Poverty is defined as a lack of money, goods, or resources needed to survive. Poverty is not only confined the United States; it is an issue found all over the world. Actually, when you think about the United States, you think of it as a high-income country. It is a country filled with opportunities, jobs, and freedom. So why is poverty an issue in the United States? As Rank (2004) discusses, the real issue is how our society deals with poverty. People seem to be numb to it. They see homeless people on the street, and they walk right past them as if no one is there. As a high-income country, we have the resources to help those in need, yet our political leaders don’t do as much as they can. Or, as O’Connor (2001) explains, some political leaders
People living in poverty have always had a presence in the US, and poverty continues to be a problem. In 2012, there were 46.5 million people living in poverty, with a poverty rate of 15 percent, which is 2.5 percent higher than in 2007 (DeNavas-Walt, Proctor, Smith, 2013). The vast number of people living in poverty suggests the importance of reviewing social policies surrounding poverty issues.
People in America often suffer from poverty and the treatment that comes with it, throughout their everyday lives. The question raised is why are poor individuals dehumanized by high structures of power? Some people with a higher income feel like they have a choice and a real recourse to justice rather than a lower class individual. They also believe that they are entitled to the world and their opinion matters because of their financial status versus someone who doesn’t have material things. Lessin’s and Deal’s film , Natasha Trethewey’s Memoir, and Bell Hooks’ excerpts, depicts that the poor are often dehumanized and neglected by structures of power, such as the government and media, because of their lack of money and education, however some of structures of power are ignorant to how the lives of poor people really are.
There is a diversity of faces and voices that define people that are currently living in poverty. If you seen them on the street would you know them? Who are these unfortunate people? Do you think you could point them out? Where do they come from? While some impoverished people are apparent -many are hidden and walk amongst us everyday, fighting to survive, playing the societal game, and hoping to rise up and leave behind a life of poverty and despair. The impoverished is made up of people from all aspects of life with differences in age, race, color, and ethnicity. This group also includes fallen power elitists; impoverished by greed or over consumption of addiction. The issues of poverty and homelessness go hand and hand. The two are so closely intertwined that we often fail to see that they are in reality one problem, and that the homeless, excluding the handicapped, the aged, and the mentally ill, is merely the most severe expression of it. Charity and handouts do not solve the problems, although they often soften the blow. The impoverished continue to fight their battle to survive, and hope, and pray that the next day will be better then the last.
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.
Poverty is quite an issue not only in third world countries but also here in the United States. Interviews were conducted with 74 families with school-age children, including 44 families living at or below 150% of the federal poverty level and 30 families living above 150% of poverty (Heymann 5). Over 14 million U.S. children lived in poverty in 1997 (Sherman and Sandfort 555).
Many still deny the fact that poverty exists. Even though there are people day to day struggling to have a decent meal or a place to sleep. Poverty is, as quoted John Iceland in “Early Views of Poverty in America”, having “barley sufficient [funds] for decent independent life; the ‘very poor’ those whose means are insufficient for this according to the usual standard of life in this country.”(10) In America this way of life applies to over 14.5% of its people. Poverty is a term that has just recently become accepted; though the concept has been around for many years. People have found themselves without income and unable to support themselves or their family. There are many other reasons to why people are poor: racial discrimination, high-unemployment, and theories created by society. This being the century of change, learning to accept what is poverty and what it means to be poverty stricken or accept that there are people living below
This comparison shows how poverty levels, in recent years, are plateauing with around 15% of the population living below the poverty line. The perpetuation of this issue suggests that poverty, unlike a recession or a brief economic downturn, is a persistent issue that continually affects our global society. But what does poverty or impoverishment mean? The definition of poverty is more than a simple state of hardship but rather a time economic turmoil. The specific poverty threshold varies from state to state but on average is $12,082 for one person and $24,257 for a family of four (2012 US Census Bureau). For the individual living alone, the poverty line would mean living on about $30 a day; for the family of four, the poverty line would mean about $16 a day per person. And with this daily dollar amount, people must pay for housing, gas, electricity, heating, food, child care, education fees and more. By looking how much needs to be paid and how little they actually have, it becomes clear how their lives are a struggle for basic survival. Poverty tends to affect certain demographics of people more than others. Amongst ethnic groups, poverty rates are highest amongst Black Americans at 24% with Hispanic Americans following at 21%
