How Not to be Poor
Walter Williams has a very good column on the topic. One should really read it.
Some good, common sense advice here. While $5.15 an hour is not huge, if one works hard, gets to work on time, is dedicated and shows pride in work, the promotions and raises are in the offing. Attitude is a big player here.
Avoiding long-term poverty is not rocket science. First, graduate from high school. Second, get married before you have children, and stay married. Third, work at any kind of job, even one that starts out paying the minimum wage. And, finally, avoid engaging in criminal behavior. If you graduate from high school today with a B or C average, in most places in our country there's a low-cost or financially assisted post-high-school education program available to increase your skills.
Most jobs start with wages higher than the minimum wage, which is currently $5.15. A man and his wife, even earning the minimum wage, would earn $21,000 annually. According to the Bureau of Census, in 2003, the poverty threshold for one person was $9,393, for a two-person household it was $12,015, and for a family of four it was $18,810. Taking a minimum-wage job is no great shakes, but it produces an income higher than the Bureau of Census' poverty threshold. Plus, having a job in the first place increases one's prospects for a better job.
Education is important. Does it guarantee success? No. But, it will go a long way in preparing for success. You see, a Diploma is not THE ticket. The Diploma shows that one is dedicated to completing a given task over the long term. That is what employers are looking for. They want some assurance that an individual has the desire to "Stick to it." The Diploma shows accomplishment, completion, and discipline.
So, for what it is worth, Get an education, get a job, "Stick to it", get married, have kids, enjoy life and while you may not make the Fortune 500, you will certainly stay above water. Good Luck.
Signing Off. Until next time, I'll see ya on the Blog! drh.