Poverty in America

Topics: Poverty in the United States, Poverty, United States Pages: 9 (1862 words) Published: October 16, 2014

Poverty in America
Instructor: Professor Izzeldin Bakhit
ECO 405
February 1st, 2014
Strayer University

When a person think of poverty, one simply says’ and or think that individuals, families, groups, and what have you lack financial stability; however, there is so much more that should be considered. In the United States, poverty is measured by annual income. According to Casteel (2014), the poverty line is based on a calculation that takes into consideration the minimum costs required to feed an individual, child and adult not differentiated, multiplied by three. Casteel (2014) also said that calculation was designed by Mollie Orshansky, a Social Security Administration employee, in 1963. Poverty continues to be a problem not only in the United States of America but in developing countries and less developed countries (LDC) worldwide. The main focus in this paper is on poverty in America; how it impacts the US economy and what the government and the society can do to reduce poverty in America.

POVERTY IN AMERICA 3 Poverty in America
This article “America’s Shameful Poverty Stats” was published on The Nation on September 18th, 2013. The article discusses statistics related to poverty and income inequality in the U.S. The author includes data from the 2013 U.S. Census Bureau Population Survey showing that 15 percent of Americans, roughly 46.5 million people, live at or below the government-defined poverty line—which, as most who work with the hungry, the homeless, the uninsured, and the underpaid or unemployed know, is itself an inadequate measure of poverty (Abramsky, 2013). Particular focus is given to the impacts of politics and economic policy on poverty rates since the administration of U.S. President Ronald Reagan, including reducing food stamp and unemployment benefits while cutting capital gains and estate taxes for the wealthy. The headline one can take away from this is those three years into the recovery from the collapse of 2008, poverty numbers haven’t really gone down. Almost all the additional wealth being generated by a growing economy is going to those who already have the most. Median income has stagnated and, for young people, it is continuing to go down. The author of the article compared the statistic data from recent decades. The percentage of people in poverty is roughly the same as in 1983, in the middle of the Reagan presidency, as well as in 1993, at the end of twelve years of Reagan/Bush trickle-down economics. A far higher portion of the population lives in poverty than was the case in the mid-1970s, after a decade of investment stemming from Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty; and far more live in poverty today than did at the end of Bill Clinton’s eight years in office—years in which the earned-

POVERTY IN AMERICA 4 income tax credit was expanded, unemployment was kept to near-historic lows, and poverty rates fell significantly (Abramsky, 2013). The American poverty numbers have raised to such a high level exposes the fact that as a society, we are choosing to ignore the needs of tens of millions of Americans. The author (Abramsky, 2013) gave examples of these ignored Americans by interviewing a teenager in in Los Angeles, forced to choose between applying to college or dropping out of school and getting dead-end jobs to support parents who had lost not only their jobs but their homes, too. Another example was an elderly lady which the author met outside Dallas, who was too poor to retire but too sick to take the bus to her work at Walmart. Her solution was paying her neighbors gas money to drive her to a job that paid so little. She routinely ate either 88-cent TV dinners or went to bed hungry. The author also...

References: Abramsky, S. (2013). America 's Shameful Poverty Stats. Nation, 297(14), 1-3.
Casteel, P. D. (2014). Demographics of Poverty. Demographics Of Poverty -- Research Starters
Sociology, 1-6.
Hoynes, H. W., Page, M. E., & Stevens, A. (2006). Poverty in America: Trends and
Explanations. Journal Of Economic Perspectives, 20(1), 47-68.
PR, N. (2014, January 8). Top Charitable Organizations Join Forces to Educate, Innovate and
Act to Reduce Poverty in America. PR Newswire US.
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