- When people are provided the needed resources and relationships, they are better able to help themselves and lift themselves from poverty.
- Never underestimate the potential of those born into Poverty. An error happened in a Japanese hospital when a midwife took new-born babies away to be bathed, and then returned them to the wrong mothers. “I feel…regret and also anger…I want them to turn back the clock…When I found out about my true parents, I wish I was brought up by them.” This impoverished Japanese truck driver was switched at birth and raised on welfare checks in a 100-square foot apartment by a single mother after his supposed father died. However, the family he was actually born into lived a life of privilege, with first-class educations, and the boy he was switched with is now the president of a real estate company - one man’s tragedy being another’s serendipity. The philosopher John Rawls in “A Theory of Justice,” suggests a hypothetical “veil of ignorance” before birth, in which no one knows his or her position in this life. Gender, race, social status, parentage or even what generation of history they would occupy are all hidden. Rawls then asks how we would want a society structured, if we did not know where we would land. ("Switched at birth, man raised in poverty discovers real identity," by Eric Schulzke, NBC World News and Deseret News, December 15, 2013)
- "I would encourage you to keep in mind all those people around us who are trapped in a cycle of poverty. They too need to be given hope. The fight against poverty and hunger must be fought constantly and on many fronts, especially in its causes. I know that many Americans today, as in the past, are working to deal with this problem." (Pope Francis' address to Congress, September 24, 2015)
- "We need to be looking at government programs that encourage families, because family, a full and complete family, is the best defense against poverty. (Dr. Ben Carson, GOP Presidential candidate, Carolina Values Summit, moderated by David Brody, CBN, February 11, 2016)
- The lower-income class of Americans is growing. It has been growing larger over the last 45 years. The middle class is no longer the majority in America. In 1971, 61% were considered middle class (defined as a household making between $42,000 and $126,000 annually); and now, that is down to 50%. As the middle class has hallowed out, the upper-income bracket has grown from 14% to 21% of Americans. A Pew study showed that the Great Recession hit the middle class especially hard, as their median wealth fell by 28% between 2001 - 2013. The upper class now takes home nearly half of all annual income in the U.S., 49%, up from 29% in 1970. The lower-income tier grew from 16% to 20% from 1970 to 2015. ("CBS Pushes Report on Income Inequality, Decline of Middle Class; No Mention of Obama’s Policies,” by Curtis Houck, CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, December 9, 2015)
- Volunteer your time, talents, skills, compassion, expertise and financial means to help others.
- Help meet short-term needs by donating excess food, clothing and household items to local resources working to help our neighbors to become self-reliant.
- The Nurture Effect, "How the Science of Human Behavior Can Improve Our Lives & Our World," by Anthony Biglan, PhD, 2015. Programs proven effective to help low-income people. Evidence-based interventions that can prevent many of the psychological and behavioral problems that plague our society.
A fascinating look at the evolution of behavioral science, the revolutionary way it's changing the way we live, and how nurturing environments can increase people's well-being in virtually every aspect of our society, from early childhood education to corporate practices.
What if there were a way to prevent criminal behavior, mental illness, drug abuse, poverty, and violence? Written by behavioral scientist Tony Biglan, and based on his ongoing research at the Oregon Research Institute, The Nurture Effect offers evidence-based interventions that can prevent many of the psychological and behavioral problems that plague our society.
For decades, behavioral scientists have investigated the role our environment plays in shaping who we are, and their research shows that we now have the power within our own hands to reduce violence, improve cognitive development in our children, increase levels of education and income, and even prevent future criminal behaviors. By cultivating a positive environment in all aspects of society - from the home, to the classroom, and beyond - we can ensure that young people arrive at adulthood with the skills, interests, assets, and habits needed to live healthy, happy, and productive lives.
The Nurture Effect details over 40 years of research in the behavioral sciences, as well as the author's own research. Biglan illustrates how his findings lay the framework for a model of societal change that has the potential to reverberate through all environments within society.