These are tough economic times. According to an Associated Press survey, 80 percent of Americans experience near-poverty, deal with joblessness or receive welfare during their lifetime. Food stamps are becoming the norm for increasing numbers of Americans. Only 63.5 percent of Americans are working; four years ago the number was 65.7 percent.
Also, a record number of Americans are being moved into part-time jobs, pushed there by employers wanting to avoid Obamacare requirements. Too many young adults are forced economically to live with their parents.
The Associated Press poll revealed an increased pessmism among white Americans about the economy. Despite the tough times, we don't share that pessimism. There is a path toward better economic security. It's education. If an individual can stay in school long enough to obtain a college or applied technology degree, that person's earnings over a lifetime -- on average -- will be better than someone who does not have a college degree. States that maintain a firm commitment toward improving and adequately funding education will reap benefits as young people are better educated and able to earn more in the future.
Interestingly, blacks and Hispanics -- despite experiencing more poverty on average than white Americans -- are more optimistic about the future. That's the right attitude to take. This is a country that has provided generations of Americans an opportunity to improve their economic situations. That opportunity still exists. It isn't found through some mythical "promise" from big government. In fact, the trend needs to be toward trimming excess government in order to free funding for education.
Success is achieved by taking advantage of education opportunities to improve one's job skills. It's best done when one is young, but it's still good advice for anyone.
Study, study, study, take advantage of these opportunities toward a better life. Be well educated, avoid mistakes that contribute to poverty, such as out-of-wedlock pregnancies or a reliance on substance abuse.
There is a path to success, even in tough times.