Issue of Poverty in America

Updated October 30, 2021

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Issue of Poverty in America essay

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Poverty today has many faces. It’s the face of a young girl who’s only meal that day is free school lunch. It’s the face of a single mother struggling to find the money to dress her children and put food on the table. It’s the face of a middle-aged man on the side of the street holding up a sign saying “Hungry, Anything Helps”, and it’s the face of a frustrated young adult working barely to get by and to pay his rent for the month.

Of course, when talking about poverty, there’s much more to it than just money. Poverty is being unable to pay for needed medicine, it’s not knowing when your next meal will be, its worrying about running out of money, not knowing if rent will be paid for the month. In other words, some would say living in poverty feels a lot like suffocating, or a loss of hope.

The poverty rate in the United States is higher than 10% and the numbers are even higher in children under the age of 18. Just several years ago poverty was defined as a yearly income 23,000 or less for a family of four. This happens to be just a small portion of this economic issue that it’s important we all take note of another issue, deep poverty. Deep poverty is defined as 50% of the poverty level and the number of individuals living in this state is growing rapidly.

Let’s take a minute to consider what all of this really means. Because of our economic system, there are millions of people are being condemned to things such as high rates of unemployment, underemployment, bad performance in school, poor eating habits and lack of nutrients, high rates of suffering of preventable diseases, homelessness, and other things that come with poverty.

In some cases, saying the poor can make rational choices can be considered an incorrect statement. There is evidence showing that being poor messes with one’s mind, therefore those living in extreme poverty can’t always be held accountable. Poverty today is not how it was many years ago. In previous times, people living in poverty had a very difficult time changing their status. If a person was born into poverty, the chances were very high that they would always live that way – and I mean starvation poor, not “I can’t afford this iPhone” poor. All in all, opportunities were very limited, sometimes even nonexistent.

At one point or another many of us can say that we are guilty of pointing a finger at those receiving help from the government. Many argue that those receiving things they do not work hard for are undeserving and should suffer. We begin to consider how hard we work for the things we have while the poor are sitting at home not working hard, but hardly working.

There are many ways in which the poor are blamed for their poverty. One example of this is that many would argue that the poor are living in poverty because they are lazy and don’t try to better themselves. Although this may be true in some cases, we can’t speak for the whole population. A lot of the time, those living in poverty were born into it, and being poor is all they know. Arguing that all they need to do to better their lives is to find a job can sometimes be incorrect. Finding a job when you don’t have the tools to do so can seem like an impossible task. In many cases, they have never been given the tools to find a job, let alone present themselves in front of someone to be hired. A lot of the time those living in poverty lack social skills and don’t have the ability to perform well in an interview to secure a job.

Lack of preparation and sometimes even experience makes it even harder for them as well as not having a support system in place can cause the poor to feel hopeless and that doesn’t spark motivation in them. When being poor is all you know, and the people around you are in the same situation as you, it can be difficult to break out of that motion and change yourself. We can say they are living in a cave. It is all they know and therefore think that’s all there is to life and its something they cannot help but do.

Another way in which the poor are often blamed for their poverty and the circumstances they live in, involves education. Some look at those who are poor and immediately accuse them of not making the most of educational opportunities. They might assume that their circumstances would be different if they had completed or continued their education. Although that may be true in many cases, without some type of mentoring or support, education is just a dream. Left on their own to figure out how education can be a means of improving their life is wishful thinking. For those who have no other experience outside the poverty they know, education can be a maze of confusion. Many of those who are poor have never had a role model to follow, and therefore they have no idea how to pursue education. In short, being the first one in a family to break out of the mold and pursue education is difficult. In addition to its high cost, the poor may not be able to afford the cost of getting to and from school. Of course, these obstacles can be overcome, and many are doing just that, but there are still many who see the poor with little or no education, and quickly point a finger of blame.

I believe that quite often people make accidental mistakes in judgement. In other words, without really understanding an individual’s past and where they have come from, people are more likely to judge incorrectly. For example, when you see a man on the side of the street holding up a sign begging for change, you may be inclined to think the person is lazy and not interested in employment. Although this may be true in some cases, we make mistakes in our judgement when we assume that’s always the case. Many of the poor who are homeless, are incapable of improving their lives on their own without someone reaching out to help.

Issue of Poverty in America essay

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Issue of Poverty in America. (2021, Oct 30). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/issue-of-poverty-in-america/


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