Some people are so poor they can’t even afford to pay attention. But jokes aside, this is an important issue. About 15% of Americans, and 10% of Canadians live in poverty. Since each country has its own criteria for defining the poor it wouldn’t be fair to compare the two. However, I have a simple solution to reduce both country’s national poverty rate to effectively 0%. 😀
The Current Problems Around Poverty
North America has an abundance of wealth and there is enough food and other resources today to go around for everyone who lives here. But there are barriers in place that prevent some people from becoming financially literate and a self sustaining part of society.
- A lack of practical education.
Education is the best chance for a poor person to get out of poverty. The current public education system does a great job of testing our memories, but not so much on teaching us how to critically think for ourselves in the real world, especially when it comes to the application of mathematics and financial knowledge.
Furthermore, a lot of information that we do learn in school are quickly forgotten because there doesn’t seem to be a clear incentive to retain the information for purposes outside of the school walls.
Of course we can’t rely solely on the government. It’s also the parent’s responsibility to teach their children the importance of money management and not going too much into debt. The issue however, is that many parents are not very skilled handling money themselves. 🙁
- Ineffective social assistance programs
Not including Social Security and Medicare, the U.S. Congress allocates hundreds of billion of dollars in federal funds to welfare programs each year. But there is a clear conflict of interest for government workers who are employed in social services. In order for these civil servants to continue working, they need to be supplied with a constant supply of poor people applying for social benefits.
If I worked in administration at a food stamp program such as SNAP, then my primary motive is to maintain my job security so I can continue to get paid and keep my standard of living.
“I eat all I can, when I can, from a can.” ~Anonymous food bank user
The Solution to National Poverty is Blogging
It’s not easy to fix the education system or government social programs. But there’s still a way to help the poor in Canada and the U.S. I believe the solution to poverty is for everyone to have their own personal finance blog. 😀
There are a lot of good reasons to legitimize this argument.
- Individuals and households who own or write for personal finance blogs generally have a higher net worth than the average person. This is a strong correlation.
- A PF blog stimulates someone to think about and write down their thoughts about money, and whatever we focus our attention on tends to grow. 🙂 Writing things down also make people more accountable and likely to follow through with their goals and intentions.
- PF bloggers naturally develop or find networks of others who are like minded and can share strategies and real life personal stories about how to overcome financial difficulties.
- Blogs can be used as a journal to help people keep track of their money, helping them with financial self awareness and knowledge.
- Creating a PF blog is very accessible. Many free platforms exist like blogspot, wordpress, or tumblr.
Personal finance blogs are highly customizable. We can keep it private, like a financial diary, or share it with the world. The important part is putting something down in writing so that everyone, especially the poor, don’t feel marginalized because of their financial situation. People will realize there are many other people who are in the same boat at themselves, and money will become less of a taboo subject in social circles. We will become more open to share ideas on savings, spending, investing, building businesses. Those who are currently poor will have more options and inspiration to get themselves out of poverty. When a poor person reads their neighbor’s blog about turning their life around, then that gives the reader tremendous internal motivation to become financially literate and succeed as well. If someone else can do it, then so can they.
Unlike social assistance or public schools where people are given fish. A robust blogging community will encourage everyone to want to learn how to fish for themselves. This internal motivation is much stronger than any superficial external support. 😀
Putting Action in Place
The government can publicly announce this initiative and call it the National Personal Finance Blogging Act.
Links and helpful guides would be on all government websites to help everyone start their own finance blogs. Everyone in the country may register one PF blog with the government. Each year everyone who’s blogged at least once every month would get a congratulatory email, and a $100 non-refundable tax credit. Furthermore, any costs of maintaining a personal finance blog would be tax deductible. 🙂 We already have the technology to do this. Let’s make everyone a personal finance blogger!
Some neighborhoods are so poor rainbows only appear in black and white.? But the national poverty rate should start to fall as soon as more people starting blogging about personal finance. After 10 to 15 years of this program I’m confident we will pretty much eliminate all poverty in Canada and the U.S. 😀 Other countries around the world can do the same. Change is good, and change makes cents. 😉
Random Useless Fact:
How to save money on a tombstone.