Poverty and Famine in the United States

In this paper I will be using a multitude of sources to inform you on poverty in the United States. Poverty is an ongoing problem in today’s society. Poverty happens and affects different people due to many different reasons. I believe that poverty can very well be prevented in each and every family. For this to happen Americans first and foremost need to be educated on how to prevent being impoverished. Poverty in The United States 3 What is Poverty? According to ​What is Poverty​, poverty is the incapability to afford basic needs.

These basic needs include food, shelter and clothing. Poverty is much deeper than just those surface things though. Living in poverty also the incapability to do things such as afford medicine you might need for your illness, not being able to send your child on a field trip due to the lack of funds, and not being able to afford recreational activities. Also according to ​What is Poverty​ the World Bank Organization defines poverty as “​“Poverty is hunger.

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Poverty is lack of shelter.

Poverty is being sick and not being able to see a doctor. Poverty is not having access to school and not knowing how to read. Poverty is not having a job, is fear for the future, living one day at a time. Poverty has many faces, changing from place to place and across time, and has been described in many ways. Most often, poverty is a situation people want to escape. So poverty is a call to action -- for the poor and the wealthy alike -- a call to change the world so that many more may have enough to eat, adequate shelter, access to education and health, protection from violence, and a voice in what happens in their communities.

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”” (What is Poverty?) What Contributes to Poverty in the United States. According to ​Causes of Poverty in America​, poverty in the united states is caused by a few factors. The first factor is the poor economy. When businesses have to lay workers off as well as even shut down their business this of course increases unemployment. Unemployed people have trouble finding new work because of the fact that jobs are scarce and competition is Poverty in The United States 4 high.

The next factor that contribute to poverty is lack of affordable housing. Many families are unable to make ends meet due to the ever growing gap between their earnings and the price of homes. Substance abuse is the next factor that contributes to Poverty. Addictions to drugs turns out to be quite costly so many abusers use up most of their money to feed into their addiction. Drug and Substance abuse problems affect about 20% of the homeless population. The fourth cause of poverty is a lack of education. Going to college and getting a degree is not always a choice for people in the lower class, this is due to them not being able to afford college. So those people end up with jobs that are low paying with few benefits if any at all. The final cause of poverty is medical expenses. People with illness have to pay large amounts to be treated and even staying a night in a hospital can be several hundred dollars per night. (Causes of Poverty in America)

Responsibilities of Social Workers According to Miller, social workers play a vital role in helping those less fortunate and putting an end to poverty. Working for social justice is one of the guiding principles for social work and according to the National Association of Social Workers, poverty is a top social problem. One responsibility social workers have is to help their client with “concrete needs” these include basic necessities such as clothes, food and a place to live but can also include equally important things like health care and child care. Another thing social workers do is advocate for their clients. They can advocate by acting as mediators or being directly involved with social services organizations or governmental Poverty in The United States 5 agencies. Social workers also get involved in social policy to help those living in poverty. This includes the social workers joining committees or working with elected officials to discuss needs and possible changes for their community. Another way Social Workers can help is by educating communities on poverty and surrounding issues.

Surrounding issues can include things like gang violence, drug abuse as well as educational limitations. (Miller, 2016) Avoiding Poverty According to Carter a new study found that when a person follows what has been called the “success sequence” he/she are more likely to have middle or upper class incomes. The success sequence is as follows; get a high school degree, work (full time or part time), and then marry before having any children. The study that was conducted showed that 97% of millenials who followed this sequence are not in poverty when they reach their prime young adult years which are between the ages 28 and 34. Also according to Carter the success sequence matters because in 2010 it was found that even when unemployment falls, the poverty rate does not fall as much.

This reinforced the idea that the composition of families is another significant driver of the poverty rate. In other words, the decline of marriage, leads to an increase in poverty. (Carter, 2017) How the Government Works to Prevent Poverty According to ​Government Policies to Reduce Poverty​ “poverty is a problem everywhere in the world and governments play an important role in the fight against it. They can employ at least four different policies to reduce poverty: minimum wage laws, social security, negative income taxes, and in-kind benefits. Minimum wage laws require all Poverty in The United States 6 employers to pay their employees a minimum amount of wage that is determined by the government. Social security refers to a number of different government benefits, such as income support, tax credits, social welfare or unemployment benefits. Negative income taxes are essentially a subsidy for individuals with a low income. And last but not least, in-kind benefits are a non-cash alternative to regular benefits.” (Government Policies to Reduce Poverty, 2017)

According to the above visuals you can see that more states were living in higher percentages of poverty in 2015 compared to 2017. I can tell that something has been done right over the years to lessen the poverty rate in these states. The reason for this could have included social workers helping families, families becoming educated and following the success sequence, or even government intervention. Whichever ways poverty is diminishing the trend needs to continue so poverty can be put to an end in the United States.

Updated: Jan 09, 2022
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Poverty and Famine in the United States. (2022, Jan 09). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/poverty-and-famine-in-the-united-states-essay

Poverty and Famine in the United States essay
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