Think Tank discusses breaking the cycle of poverty

Apr 16, 2021, 10:30 AM
Children eat at free lunch youth program in Phoenix. (AP Photo, File)...
Children eat at free lunch youth program in Phoenix. (AP Photo, File)
(AP Photo, File)

Why is intergenerational poverty the rule rather than the exception? America considers itself the “land of opportunity,” yet so many cannot escape the poverty they are born into.

Why don’t the poor just “pull themselves up by their bootstraps?”

Francine Hardaway’s experiences document how difficult this turns out to be.

When she was introduced to a couple of young kids who were being warehoused in the foster care system, she decided to step in personally to help; she become their foster mom.

And Hardaway had financial, educational, and bureaucratic resources at her disposal, way beyond that of a typical foster parent:

• Francine was a highly-educated PhD who had run a successful company in Phoenix.

• She lived in the Biltmore and had access to financial resources. Money was not going to be an obstacle.

• And she was well-connected and bureaucratically savvy. Example: when she encountered bureaucratic resistance in becoming a foster mom for the kids, she got around this with a call to the governor, who took her call and intervened.

No, Francine was not your typical foster mom. One would think her success would be guaranteed.

But her experiences show how difficult it is, especially from the perspective of a lifetime.

The “kids” are now adults with kids of their own. One of the two kids has been in and out of prison (even after her help), and life has been a struggle for both.

This week’s Think Tank lets Hardaway tell this story.

Her book, “Foster Mom,” is a great read, and tells it in greater detail.

The Think Tank airs on KTAR 92.3 FM on Saturday 6-7 p.m. and Sundays 9-10 p.m.

Podcasts are available after broadcast.

The Think Tank

(Pexels Photo)...
Mike O'Neil/The Think Tank

Think Tank takes aim at the most pressing political controversies

This week Think Tank reviews several of the hottest political issues of the month, including lawsuits and the Arizona Senate audit.
4 days ago
(Facebook Photo/Maricopa County Recorder's Office)...
Mike O'Neil/The Think Tank

Think Tank sits down with Maricopa County Recorder Richer

Stephen Richer was elected to a relatively low-profile office in 2020, Maricopa County recorder. He was immediately thrust into the midst of a national controversy concerning the legitimacy of the election.
11 days ago
A sign warns of low water levels at a boat ramp on Lake Mead at the Lake Mead National Recreation A...
Mike O'Neil/The Think Tank

Think Tank guests dive into Arizona’s water shortage

This week's Think Tank discusses ongoing water shortages in Arizona. Reports that Lake Mead is at the lowest water level since it was created suggest that the problem is worsening, perhaps radically.
25 days ago
(AP Photo, File)...
Mike O'Neil/The Think Tank

Think Tank takes a first look at Arizona’s 2022 primary elections

This week's Think Tank looks at the 2022 political landscape, including redistricting and voter registration trends as well as an early take on some Arizona primary elections.
1 month ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Mike O'Neil/The Think Tank

Think Tank discusses Arizona schools, masks and COVID-19

Gov. Doug Ducey has dug in on enforcing a ban on mandated masks in schools despite a rapid rise in COVID cases in Arizona. This week's Think Tank panel will discuss varying aspects of the issue.
1 month ago
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
Mike O'Neil/The Think Tank

Think Tank discusses political prosecutions in Maricopa County

Recent reports have made it clear that our hands here in Phoenix, Arizona are not entirely clean in the area of political prosecutions. That's the topic of this week's Think Tank.
2 months ago
Think Tank discusses breaking the cycle of poverty