Poverty in America - Term Paper Example

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Poverty refers to lack of enough resources to sustain their basic needs such as food, housing and clothing which to a great extend determines the quality of life. This is because lack of these basic needs makes people suffer as they are not comfortable…
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Poverty in America
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Poverty in America Poverty refers to lack of enough resources to sustain their basic needs such as food, housing and clothingwhich to a great extend determines the quality of life. This is because lack of these basic needs makes people suffer as they are not comfortable. Despite the efforts made by the American government to reduce the levels of poverty in America, according to the New York Times millions of Americans are poor. The two basic problems of American poverty is that some people have very little ages and others do not have work so they do not get wages required to sustain their daily lives. However, the two overlap since it leaves both portions of the two populations without enough income to pay for their basic needs. According to an article by Edelman in the American prospect (2012), many of the poor people will work hard to get out of poverty but with time they find their way back to being poor and this means they go in and out of the predicament. Few people will have little or no work on a continuous manner and they will pass this predicament to their next generations and this becomes the basis of their siblings becoming poor. America has had a history with poverty with the lowest levels being in 1973 at 11.1%, then rising to 15.3% in 1983 and then falling to 11.3% in 2000 to a boost in the economy (Edelman, 2012). However, according to the New York Times, 15 million Americans are poor today despite the government’s effort in trying to eliminate poverty through food stamps, social security, and taxing, which have really helped to reduce the number of people living under poverty (Edelman, 2012). Various reasons have been given to explain why enough has not been done to eliminate poverty or the reasons for poverty escalating in the United States: Lack of education has been blamed for the soaring levels of poverty as without education people will be ignorant and will have a lesser opportunity of securing a job. Research shows that most people do not have sufficient education to get a job that requires skills and compensates highly. The poor and less educated people will gat jobs that pay low wages as they cannot get the job they would want because they may not have the knowledge needed to undertake the highly paying jobs. Low wage jobs are the other reason as many people are working under this condition making it hard to meet their daily needs. The New York Times reports that many households are now being headed by a one single parent hence this makes it difficult to earn a living through the low paying jobs. Poor management or lack of fund assistance for single mothers and children in form of welfare has contributed to poverty levels elevating (Edelman, 2012). Lack of employment has further increased the levels of poverty over the past few years and this is the number one cause of poverty in America as people without a job cannot afford to pay for their basic needs. In the recent pats, people have been laid of their jobs and getting another job becomes a challenge because of the shortage of jobs and inflation, which has made the economy to go down. With the rising cost of living due to inflation people with no jobs or those with low wages will have problems paying for their basic needs, and this further increase the problem of poverty. The problem of poverty has further been increased by many people being dependent on the government because they cannot get jobs to sustain their families. People who used to work hard to earn a living are now relying on the government programs initiated to help them and this will have the effect f passing on the reliance on government to their next generations. The menace of poverty in America is getting worse by the day and enough is not being done to combat the situation. Poverty affects the whole society and there are people who want to help the poor but they do not know how to go about it, moreover, the poor agree that they need to be helped, but they are not aware of the right procedures to follow to have their situation looked at (Edelman, 2012). The chief reason why people are not taking action is that not enough information is provided on poverty and this leaves the portion of the population willing to help without information on the issue. The media does not stress the issue of poverty enough and the challenges the country is facing on the issue. Despite the government starting various initiatives such as social security and food stamps to help poor people, they have not been successful in alleviating poverty from the American population. There needs to be proper programs, which will ensure that poverty is eliminated and this will involve engaging the poor in income generating programs, which will ensure that the poor people work to get a living instead of being entirely dependant on the government and this will play a pivotal role in eliminating poverty. References Edelman, P. (2012). Poverty in America: Why Can’t We End It? The New York Times Company. Retrieved on August 14, 2012 from: Edelman, P. (2012). The State of Poverty in America. The American Prospect. Retrieved on August 14, 2012 from: The Economic Collapse. (2012). Poverty in America: A Special Report. Retrieved on August 14, 2012 from: Citro, C. F. and Michael, R. T. (1995). Measuring Poverty:  A New Approach, Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. Read More
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