Striking Down Poverty In The U.S

2447 words - 10 pages

Striking Down Poverty In the U.S.
Jason Ellington
Sociology
Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana
Poverty in America is at an all-time high. The U.S. Census Bureau started taking data on national poverty in 1959. They use a method which determines poverty by comparing pretax cash income against a poverty threshold dollar amount, which is adjusted for family size and composition. In 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau official measure, 46.2 million people, or 15.9 percent of the total U.S. population, lived in poverty (U.S. Census Bureau, 2011).
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State | Total Population - 2000 | Population in Poverty - 2000 | % of Population in Poverty - 2000 | Total Population - 2010 ...view middle of the document...

The lack of education is one of the largest reasons people descend into poverty. This means, the quality of education a person receives while growing up and the availability of reeducation for those people who have already descended into poverty. Jobs simply not being available due to the current economy are big contributing factors which lead to poverty as well. Some people believe the government is part of the problem. Bill Bonner of The Daily Reckoning states, “One out of every six Americans is now enrolled in at least one government anti-poverty program (Bill Bonner, 2011). With that being said, some groups feel as if the government enables people living in poverty to stay in poverty by relying too heavily on government assistance.
Poverty, in its simplest form, is being poor. For those people who think poverty is a word which only describes people in the most desolate of places in life, it is not. A person does not have to be homeless either, but homelessness could be just one of the many issues people in poverty may face. For most people, living in poverty in the United States may simply mean that they do not make a certain dollar amount, which is high enough to pay for standard living requirements. These things may include but are not limited to rent, food, clothing, utilities, transportation, and other basic essentials of life. Ray Suarez states, “The poverty line is lower than you might think: $11,139 a year for a single person, $22,314 a year for a family of four.” (Ray Suarez, 2011)
It is imperative to find a solution to the problem of poverty; not only for the people who are living in poverty but for our economic growth as a country. If a large number of American residents (46.2 million) are out of work and cannot receive some sort of help through education and other available resources, we will be dooming ourselves to economic failure. This essentially means 46 million people not spending money at the small businesses; and when this happens, the small businesses have to shut their doors. Once their businesses shut down and they file bankruptcy, the wealthy will start to feel the pain, then they will lay more people off; and unemployment rises to a detrimental level in the U.S., hence our economy crumbles.
Various different professors, analysts, and experts believe education to be one of the most important keys toward solving poverty. This however is a bit of an understatement because it will depend on the government’s involvement and willingness to implement a plan with a date set for review, as to whether or not it is functioning the way it was intended to, or if it needs to be revised. Once provided with this assistance from the government, the people living in poverty will need to have the desire and will to set forth into this accomplishment. This does not stop with the adults living in poverty but also includes the children living in poverty. Isabel V. Sawhill states, “One of the most effective policies...

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