Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Forum Attendees Say There is No Simple Way to Help American's Make Ends Meet

Many existing companies offer examples of what is wrong with corporate America and the growing trend of paying non-living wages with no medical insurance.

At least that was the perspective of most participants at a public issues forum hosted by University of Missouri Extension. The forum was aimed at deliberating the trends that are making it harder for working Americans to make ends meet.

We had a very diverse group of attendees who considered three different approaches to solving this problem.

One area of agreement among participants was the need for more childhood financial education.

The group’s consensus was that much of the blame should be placed at the feet of corporate America for taking advantage of workers, at the feet of government for not cracking down on illegal immigrants and on the doorstep of schools and families for not doing a better job of educating children about finances.

While the group expressed real concern for the working poor, the discussion of three different approaches confirmed that there is no single “magic” bullet and all government solutions require tax monies from those who are working.

This group agreed that personal choices (quitting school for example) can lead to a life of hardship, but not everyone who quit high school has money troubles. There are other factors too.

For example, easy credit is part of the problem but our culture, and the fact that many families have become overly materialistic, is a large part of the problem too.

When it was time to talk about the need for living wages and benefits, this discussion group had strong opinions according to Burton.

Partipants in this group felt like the two biggest villains are illegal immigration and corporations who take advantage of employees. One participant who had an engineering degree was a living example of how many Americans work and still can’t make enough for decent housing and insurance. Most of the group faulted American companies for that type of trouble.

The third approach encouraged discussion about how private and government programs have provided a safety net for people with money problems in the past but are now failing.

This group was supportative of help from faith-based groups but skeptical of how far-reaching help from these groups would be. The consensus was that this problem needs government attention.


Post a Comment

Let us know how you have been helped by this article or what you have learned from this story.

<< Home