Poverty in America

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Everyone knows what the word poverty means. It means poor, unable to buy the necessities to survive in today's world. We do not realize how easy it is for a person to fall into poverty: A lost job, a sudden illness, a death in the family or the endless cycle of being born into poverty and not knowing how to overcome it. There are so many children in poverty and a family's structure can effect the outcome. Most of the people who are at the poverty level need some type of help to overcome the obstacles. There are mane issues that deal with poverty and many things that can be done to stop it. The Federal Government defines poverty as income that falls below the United States Poverty threshold. (Begun 95). If a person is below or right at the poverty line they are considered poor. It also refers to the lowest level of income a person can make and afford the minimum necessities. (Bender and Leone 23). The poverty line was adopted by the government in the mid 1960's. Not included in the income figure are cash benefits such as food stamps and Medicaid.(Le Vert 50). The poverty rate is adjusted for different sexes, races, ages, and family structures. The government adjusts the poverty line each year according to the cost of living. In America, poverty has been on the rise since the 1970's.(Poverty World Book 723). The family structure has been constantly changing. The presence of a father in the family effects the poverty rate. The presence of a father in the family was higher when the poverty rate was formed. The family is four times more likely not to have a father in it today than it was in the 1950's. (Report Ties 3). Without a father in the family the chance for children to become poor and eventual... ... middle of paper ... ... The number of people on welfare has been dropping since the early 1990's. Just because you get a job does not guarantee you will go off welfare. Many jobs are low paying and low skilled. These are sometimes the only jobs welfare recipients are qualified for. Programs to train workers are a move in the right direction. Poverty does not need to last a lifetime nor is welfare designed to last a lifetime. There are people who truly need the support of the government. The temporarily unemployed, the disabled, the mentally and physically sick need the government programs. There are many more who are prepared to take the responsibility of working and supporting their families. Some just need a little help getting started. Generations of Americans have seen poverty. Poverty has been around for a long time and is not likely to disappear any time soon.

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