Poverty in the United States is no small problem, in fact, 47.7 million Americans or 14.4% of the population are living in poverty (2015 statistic from US Census Bureau). Comparing this statistic to the US Census Bureau’s record of people in poverty from 2013 and 2014, the numbers are relatively the same. 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 li...
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...eck. Paid by income tax dollars, the Social Security website states the average monthly check for retired workers is about $1,348. This income, totaled to be about $16,176 a year, is above the federal poverty line yet not enough to sustain a comfortable living. Medical costs for low-income individuals are covered by Medicaid, a state and federally funded program that alleviates general health care expenses. However, in numerous states the eligibility requirements are extremely strict—people must have no more than a few thousand dollars of liquid assets such as cash, gold, and bank funds. While government programs like SNAP, Social Security, and Medicaid help tens of millions yearly, they fail to create the economic cushion needed for individual success. Many individuals and families make use of a variety welfare programs yet still face an abundance of daily problems.
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