens column was completely correct.

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xenonimusDec. 1, 1311:11 PM

That was a lot of words to say exactly nothing. The authors neither clearly defined the problem, nor articulated a clear solution. Everyone knows that inequalities exist. Everyone knows that people or color make up a disproportionate share of the inequalities. Everyone knows that people of color also tend toward larger families, and as their proportion of the population grows, so too does the overall poverty rate. And I think everyone knows quite well what the real difference is between those who are making it, and those who are not. Those who are not share some common characteristics, and these characteristics are things that they each have individual control over. And there in lies the problem: even with the best intentions, and adequate funding, you cannot make people make good choices. If they don't choose to make a better future, then nothing you say or do can change anything. In fact, we are likely doing more harm than good by implying that they are blameless victims who need assistance to succeed, apparently because they are unable to overcome barriers to do it on their own. That attitude has exactly the kind of confidence boost you would expect, which is to say less than none. Everyone knows that people tend to live up to, or live down to, the expectations that are placed upon them by their family, friends, and their community. The solutions start and end there.

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yardboyDec. 1, 1311:47 PM

"Personal responsibility cannot overcome all of these barriers to opportunity." It may not, but it is an excellent first step in achieving the goals the writers have stated. And more importantly it should not require any taxpayer money.

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yardboyDec. 2, 1312:00 AM

Start setting the bar a little higher for some of these people instead of the constant coddling with more and more government programs. With the goal of helping build one’s self-worth/self-esteem rather than the unintended or intended consequence of total government dependence.

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ruphinaDec. 2, 13 7:23 AM

What a vague, clueless example over pure nothingness. No actual solutions, and no willingness to delve into the causes of the gaps. This article is a prime example of the compassionate liberal tendency to kill ambition with kindness, meanwhile brewing massive resentment amongst the people willing to get up and got to school every day, to got to work every day, and to limit their family sizes and delay the start of those families so they can afford to pay their own way, only to find out the compassionate sitting in their ivory tower think tanks have wasted their education plotting how to steal their hard-earned dollars to give to "the poor" so they can have a warm fuzzy. Bill G.

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bigdukesixDec. 2, 13 7:40 AM

This is exactly why gov't or quasi-gov't programs and solutions rarely work. A bunch of bureaucratic gobbledygook, with studies and commitees that ask for more taxpayer solutions for people that have been receiving taxpayer subsidies. Graduate from high school, get some training or additional education and get a job. There are already many taxpayer funded programs out there to give you the help you may need.

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