Poverty And The Poverty Of Poverty Essay

Poverty And The Poverty Of Poverty Essay

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People living in poverty can be thought of as a “them” who can be easily ignored and forgotten; when, in reality, poverty can affect anyone.  When people are living in poverty, sometimes it is not their fault.  Often, unfortunate events that are out of someone’s control can set them up for failure.  For example, the poverty rate for disabled adults from the age of 18-64 is 28.5%, while disabled 18-64 year olds only make up 7.7% of America’s population (Proctor, Semega, and Kollar 16). Therefore, poverty disproportionately affects disabled adults. The stories of those living in poverty are incredibly diverse, as Sasha Abramsky points out in The American Way of Poverty:
There are people who are poor because they have made bad choices, gotten
addicted to drugs, burned bridges with friends and family—and then there are
people who have never taken a drug in their lives, who have huge social networks,
and still can’t make ends meet. There are people who have never held down a
job, and others who hold down multiple, but always low-paying, jobs, frequently
for some of the most powerful corporations on earth. (5)
Deeply rooted in our American culture, is an understanding of meritocracy: a belief that
those who achieve success have earned it, while those who are poor are simply unintelligent or
do not want to work hard (Rycroft 128). However, extensive research has shown that there it is
difficult to leave the social class one was born into, illustrating that success, or poverty, may
have more to do with someone’s family of origin, than pure hard work and brilliance (128). That
is not to say that if someone is successful they have not earned it, some people do achieve
success even if they grew up in poverty, but there are also many people...


... middle of paper ...


...ial education programs,
and other resources that allow its students to achieve the same opportunities that
the wealthy school can provide. Currently, underserved and under-resourced
schools that need the funds are the very schools that do not receive the funds. (15, 16)
Funding for public schools primarily comes from State and Local governments—
resulting in less school funding in low income areas (Honda 16). Additionally, many state
governments base funding on attendance, which increases funds to schools that are already
prospering, while forgetting schools that often need money the most (16). Once again, a cycle of
poverty is revealed: those who grew up in a wealthier area have access to high quality public
schools, equipping them for success, while people growing up in poor neighborhoods often have
low quality schools that fail to prepare for college and a career.

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