The United States' Poverty Epidemic

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Compared to the rest of the world the United States is economically prosperous however, many citizens are plagued with poverty and destitution. Poverty has become such a problem that one in six Americans are living below the poverty line (Yen). Despite the significant number of Americans living in poverty, most Americans are unaware of its vast scope and scale. The public’s apathy towards poverty has caused it to become an invisible epidemic. The middle -class’s flight from the cities has created de facto segregation between the impoverished and the financially comfortable. Lawmakers find that running on the platform of “fixing poverty” is not appealing to the majority of their middle-class constituents. The media turns a blind eye to America’s poverty epidemic because poverty does not excite viewers or garner favorable ratings.

Cities are now bastions of poverty, the concentration of the impoverished in cities began to skyrocket in the years following World War Two. The sharp increase of poor families living in cities is directly correlated to the middle class moving out of cities and into the suburbs. The disparity is so profound that “the population of midtown Manhattan dropped from 1.5 million during the day to 2,000 at night” (Invisible Poor). The socioeconomic segregation created a permanent underclass that rarely interacted with their well-heeled counterparts. The separation of classes based on socioeconomic status plays into a human’s natural desire to show indifference to the plights of others. This indifference has fueled poverty’s reclusion because it is unlikely that suburbanites will interact with the poor. The per capita poverty rate is significantly higher in urban areas therefore; suburban dwellers are statistic...

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...tors alone have made poverty irrelevant, however, these factors combined have turned poverty into a completely invisible issue.

Works Cited

Ferguson, Lena. "INSIDE AMERICA’S WAR ON POVERTY." ICIC RSS. Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, 03 Feb. 2014. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.

"The Invisible Poor." AHSD. Abington Heights School District, n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.

Glickman, Dan. US News. U.S.News & World Report, 01 May 2013. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.

Yen, Hope. "The Real Measure of Poverty: 1 out of 6 Americans - NBC News." NBC News. Associated Press, 06 Nov. 2013. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.

Raab, Barbara. "Media Coverage of Poverty: Why 'so Little'? - NBC News."NBC News. National Broadcasting Company, 02 Apr. 2014. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.

"About Poverty." United States Census Bureau. Federal Statistical System of the United States, 17 Sept. 2013. Web. 13 Apr. 2014.
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