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Poverty in the United States - Research Paper Example

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Poverty in the United States Introduction Just like any other countries in the world today, poverty also exists in the American society but only to a minimal extent. This almost inconceivable truth could really make one wonder of the reasons why there are poor people in a country which is known to have a strong and independent economy…
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Poverty in the United States
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Download file to see previous pages This points us to one reality that no matter how rich and powerful a country is, its people would still experience inequality. In light of these facts, this essay will unravel the reasons of American poverty. At the end, it shall be providing a conclusion as to the state of poverty in the United States. Poverty in America In America, poverty status is ascertained by comparing the family’s yearly income “to a set of dollar values” commonly referred to as thresholds which may differ as to the size of the family, number of siblings and age of the householder (Bishaw and Macartney 1). According to a latest survey produced by the US Census Bureau, about fourteen percent (14%) of the people in the United States had incomes which fall below their respective poverty threshold (Bishaw and Macartney 1). This is to say that of the three hundred (300) million plus American people, nearly forty three (43) million are considered poor (Bishaw and Macartney 1). Although this number is quite small compared to other nations, it is relevant to know the reason of this turn out as it poses a great challenge to the American government. Actually, it has been noted that America’s poverty rate has increased substantially from the year 2008 to 2009. The increase is considered to be the highest since 1994 (DeNavas-Walt, Proctor, and Smith 14). Out of the fifty (50) states making up the United States of America, thirty-one (31) states have observed a constant rise of their poverty rate (Bishaw and Macartney 1). This finding is somehow alarming knowing that the American government has been active in fighting poverty in almost all of its sectors. Also, America has been known for its welfare system. Under this particular system, assistance in the form of money or free service is given to the poor and needy within the American society (“US Welfare”). Relevantly, most of the poor people in US are Hispanics or Latinos (DeNavas-Walt, Proctor, and Smith 14). To note, the Latinos in the country are actually immigrants. These immigrants are known to be having a hard time finding an employment. As a result, many of them do not have enough resource to support their existence. If this situation will persist, it could be stated then, that the American government has failed to address the social problem and that its program aimed to alleviate poverty has not been effective. Causes of American Poverty In 2001, a poll was conducted to know the sentiments of the American people with regard to the existence of poverty in their country (Iceland 70). In this survey, the respondents were asked of their opinion with regard to the bigger cause of poverty in America today. They were to choose any of the two options: (1) “that people are not doing enough to help themselves out of poverty or” (2) “that circumstances beyond their control cause them to be poor” (Iceland 70). The first option of course puts the blame to the person himself or herself. This is to say that it is his or her personal decisions or choices in life which made him or her poor. The second option on the other hand implies that there are external factors which cause the person to be poor. It could be due to the policies of the government or cultural issues. Significantly, the responses of the respondents were closely evenly split. Forty-eight (48) percent have chosen the first cause while forty-five (45) ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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