WBTV Speak Out Editorial: Poverty's Grip on Charlotte

WBTV Speak Out Editorial: Poverty's Grip on Charlotte


"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Nick Simonette.

We were floored recently by a big study that has bad news for Charlotte.

Researchers at Harvard, Berkley and the Treasury Department told us that the prospect of escaping poverty is worse here than in any other major metro city in the United States.

Any other large city. That's huge.

The study is the most extensive of its kind.

Economists involved pulled data from millions of earnings records.

And they found that kids who grew up in Charlotte have far less opportunity than those living elsewhere.

Best case scenario  is that our young people may do as well as their parents. But not better.

Those in low income brackets have much greater of climbing to the top in places as diverse as Salt Lake City, San Francisco and Washington D.C.

The study also cites some specific factors linked to income mobility, including school performance, family structure, and racial and income segregation.

Our leaders should start with those categories when searching for solutions.

Mecklenburg County Chair Trevor Fuller recently told WBTV that he would put together a task force to address the issues.

But it can't result in a bunch of statistics on paper.

Truly creating hope for our residents will involve a layered, multi -agency approach that stretches across party lines, and it should be treated as the most important of endeavors.

Tell us what YOU think. SpeakOut@wbtv.com