Many reforms in the UnitedStates have been passed to help fight against the “War on Poverty”; but it has not been effective in eradicating poverty in the U.S. There are about 46 million people who are living in impoverished conditions and poverty continues to be a social issue in this country (Heritage Foundation, 2011) In the beginning, our country was formed under the belief that “this land is the land of opportunity and if we worked hard enough the American Dream can be gained” (Schwarz, 1997). People immigrate to this country today in hopes of becoming rich so they could gain a better life. In spite of coming to this country for a better life, many are faced with the lack of skills and money to succeed. In the end, most will end up in unskilled labor jobs that can barely support their families. Poverty continues to be a growing social issue because people have the “ inability to provide necessities like clothes, healthcare, and shelter” (Heritage Foundation, 2011) to help themselves and their family; therefore, many sacrifices have to be made to insure their survival. Yet many reforms made to help people living in poverty are based “off of outdated statistics” (Henslin, 2014, p.276) and are not enough to help the lower class maintain a sufficient standard of living. Poverty relates to conflict theory since the poor are struggling just to get by. Government programs such as Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), housing assistance, and food stamps provided by the government are not enough to help the poor gain social mobility.
Poverty is a prevalent issue that many Americans face and it has been a serious problem over centuries. Every year there are people at risk of hunger. Combating poverty is not an easy task; there are many underlying issues that need to be addressed. Fortunately there are policies in place to assist with in decreasing the negative effects of poverty; however, some of the policies may cause people to become more dependent on government assistance. As a result it may cause a rise in taxes to support these policies and programs. Poverty is very common and widespread around the world. Unanswered questions that arise in regards to poverty are what can be done to resolve it, what are the causes of poverty, and is it possible to eliminate poverty entirely. Based on research and my personal experiences, government aid and housing are some resolutions to decrease poverty.
It certainly seems peculiar how so much disparity exists among the haves and have-nots in the country that leads the free world. The high level of poverty in the United States coupled with the disparaging rates of income are at times hard to comprehend. How can a country of such great wealth and power also be a country of vast poverty? Poverty will always be evident in the United States to some extent. However, minimizing poverty and income inequality will be conducive to the well being of the United States.
Several citizens in America may not empathize with many social conflicts which transpire in America. Unfortunately, when poverty is mentioned people of diverse gender, race/ethnic, and age can relate to poverty in America. Although several societies have not experienced the undesirable measures of relative or absolute poverty; several people know poverty exist through many channels, such as the media, social networking, history and charities.
Poverty is defined by Webster says the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions. The most common measure of poverty in the U.S. is called the poverty threshold. This measure determines the lack of food and needs commonly taken for granted. The federal poverty threshold for a family of four is approximately $ 23,550 dollars a year in 2013. Many people will have at some point lived below the poverty level for at least a year according to the government. Poverty rate are constantly high in rural and inner city areas in the United States. According to the November 2012 census bureau more than 16% of the population in the United States lived in poverty. This includes 20% of American children. In 2011, child poverty reached an all-time high with over 16.7 million children living without enough food for the day. (US Census Bureau, 2013).
How would you feel if you didn’t have a place to call home? Some states have higher poverty rates than others such as California. Almost half of the world over 3 billion people live on less than $2.50 a day. People don’t look into poverty because they’re usually not the one who’s struggling in life. Even though there are other important issues, the government should provide more money and attention to the less fortunate because it will overall benefit the country and help ignorant citizens to realize that people make mistakes sometimes and they need help to get back on their feet.