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December 21, 2015


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Donald E. Simpson

Hello, Ryan,

Thanks for the questions and thanks for your interest in this subject.

I think that most of the problems in America have their roots in poverty. Today, we have social unrest, gang violence, broken families, and a general decay in our way of life that can all be attributed to poverty. The solutions that end poverty will help those solve those problems, and many more. As Gandhi famously said to the British: “the people do not want alms, they want work.”

I began actively working on a solution that would end poverty in America after hearing a radio interview on National Public Radio (NPR) with then-presidential candidate John Edwards, who proudly said that, if elected, he would end poverty in America. When I shared that tidbit with a co-worker, he had a one-word response: “impossible”. John Edwards’ website merely said ‘reduce poverty by some percentage’, so clearly he did not have a plan. I then challenged myself to come up with such a plan, which required that I find a goal that, once implemented, would, indeed end poverty in America. That goal, the cornerstone of my plan, is posted on this website. Clearly, the simple goal of “end poverty in America” is not sufficient—goals need a specific measurable objective and a timeframe.

As for the temporary fixes you list, they are all part of the current treatment of those in poverty, which is to make them somewhat less poor. They are temporary, as you have observed, and, as such have no lasting effect in ending poverty. As the Chinese proverb says: Feed a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for his entire life.” We keep feeding people, not educating them and creating new jobs so that they can be self-sufficient.

My essay outlines how I think that our country can end poverty in America; I won’t repeat it here.

I have no personal stories of those in poverty. Having gotten an excellent education at the top public university in this country, then working hard, I am far removed from those in poverty. My lovely wife Carol, on the other hand, is an Occupational Therapist, specializing in mental health, working at a county-run clinic. She has helped me with perspective.

My plan will work. It needs leaders who have the courage and compassion to get it started.

Donald E. Simpson
January 25, 2016


Hello Mr. Donald E. Simpson,
My name is Ryan and I am a junior in high school. I have read your intriguing articles about poverty in America and I love hearing about your solutions. I am extremely interested in poverty so I decided to write my research paper on poverty in America for my AP English III class. I have a few questions for you and would LOVE if you could write back with some responses whenever possible.

1. How do you feel poverty affects America?

2. What interests you about poverty in America?

3. Do you think food drives, clothes drives, and other types of temporary fixes make any sort of difference towards poverty?

4. What do you feel would be the best and most effective way to end poverty?

5. What inspired you to write the articles you write?

6. What is the purpose of your articles?

7. Can you share a personal story about someone affected by poverty?

Thank you so so much! I hope to hear back!

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