Invest in public infrastructure and social protection systems that streamline assistance and support to people in need

Canned and boxed goods line the walls of the Ecumenical Pantry in Coralville. (Madison Arnold / The Gazette).

The United States is slowly trying to rebuild itself after being ravaged by a relentless pandemic (which is still not over, by the way, so people have to start acting like this), a racial calculation that has awakened half of the world. countries with systemic inequalities and mistreatment, and the list goes on. Despite slow progress, a critical concern for the nation – and the state of Iowa – should be the poverty that has crept into people’s homes amid the tragedy of death and disease, and the chaos of social problems politicized for cultural wars.

Often the government implements short-lived solutions in the hope of eradicating poverty in a surface community or allaying the growing concerns of the poor to survive in an economy that continually disadvantages them. Despite the fact that every community is unique and this must be taken into account when creating solutions and implementations, there is an underlying commonality that all communities suffering from poverty know, namely the lack of access to education, sanitation, nutrition and housing.

It is also important to understand that income poverty, which is 11.2% in the state of Iowa (2019), according to the US Census Bureau, is a concern that needs to be addressed and addressed (Ranking No. ° 20 on the nationwide poverty list), but not the only one. Wealth poverty, which is a household’s inability to access the resources of wealth to meet basic needs, is a more widespread and persistent concern for Iowans and people living in the United States in general. In Iowa, that number stands at 25 percent, according to Spotlight on Poverty & Opportunity. That means a quarter of people in Iowa have no assets to lean on in the event of a financial shock like a job loss or a medical crisis, both of which have swept the country. In the United States, 55% of Americans live in wealth poverty, according to a 2019 study from Oregon State University. And that’s not even the latest data for this year, which means those numbers are likely much higher and of more concern.

It is also important to note that income inequality is a major concern for the state, reflecting problems with the distribution of American wealth as a whole, with white and Asian households earning the most income from households with a median income. of about $ 55,000 and African-American or black households making the least at about $ 31,000, according to US Census Bureau data.

In order for those living in poverty to adequately support themselves, government systems must put in place secure infrastructure in which an adequate understanding of a community’s problems and challenges is understood by outsiders. In this way, they can effectively comply with the needs of each community by asking the local people to lift their community out of poverty through in-depth training in business and economics to help people achieve food security and a stabilized income, which will therefore create a sustainability in which people can graduate. get out of poverty and stay out.

The NURU International organization has used leaders in a local community’s intrinsic knowledge and cultural understanding of their challenges to build an effective and composite solution that is most relevant to each community based on their collective research and analysis. It is worth considering how this method could be applied at home.

Those who do not adequately distribute a substantial amount of funds to give to the poor must be exposed and transparency in government is a necessity. Once systems are reformed and corruption of economic equality is not prevalent, funds will provide secure infrastructure such as accessible and equitable health, education and food systems.

In order to reduce the level of poverty in the state of Iowa and in the United States in general, it is necessary to invest in public infrastructure and social protection systems that streamline assistance and assistance to those in need. . Part of the reason is that the American mindset posits wellness as something to be demonized, portraying a false narrative that these people in critical times of need are in fact lazy and just want help. The reality of the situation is that many of these people are struggling to make ends meet because the United States social system is working against them, clouded by inherent prejudice, racism, classism and other things that they don’t. can not control.

Nichole Shaw is a member of the editorial staff of The Gazette. Comments: [email protected]