Poverty, What Makes People Poor Essay, Research Paper
The rich, the middle class, and the poor; are described by the way we live and the amount of money one has. There are many different ways of describing what poverty is, whether it is by how you live, how much money you have, or in statistical terms. Poverty isn?t always a bad thing it is just another way of living, another way of life.
There are different kinds of poverty that you can measure. There is relative poverty that can be measured to the rest of the population. Relative poverty is measuring less than fifty percent than the average income or wealth that a person has. That means that if you make less than half of what the average person makes you are poor. Relative poverty still means that you are able to survive, but not to the standard that most are at. There is also absolute poverty. This means that you are unable to provide the necessary things that you need to survive in your daily life. Things like food shelter and medical attention. This is the measure that has set ?The Poverty Line? developed by the Social Security Administration. The current poverty line is measured at $16,588 for a family of four. The poverty line is measured by the emergency food budget times three. This means that the food that a family needs to survive multiply by three. You must think that the family must pay for their bills, mortgage, and their food with this money. Seventy percent of a families income goes to house them. According to the United States Census Service there are 34.5 million Americans that are poor. This consists of 12.7 percent of the United States population. This is an under estimate of the real poverty rate because the poverty line is very conservative. About eleven million people are just above the poverty line. United States has the highest poverty rate of the world?s industrialize countries.
Some people have it worse than other people. For instance women make up two-thirds of the adult poor population. This could be the cause of many things like divorce, and poor job opportunities. Even though the men and the women get divorced the men income still tend to rise. The single parent household that is headed, by a women tend to have a high poverty rate. Twenty nine and nine tenth percent of single parent families are headed by females. African American females are three time to be poor. Black female head 40.8 percent of black households. Women earnings are seventy cents to the dollar to a male worker.
Children are also affected by the single parent families and are the cause of high poverty rate. Children make up 26 percent of the United States population. But they make up forty percent of the poor population. This means that 18.9 percent of all children are poor. Fifty five percent of these children are under six years old. The infantalization of poverty is the fastest growing group in poverty. This can be caused by divorce, wedlock, or a death of a parent. Children out of wedlock are more likely to be poor than any other children.
There are many myths about poverty that may lead some people on. One myth is that many people think that the poor do not want to work. In reality, 41 percent of the poor worked and 13 percent of the poor work full time. Even though some people can work forty hours a week they still can?t make the poverty line. The minimum wage does not keep up with the inflation of the dollar. Only about 3.5 percent of the poor population, can work, but don?t. The two earner families are also the fastest growing group in poverty. Another myth is that most people on welfare are cheating the system. This however is not the case, only about five percent actually cheat the system. This is no more than another government program. The United States is not as generous on the welfare system as it is. The fact is that the United States are very stingy about their welfare system compared to other industrialize nations. Another myth is that people live off the welfare system and doesn?t want to get off of it. Most people go off of the welfare within the first two years. They don?t want to be on welfare, circumstances put them on it. Like lost job, death of spouse, illness, disability, or a child at home.
Some people blame the poverty on the person that is poor. Things they may say would be like, they are too lazy to work or they are taking advantage of the system. These people believe in the person blame approach. The person blame approach focuses on social problems stem from pathological defects in an individual. This approach requires a person to be repaired psychologically in order to fix the social problem. The problem with this is that there is no blame on the person?s environment and the social system of society. It is very hard to isolate what has happen in a persons life that caused the problem. It is even harder to fix a persons problem. This would require too many more doctors, institutions, and medical facilities
To blame the social system is to take the system blame approach. This means that you are blaming the social problems on a government, a society, and anything else that might act on an individual. System blame stems from situations in which individuals are involved. The problem with system blame is that it leaves off all the blame from the individual, saying that they have ?no agency?, or the ability to act on ones own, no free will.
The question that no one ever thinks to ask is: If we had no poverty would we still have the same kind of life. The answer is no. Poverty is a necessary form of the economic and social structure. Without poverty our society would most likely break down and inflation would sky rocket. Think if everybody had a job, money and a good standard of living. Wouldn?t that make it harder to find and provide jobs. Employers would have to pay outrageous sums of money so the corporation can hire the employee. This would be a disaster because no one would need to stay at their job if there is no competition for it. The will and hard work of the citizens of this country has work to hard to throw it all away. Poverty effects not only the people who have it, but those who don?t want it.
In conclusion a poor person is not a diseases, not something that is contagious, but a living thing that everybody should think about. Most poor people are not a bad person, but a person that may have ran into some tough times in their life.