While we may not like it, we need to acknowledge that the War on Poverty has failed. The reason why it has failed has nothing to do with minimum wage or corporations. It has to do with one important factor. The ever increasing cost of gaining a quality education post secondary. College education is a must in a service, technological based society.
Some can make the claim that the service industry does not need highly educated individuals. This is incorrect. Days of leaving school and working in the steel mill are over. We have a mature economy and mature economies decrease manufacturing and move to technology and service sectors. Does not mean that there are no manufacturing jobs, only that those jobs are in big demand and limited. Furthermore, these manufacturing jobs now require skilled labor to use the machines to produce the intricate parts our country and society crave.
In Texas, Gov. Rick Perry suggested creating a 10,000 dollar degree plan. However, the colleges balked with the claim that a four year degree was impossible at that price point. Sadly, the colleges are correct. Under the current pricing regime of most colleges it would be closer to 15 to 20 thousand. These are public colleges, not Yale or Harvard. Public colleges that receive public monies. One solution to the issue is return to regulated tuition. Texas under the first term of Gov. Perry took steps to deregulate tuition costs and those costs immediately rocketed upwards to almost double the original cost. Another solution is to force public colleges to spend more money on tuition assistance programs. Also increasing the public monies but that solution is usually unacceptable to state legislatures.
No matter which solution or combinations of solutions are developed, the realistic view is that the poverty stricken among us will only continue to suffer in silence. Crime, racism, violence and domestic concerns will continue to plague our country until we take the necessary steps to deal with the lack of education.