Tackling poverty in Kansas to take more than shotgun push to alter
The Kansas City Star
Certainly children stand a better chance of living a middle-class lifestyle in a two-parent home than with a single parent.
However, tackling poverty in Kansas will take more than just an old-fashion shotgun push to the altar. Gov. Sam Brownback’s new task force examining ways to reduce childhood poverty in the state heard that births to unwed moms was a leading cause of poverty, The Associated Press reported.
The poverty rate for female-headed households is 41 percent. It’s 9 percent for married couples.
But people should not be forced into unhappy or abusive relationships. That can create worse traumas for children and families.
Besides, solving poverty isn’t as simple as getting more people to get married. A Kansas State University report on baseline data shows that the Sunflower State isn’t so sunny for 131,000 people, or 18 percent, who are living in poverty.
That’s an increase of 53 percent since the 1970s when the poverty rate was 11.8 percent. Rates in 2010 for Johnson County were 7.7 percent compared with 34.7 percent in Wyandotte County.
Kansans inability to make a living wage in the state and companies inability to pay it contribute to the problem.
Also, Brownback’s hacking at the social safety net, including insurance and education, ensure that the numbers will grow, and no task force looking at the problem can prevent it from occurring.