I've been reading up on issues of poverty in American and elsewhere lately. Monday, in my class on Microlending in India, the professor, Bart Victor, was commenting on the process of the Grameen Bank and said:
When you success is my success, that's a partnership; when your failure is my success, that's exploitation.
While poverty in America and extreme poverty elsewhere are very different, some solutions may work in both places. However, many places in the US (like Gallatin Road) are rife with predatory lending businesses. These places succeed on the failure of others. If we are to create systems that actually try to pull people anywhere out of poverty, success of individuals and communities must be implicit in these systems.