Poverty USA

Topics: Unemployment, Welfare, United States Pages: 1 (349 words) Published: May 31, 2014
Poverty can be described as a condition in which individuals are deprived of basic needs such as food, shelter, and/or clothing. It can be categorized into two parts: absolute poverty or destitution which occurs when citizens are unable to gain access to necessities in order to maintain a healthy existence. Relative poverty however, exists when the individual does not maintain a specified standard of living which is typically decided by government. According to Gladwin, the most important cause of poverty in the United States stems from social or racial grouping and stereotyping, lack of knowledge, societal structuring, employment skills, isolation from social interactions and opportunities, education and resources.1 The cause of poverty in the United States is in many ways similar to the causes that exist in other nations. Economic issues such as the absence of reasonably affordable housing, the lack of or inadequate healthcare due to growing costs, and insurance among others. Secondly, social and medical dynamics are another poverty challenge in the United States. Economic elements however, are the foremost causes of homelessness; while drug dependency, mental disorders, and alcoholism worsen circumstances of poverty and put many individuals at a higher risk of becoming homeless.2 The existing welfare system was designed to combat poverty in two fundamental ways; through providing monetary assistance to those who are not likely to obtain work and programs designed to encourage employment, and secondly to subsidize wages because many of those seeking welfare lack adequate skills and often cannot earn enough to escape the poverty cycle.3 While the designs of the American welfare system has its virtues, the fact is that is also creates several issues including: expanding the national debt, incentives for illegal immigration, and in some ways contributes to the issue at hand by allowing those who would rather remain in poverty to continue in the welfare program...
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