Problems in Poverty
“The poverty of the poor is their destruction”, says the Book of Proverbs. As in any story there are two sides to be told. It is neither the rich man nor the poor man’s fault but rather a compilation of responsibility on both sides. Stories on the television or articles in the newspaper inform American’s frequently on the issue of poverty in this country. The types and studies of American’s living in poverty is on the rise. There are children going without food each day. There are families who are forced to live on the street, or out of their cars. There is much work to be done if the leaders and citizens desire to better this situation and ensure that all people are living equally and not forced to live without necessities. So where is America headed today? Let’s look closer at poverty in America.
First let’s define what it means to live in poverty. According to the NCCP, “Families and their children experience poverty when they are unable to achieve a minimum, decent standard of living that allows them to participate fully in mainstream society. One component of poverty is material hardship. Although we are all taught that the essentials are food, clothing, and shelter, the reality is that the definition of basic material necessities varies by time and place. . . To achieve a minimum but decent standard of living, families need more than material resources; they also need “human and social capital”. Human and social capital include education, basic life skills, and employment experience, as well as less tangible resources such as social networks and access to civic institutions.” These non-material resources allow families to get by, and essentially to get ahead. The ability to have engagement with society and quality services (such as medical care, and education) and to expand social systems and connections will ultimately allow families to increase their earnings potential and acquire advantages. (NCCP) Now that the definition of living in poverty is understood, here are some statistics of poverty. According to Michael Snyder, since the year 2000, poverty has risen from 11.3% to 15.1%. The statistics haven’t been this high since 1993. In 1969, 95% of men between 25 and 54 had jobs. As of this July, the percentage dropped to 81.2%.
(Poverty) A closer look at Kansas and Missouri poverty provides insight for poverty rates in the Midwest states. Kansas has an overall rate of 13.8% living in poverty. Kansas counties that are close to the Missouri line are found to be at a higher poverty percentage, some over 17.9%. Missouri at 15.8% in poverty accumulates most of the high statistics in the southern counties where there is extreme poverty. (USDA, Nov 2013). One aspect of poverty to research is how poverty becomes an issue. Poverty has many features to blame. One is high unemployment rate. Unemployment rates in the United States have been rising. Once, in the United States, if someone needed a job they could go out and find one. Now, there is brutal competition for even the lowest paying jobs. Tied along with unemployment is the number of low-wage jobs while the amount of high paying jobs is falling continuously.