The Associated Press reported on Bloomberg studying poverty reduction for NYC. I include an excerpt:
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s pilot program to help New Yorkers break the cycle of poverty is modeled after a well-regarded Mexican initiative.
Bloomberg was in Mexico on Tuesday studying the program for tips he might adopt back home. The mayor, who reiterated that he is not planning to run for president, visited towns, spoke with his counterpart in Mexico City and met with workers and independent evaluators of the anti-poverty program.
The government’s Oportunidades program provides medical care and gives cash grants to families for keeping children in school. It has been lauded by the World Bank and other countries as a model because it focuses on breaking the cycle of poverty by investing in long-term development.
I see this as good news, even though I distrust politicians. I agree that the effectiveness of anti-poverty initiatives depends on breaking the poverty cycle, which we can best do through providing quality education and job-training to all children (and people!) of all classes. Providing grants to families who keep their kids in school helps keep kids in school. However, that only solves part of the problem. We also need to make sure the schools offer a quality education, and the school must give that education to all students regardless of race, religion, or socioeconomic status.
So long as students from socioeconomic underclasses do not receive the same education as children from wealthier households, non-meritocratic classism reigns and poverty continues.