What Are the Causes and Effects of Poverty in the United States?

Topics: Poverty, Unemployment, United States Pages: 7 (2657 words) Published: July 13, 2011
What are the Causes and Effects of poverty in the United States? Jose Flores
Blackstone Academy Charter School

Are all Americans grateful for the things they have? What if Americans do not to have the proper basic needs? Many Americans do face this situation and it is called poverty. The top three causes of poverty in United States are lack of education, unemployment and the high cost of health insurance. Americans can overcome the high rate of poverty and alleviate their struggles by maintaining and furthering their education which will lead to higher paying jobs and with good medical benefits. In the state of Rhode Island, 15% of the population is facing the struggle of poverty, based on Rhode Island KIDS COUNT. But , how should Rhode Islanders deal with poverty? Poverty is the state of having little or no money, few or no material possessions or it’s also referred as lacking basic human needs, such as clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter, because of the inability to afford them. Nearly half the 6 billion people in the world are poor. As a matter of definition, there are three degrees of poverty: extreme poverty, moderate poverty and relative poverty. Extreme poverty, defined by the World Bank as getting by on an income of less than $1 a day, means that households cannot meet basic needs for survival. ("TIME Magazine: How to End Poverty." Breaking News, Analysis, Politics, Blogs, News Photos, Video, Tech Reviews - TIME.com. 14 Mar. 2005. Web. 24 May 2011. ). The world as a whole faces the struggle of poverty, America as well. Although the United States is one of the wealthiest counties in the world, it still struggles with the problem of poverty. The reason for that is because the United States does a lot of trading with other countries. People in the United States live in a rich country, that has a large amount of capital machinery. This machinery is necessary to produce things relative to the amount of labor and people that want to work. Poor countries have a lot of labor, but relatively little capital based on 2011 United States Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics (http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/Learn/us_hunger_facts.htm) and thus not being able to provide the people enough earnings for them to support for themselves and their children to pursue a high education. Poverty has a great impact on a child’s education. The chronic stress that the child feels associated with living in poverty impacts their concentration, memory and their ability to learn. Poverty is such a great stress to children that it causes youth to dropout of school. According to American Psychological Association, “In 2007, the dropout rate of students living in low-income families was about 10 times greater than the rate of their peers from high-income families 8.8% vs. 0.9%” (http://www.apa.org/pi/families/poverty.aspx#). One reason for that is because families who live in poverty can only afford to live in poorer communities. Thus, the schools struggle to meet the learning needs for these students, and being able to aid them for fulfilling their potential. Unemployment is a factor that leads to poverty in our state and in America. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the United States, Rhode Island is in the top 5 for states having a high unemployment rate, currently at 11.5% (http://www.bls.gov/web/laus/laumstrk.htm). In the past, Rhode Island depended on its manufacturing sector to produce jobs. This has deteriorated, creating substantial job losses thus raising the unemployment rate in our state. In addition, the types of jobs in Rhode Island have changed. Currently the available jobs require workers to have a higher education and specialized skills. According to a University of Rhode Island economic professor, Lardaro “The severe flooding of the early April 2010 clearly hurt Rhode Island’s economy. Fortunately, the floods occurred at a time of...
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