How Not To Be Poor
by La Shawn Barber is a must-read.
So how can one avoid poverty? You’ve heard them before, but here’s a rundown of a few general factors in case you’ve forgotten:
- Graduate from high school.
- Get married before you have children, and stay married.
- Work at any kind of job, even one that starts out paying the minimum wage.
- Avoid engaging in criminal behavior.
These conditions are shown to be effective, not simply as a matter of common sense, but also are backed by research. In the late 1990s The Economist published an article (not on line) on academic research that showed that, in the USA, people who fell below the poverty level did not stay below poverty level for longer than a year if these three conditions were met:
- They had completed and graduated from high school
- They had married before having children, and had stayed married.
- They had remained at their first job/first employer for at least one year
La Shawn’s article focuses on black students, but the above applies to all races. Even articles like the more recent Economist’s Ever higher society, ever harder to ascend states that 58% those born into the poorest fifth income level rose up from there.
The hard part is teaching children not to fail.