Choice.

The socio-economic divide in one word.

During a discussion the other day I was challenged to define the problem of the social economic divide in a concise manner. As many of you know, I tend to be verbose. After thinking about it, I settled on one word.

Choice.

Why choice?

Choice describes the problem of the social-economic divide because it is the lack choices that exacerbates the problem for the lower income earners.

There are many examples so I will share what I believe are the three most poignant ones.

Education.

Higher income earners have several more choices than lower income earners even if we are to assume all schools are equal. The higher income families can devote more resources in time and money to help their children achieve educational success. Lower income families are too focused on feeding, clothing and putting a roof over their heads to sit with their children and help them with their schoolwork. Also, technology and access to educational resources are more difficult for the lower income earners.

Health.

Although access to health tends to be the number one problem defined by people, the reality is that health is a symptom of the lack of access to appropriate nutrition. Food not only requires access to healthy portions - which are more expensive - but healthy food also requires time to prepare. Lower income individuals spend an inordinate amount of time working that food becomes secondary. Without having time to teach children to eat properly, children only learn that meals consist of prepared food from fast food places.

Time.

To be more concise, time ultimately defines the problem for the lack of choice. Lack of resources forces lower income individuals to make the choice between surviving and having the time to do the right thing.

Without choices, lower income individuals simply do not have the choice to grow themselves out of poverty.