Breaking the Cycle of Generational Poverty

This weekend, Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, discussed the importance of economic opportunity for all Floridians during a presentation at Leadership Florida.

While Florida is creating 1 out of every 10 new jobs in the U.S., and is lowering taxes and creating greater economic opportunities, 1 in every 6 Floridians live in poverty and more than 1 million households live below the federal poverty line in our state.

Earlier this year, during testimony before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Human Resources, Wilson urged Congress to seek ways to end generational poverty by lifting up Americans through economic opportunity instead of entitlements.

“In my view, the battle of this generation is between economic equality and economic opportunity – between those who believe that everyone is entitled to equal outcomes and those who believe everyone should have an equal opportunity at earned success,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce.

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

 

Read the Congressional Testimony

 

“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,” said 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.

Watch the Full Testimony by Mark Wilson, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce

 

Congressman Vern Buchanan asks, “What Can Florida do?”

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

“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.

###

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.

1 in 4 Florida Children Are Living in Poverty

Almost half of all children born in poverty remain in poor economic conditions into adulthood, and in Florida, 1 in 4 Florida children are living in poverty. The cost of child poverty is an estimated $500 billion a year in lost productivity and increased spending on health care and the criminal justice system.

At last week’s Future of Florida Forum, business leaders accepted the challenge to focus on prosperity as an economic driver and find solutions to curb generational poverty. Do you know how many families are homeless in your community? If we are going to help solve the poverty problem, leadership must come from the business community, not just the tax base.

Get Involved

Join us in a Cornerstone 2030 conversation by holding a town hall in your community.