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Poverty in the U.S - Research Paper Example

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[Your full name] May 21, 2012 Poverty in U.S. Poverty is one of the very important social issues in the United States. The poor are living in substandard conditions despite the U.S. being a developed country. The National Poverty Center (para.6) states that, “In 2010, 15.1 percent of all persons lived in poverty…
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Poverty in the U.S
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Poverty in the U.S

Download file to see previous pages... First of all, let us understand how poverty has risen in the U.S. and how it affects the poor. Seccombe (384-393) asserts that poverty can be defined as having an inadequate income that can make a family stay “below the poverty line”. In the United States, poverty is concretely defined in dollar figures by the Social Security Administration. By determining the amount of money needed to survive on food, and then multiplying that number by three, the Social Security Administration sets the poverty line. For example, if the SSA decided that the amount of money needed to sustain a survivable diet during a year was $4,000, then it would set the poverty line at $12,000. Thus, any individuals whose income was less than this amount for a year would be considered to be living in poverty. According to Flik and Praag (311-330), poverty line is essential for determining who receives welfare benefits in U.S. Poverty does not seem to be an evenly distributed social problem. In America, African Americans and Latinos have, by far, the largest poverty rate. Many factors such as poor wages for women and the increase of single-woman parented families have caused an increase in the percentage of women among the poor. elderly, however, fill a much smaller percentage as they receive benefits as social security. Macionis (216) concluded that in 2003, the government classified 12.5 percent of the U.S. population as poor, which makes 35.9 million of men, women and children. Research suggests that the home environment adds to poverty because most homes that look in disrepair mean that the family living inside might not have the income to fix things. When a family is in the poverty zone they feel bad and inadequate, which can make them unwilling to ask for help (Brooks-Gunn & Duncan). This can be harmful to children because they do not have a say when the adults need help. Poverty is an unkind and brutal way for children to live. It manifests in physical, emotional and social ways. Impoverished children have social, emotional and behavioral problems due to poor health and serious mental health problems stemming from the persistent poverty level in which they live. Serious health problems come with poverty, such as preventable diseases like Influenza, Measles, malnutrition and AIDS due to lack of proper health care. Public assistance offered in most states does not cover all that the poor children need to live a normal lifestyle. Now, we describe how poverty is beneficial for the rich of the society despite its negative outcomes related to the poor. According to the sociologist, Herbert Gans (20-24), occupations and professions like criminology, social work, journalism, and public health exist with the help of existence of poverty. Gans has listed manifold functions of poverty that are beneficial to the rich of the society. The dirty work in the society gets done with the help of the poor who work at low wages and indecent salaries. The poor help in subsidizing the economy because they pay taxes, buy cheap products and go for low-cost services that are just ignored by the wealthy community. The existence of poverty acts as a guarantee for the rich people’s status, because if there would be no poor, there would be no identification left for the rich. The rich people give charity to the poor ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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