There are systems and policies put in place that are meant to create, support, and promote economic opportunity but sadly, and in most cases, they end up creating more stigma, burdens, and devaluation among low-income people. Things like Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Social Security disability have been known to be more difficult to apply for and obtain than farm subsidies.

The requirements for people to apply for and obtain certain needed benefits is complex, at both the state and local levels. Some people who qualify for benefits don’t even take the time to apply because they struggle to understand the application requirements and those that do apply and are approved have a difficult time keeping up with the required tasks that come along with maintaining benefits. 

Can you imagine the struggles that low-income people go through when their navigating through programs that are meant to help them?

Take the Could you Manage as a Poor American quiz and share your take on the quiz. In what ways can we eliminate the stigma around these programs and the people who need them? What can the government do to ease the process of applying for these programs and maintaining them?

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  • I wonder what the adjusted curve would look like if you could measure for these types of variants? I know the Public Policy Institute of California tracks certain access to supports and graphs it as follows:  

     Poverty in California



    Poverty in California
    Nearly 20% of Californians lack enough resources to meet basic needs. Another one in five live very close to the poverty line.
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