There is a question of whether human progress tends to reduce world poverty, tends to increase world poverty, or tends to leave world poverty unchanged; different economists have reached different conclusions. And their different conclusions have impacted strongly on how governments and others approach poverty, and on how poverty is dealt with or not dealt with. Even after Hurricane Katrina and the devastation left in its wake exposed to public eye the shocking levels of poverty in the mostly African-American neighborhoods of New Orleans, there was a lot of talk about America's hidden shame and about the need to pay more attention to the plight of the poor when there isn't a natural disaster to put them in the headlines. Poor children in the United States are more likely to be White than Black or Latino and are more likely to live in a rural or suburban area than in an inner city (Poverty and Schooling in the U.S., 2004). There is also an economic case for reducing child poverty and any other form of it. When children grow up in poverty, they are somewhat more likely than non-poor children to have low earnings as adults, which in turn reflect lower workforce productivity. They are also somewhat more likely to engage in crime (though that’s not the case for the vast majority) and to have poor health later in life. Their reduced productive activity generates a direct loss of goods and services to the U.S. economy. Purpose of the Study
This paper takes a look into the fact that poverty is a matter of culture, not just money, is illustrated by the immigrant experience. Many immigrants start from scratch when they come to the United States, and succeed in rising out of poverty. For them, the American dream is not a myth. Data from the Urban Institute show that while recent immigrants in 1980 and 1990 were twice as likely as native-born Americans to live in poverty, this disparity disappeared for immigrants who had lived in this country for 10 years...
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