Reducing Poverty in Conyers, Georgia.
Most parts of the globe, especially in the United States, are faced by poverty as most of the residents live under the poverty line. Georgia State is not an exemption of the states in the US that are confronted by poverty. Conyers is one of the regions that are under the jurisdictions of Georgia, and this implies that they are also victims of poverty (U.S. Census Bureau). The poverty rate in the Conyers is about 31.6 percent, and out of the total population that is made of 15,394 residents, 4,867 people are reported to survive below the poverty line in the past few years. The poverty rate across the State of Georgia is about 17.8 percent, and this indicates that Conyers experiences a higher than average percentage of the residents that live below the poverty line when the data is compared with that of the rest of the state (U.S. Department of Commerce). With such a trend in poverty levels, the community and the government should develop strategies to decrease the poverty rate in Conyers, Georgia in a way to reduce the levels in the state.
The government has the most substantial role to play in the bid to decrease the rate of poverty within Conyers. Various measures need to be put in place by the government, and such measures include the exploration of ways to increase the median household income (Richie). The government should influence the lawmakers to make laws that are aimed to improve the standards of living of the people of Conyers by increasing the minimum wage. Most of the workers within the Conyers region are underpaid, and this contributes to the high levels of poverty witnessed in the town. The workers are paid lower wages to which make residents unable to keep up with the economic status of the region with the salary only being able to satisfy the basic needs of the family such as food, while other necessities remain to be a luxury. Raising the minimum wage have a direct influence on the rise in the purchasing powers of the residents, and therefore they will be able to afford the cost of living (Hayes). Also with the increased minimum wage for the workers, the residents will have enough money to spend on the basic needs and at some point afford some savings, and this will help the employed individuals cross-over to the other side of the poverty line.
The government can also increase the childcare tax credits to improve the family income, and this can be made possible by increasing the childcare tax credit as well as the earn income tax credit (Greenstein). A rise in the amount of the childcare tax credit would help the families who are already working. The minimum expenses that any of the taxpayers can claim are about 3000 dollars for a single child and up to 6000 dollars for two or more children. Increasing the amount of credit that can be claimed for the children imply that a single child will be able to obtain a considerable amount of money that will assist in their upkeep. Therefore it means that the family income will be raised and the families will be able to cross the poverty line and be able to maintain their family as well as living a better life. Another way that the government can increase the family household income is by increasing the earned income tax credit (The Department of Children and Families). The earned income tax credit is a refundable tax credit for the low to moderate income working individuals and couples especially those with children. Increasing the amount of the earned income tax will help the employed individuals with children, and this will enable the families to save more money and therefore raise their standard of living.
Another way to which the government may use to reduce the poverty levels in Conyers is by tapping into their resources to create more job opportunities (Georgia Institute of Technology). The government can be able to achieve this strategy by enhancing the current subsidized job programs. Through the subsidizing program, the government provides subsidies for the companies that employ people in various sectors especially the manual sector to which most of the people are nearly all skilled. Employing these groups of people imply that a larger workforce will be absorbed and this has the implication of raising the purchasing power for the newly hired employees. The government may increase the tax breaks for the employers as a motivation to employ more people. Besides the provision of subsidies to the employers, the government may create more transitional job programs for the former prisoners and welfare recipients. Through this program, more ex-prisoners will be absorbed into the workforce and therefore be able to make a living for themselves improving their living standards and as well reducing the poverty levels (Casey). The government can also encourage employers to accept the former prisoners into society. The local government can help small businesses by providing free advice to the small business people in assisting them to set up businesses that eventually provide enough income to maintain their families. Besides the provision of free information to the small businesses, the local government can also conduct market research for the products that are set up by the small businesses, and this implies that they will make more sales as they are aware of the market situations and comply with the laws of demand and supply. These strategic moves by the local government may empower the people of Conyers enabling them to live a better life due to high incomes.
The government and the community also assist the people living in poverty as they can help the clothing banks and food pantries through the provision of free advertisement for the donations (Shahin). Most of the people who live below the poverty line find it challenging to purchase foods and clothing. Therefore the aid by the local government in providing free advertisements for the donations imply that a large population will be able to benefit from the programs and consequently the little money that they earn can be channeled to other beneficial programs such as education of the children while the rest goes to savings. The government can also implement more community service in the judicial system to help non-profit organizations in terms of donations and providing a conducive environment that favors the delivery of their services.
The leaders in the community can do more to help the citizens in their community that are living below the poverty line through setting up donation sites in the local business (Scarborough). The local leaders know much of the community and are aware of the proportion that is hard hit by poverty, and as a measure to reduce more effect, the leaders, therefore, are expected to shortlist the most affected people to be helped first. The community leaders as well can assist in offering for the payroll deduction donations for the local agencies to the people who live under the poverty line.
Poverty reduces the rate of development in a region, and this implies that the areas affected by poverty in Georgia such as Conyers are less developed, and they have less infrastructure than in other states. The infrastructures such as roads, banking services, and electricity are among the most essentials that accelerate the development of a region. The infrastructures are capable of generating new job opportunities for the locals and therefore, for the government to effectively assist the people of Conyers, it has to invest in the infrastructure development increasing the amount of job opportunities and raising the standards of living for the residents of Conyers.
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Georgia Institute of Technology. Engineering Experiment Station. Industrial Development Division. Economic Profile of Conyers (Rockdale County), Georgia. 1971.
Greenstein, Robert, et al. The US Partnership on Mobility from Poverty, The US Partnership on Mobility from Poverty, 1 June 2018, www.mobilitypartnership.org/improving- child-tax-credit-very-low-income-families.
Hayes, Rosa B. Working, but Poor: A Study of Georgia's Economic Self-Sufficiency Policies. 2006.
Richie, Claire S. Strategies Georgia Can Use to Reduce Rising Poverty. Georgia Budget and policy Institute, 2009, www.workingpoorfamilies.org/pdfs/GA_Aug09.pdf Soucy 2
Scarborough, Kelly. Leadership in High Poverty, High English Language Learner Schools, As Part of Georgia's Vision for Public Education. Georgia State University, 2016
Shahin, Jessica. Child Nutrition Programs: Income Eligibility Guidelines. Federal Register, Vol. 82, No. 67, Department of Agriculture, Monday, April 10, 2017, www.federalregister.gov/agencies/food-and-nutrition-service
The department of Children and Families.” The Commodity Supplemental Food Program.”2018, dfcs.georgia.gov/commodity-supplemental-food-program
U.S. Census Bureau, issuing body. “Income and Poverty in the United States.” Income and Poverty in the United States.2013.
U.S. Department of Commerce. U.S Census Bureau, Quick Facts Conyers Georgia, 2017 www.census.gov/quickfacts/conyerscitygeorgia
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