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What Should The Government Do About Poverty?

William Julius Wilson

With the 2012 election cycle behind us (phew!), the focus has again shifted to our elected officials actual job responsibilities and the path our country will take over the next few years. 

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently profiled the work and legacy of William Julius Wilson, one of our nation’s preeminent sociologists. In exploring his work in the area of race and poverty, the article asked a pointed question: Given all that we know from Wilson’s research and the research of the sociologists who came after him, what, exactly is the end game? What should the government do about poverty? 

One answer: 

…Recent research has convinced Wilson that Americans support a level playing field. In speaking about public policy, people should frame programs as vehicles for the poor to help themselves, he now believes. They should spell out problems. And they should not shy away from talking about race.

But for progress to happen, there must be a political will, Wilson says.

“If you don’t recognize that a problem exists,” he says, “you’re not going to do anything.”

Read the full article here. 

Do you agree with Wilson? What do you think should be done about poverty in America?

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