Sunday, September 29, 2019

Poverty In United States Essay

United States of America being among   Ã‚  the richest and most developed nations one would expect poverty to be a vocabulary that only exist in the national policies of third world countries.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   By comparison Americans can be described as wealthy but there are some pockets of poverty in this vast and rich nation This paper attempts to explore poverty situation in United States highlighting its causes and characteristics, digging deeper to understand which group of people consist the poor.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   A report released in 2002 shows that there were 35 million poor Americans, this represented roughly 10% of the population, and this figure has been rising Presently 12% of Americans are living below the poverty line.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   By definition poverty is described as that condition where one is unable to meet the basic need in life, that’s one, can not afford a well balanced meal, decent housing and clothing. Poverty in United States is somehow different from the one experienced in least developed nations where living on less than a dollar qualifies one as poor. The poor in America constitute people who depend on state welfare since they are unable to provide for themselves, every year people fall in and out of poverty.   In a period of 10 years 40% of American fall in and out of poverty, this is attributed to fall of their income, when one of the family member moves out, among other situations (Fisher, G.M., 2003)   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Some groups of people are more prone to poverty than others. This depends on their economic social or cultural position they occupy in the society. There are those who are unemployed meaning they do not engage in any income generating activity. Crime on one hand is a result of poverty or it can breed poverty. Poor tend to engage into criminal activity or they are driven into it by poverty. Apprehended criminals in correction centers rarely engage in economic activity while victims of crime e.g. thefts have to replace the stolen property eating on their savings. (Zweig, Michael, 2004)   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Households headed by women on average tend to be poor in comparison to those with both spouses. In this type of a family woman is the sole bread winner. Most of her income goes towards provision of basic needs with less or no savings therefore making it difficult for this family to rise beyond poverty line (Martin N.,2008).   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   The size of the family affects family income, large families have more mouths to feed, more household bills to clear, huge spending in insurance, education and healthcare. If this type of family income is not enough they will for ever be trapped in poverty cycle.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Other groups that are likely to be poor are the unskilled, the less educated substance abusers immigrants and children.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Causes of poverty in America are several they range from economical, cultural, and geographical to social. . Distribution of resources largely affects people ability to produce. This also determines employment opportunities available which by and large dictates people incomes. States endowed with resources will have low poverty rates than those with little or unexploited resources. (Adams, J.Q, Pearlie S.A, 2001)   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Economic condition which is not favorable will result to increased poverty rate, recessions leads to rise in inflation which means people pay more for the same goods they were buying but their income remains constant, and this means savings are curtailed. For example recession in 1982 led to rise in poverty rates from 12% to 15%   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚     Education equips Americans with skills that enable them to gain employment or venture into business. On average Americans with a college diploma have access to high paying jobs compared to the less educated. To a greater extent educational level determine ones income, less educated are likely to earn less making it impossible for them to afford a decent living. On the same line education level dictates opportunities available to an individual. Unskilled labor attracts low pay making unskilled laborers more prone to poverty than their skilled counterparts.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Rural and urban settings provide greater disparities as far as living standards are concerned. Americans living in urban areas have higher incomes when compared to their rural countrymen. There are more opportunities in urban areas due to high population with disposable income and better infrastructure. In rural areas opportunities are few and are limited to primary production e.g. agriculture, mining e.t.c.This means income generation activities and employment opportunities are fewer and only attract the less skilled   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Regionally, most of the southern states have higher poverty rates especially the rural areas .This is due to few employment opportunities and historical background.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Children are more prone to be poor than any other age group. According to the information released from population survey by census bureau in 2004, 21% 0f children were considered as poor. A greater disparity is seen when it comes to racial lines, almost half of African Americans and 40% of Latino kids are trapped in poverty circles. (Harrington, M.,1962).   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Immigrants are great victims of poverty .Those with low education earn their living in low paying jobs. Illegal immigrants are even more disadvantaged as they can not gain any meaningful employment, therefore remaining in poverty circles for a long time   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   In conclusion, poverty in United States is dynamic, one may be in and out of poverty throughout their lives. Though there are conflicts as to who is poor, there is a common understanding that those who live on an income that is below what an average American earn is living below poverty . What constitutes poverty in United States may be middle class in some parts of the world especially in least developed nations. Poverty is a limiting factor in the society as it denies some Americans decent lives curtailing their freedom to enjoy lives. Policies need to be implemented to lower the poverty rates so as to rid United States of poverty. Reference Adams, J.Q.; Pearlie Strother-Adams, 2001. Dealing with Diversity. Chicago, IL: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. . Harrington, Michael ,1962 The Other America. Macmillan. Fisher, G.M. ,2003 The Development of the Orshansky Poverty Thresholds. Macmillan Zweig, Michael ,2004 What’s Class Got to do With It, American Society in the Twenty-first Century. ILR Press. Martin N. ,2008. Social Inequality: Patterns and Processes, 4th ed.. Boston: McGraw-Hill

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