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Poverty Video and Viewing Guide

How should we help those in need?

Poverty rates have declined in recent decades, but some people still struggle to get by.

Welfare programs may help, but they can also hurt.

The U.S. government’s war on poverty spent trillions of dollars on food stamps, Medicaid health care, cash welfare, and other assistance.

  • These programs are meant to be a safety net, but their structure can also keep families from escaping poverty.
  • Individuals may lose benefits when they become employed, which can discourage them from getting a job.

But innovation helps more.

  • New ventures and entrepreneurship create opportunities for high-quality jobs and increase prosperity.


  1. How can government programs have unintended consequences that inadvertently keep people from escaping poverty?
  2. How do innovation and entrepreneurship help reduce poverty?
  3. What kinds of government programs could help increase innovation and entrepreneurship?