Florida Chamber President Urges Congress to Begin Breaking The Cycle of Generational Poverty Through Economic Opportunity

By: Edie Ousley

“The battle of this generation is between economic equality and economic opportunity – between those who believe
that everyone is entitled to prosperity and those who believe everyone is entitled to the opportunity to succeed.”

– Mark Wilson, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 1, 2016) – While voters in 11 states are casting ballots for their preferred presidential candidate today, Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce took to Capitol Hill to encourage the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Human Resources to seek ways to end generational poverty by lifting up Americans through economic opportunity instead of entitlements.

“The battle of this generation is between economic equality and economic opportunity – between those who believe that everyone is entitled to prosperity and those who believe everyone is entitled to the opportunity to succeed,” Mark Wilson said during testimony before the Congressional Committee.

As Wilson explained, there will always be poverty, the kind that results from temporary setbacks such as job loss, foreclosures, or unexpected challenges, and the Florida Chamber believes social safety nets are needed and necessary to help bridge a family back to a productive “work based solution.”

“While sometimes necessary, certain entitlement programs can have the unintended consequences of creating dependency, exacerbating the underlying issues and enabling a system that keeps those within it captive, unable to climb out,” Wilson explained. “We can break this cycle and create greater opportunities for the next generation by removing the shackles of government entitlement programs that are holding the poorest of the poor back, incorporating greater educational opportunities and allowing free enterprise to create more private-sector jobs. We can make generational poverty a thing of the past and the American Dream of economic freedom a reality.”

To break the cycle, Wilson urges Members of Congress to focus on closing the education gap and increasing workforce training and work based solutions.

“Jobs and education create equal opportunity and hope for all Floridians, including our most vulnerable residents. Florida’s business leaders have accepted the challenge to focus on prosperity as an economic driver and find solutions to curb generational poverty. If we are going to help solve the poverty problem, leadership must come from the business community, not just the tax base,” Wilson told members of the congressional committee.

The House Ways and Means Subcommittee is Chaired by Congressman Vern Buchanan, a former Florida Chamber Chair. This is the first committee meeting of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee that Congressman Buchanan is chairing.

Read Mark Wilson’s comments to the House Ways and Means Subcommittee by clicking here.

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The Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations, aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.