Poverty in America
Despite the intensive development of science and technology, many people around the globe are considered to be poor. The lack of food, drinking water, and poverty remain unsolved global problems that are rooted in unequal income distribution: there are both extremely poor and extremely rich people. The United States of America is a country with powerful economy and high living standards. According to World Hunger Education Service, 46.9 millions of people were in poverty in 2010 (“Hunger in America”). Many people state that poverty level is not decreasing and try to find out its reasons. The paper is aimed at demonstrating the rightness of Galbraith’s assumptions regarding poverty: people in the USA do not notice poverty around them because they prefer to notice only the things that they want to notice.
The poverty is rooted in current political and economic systems that have resulted from the deeds of certain people, who created laws and business strategies that do not promote equable and steady income of the citizens. In addition, the author noticed that the officials’ deeds were directed to “reduce poverty from the problem of majority to that of minority” (Galbraith 234-243). Hence, the poverty used to be general problem, but now it is a special case, which is ignored and invisible for the government. The researchers find various causes of poverty and explain this phenomenon in the contemporary society by the following aspects, there are, we believe, three main causes of poverty in the United States: poverty in the world; operation of the political and economic systems in the United States which has tended to keep people from poor families poor and actual physical, mental and behavioral issues among some people who are poor (“Hunger in America”).
It means that economy and policy of the country and local territories determine the earnings and living standards of te citizens.
Rector and Sheffield explored the reasons of poverty in America in their research Understanding Poverty in the United States: Surprising Facts about America’s Poor. They discovered the reasons of poverty in marriage and welfare that are ignored by the officials, which may be improved through reforms and social programs. “A major element of the declining capacity for self-support is the collapse of marriage in low-income communities” (Rector and Sheffield). The matter is that family ‘produces’ new members of the country and has to support their material existence. Low-income families are unlikely to satisfy their entire needs, which makes poverty grow. Modern tendency of out-of-wedlock birth results in the increase of single parent families, where 80 percent of all long-term poverty occurs. Often such parents cannot find the work that fully satisfies their financial needs. Peter Edelman confirmed that it is difficult for families to find a well-paid job, which is one of the key causes of poverty (Edelman). Nevertheless, there are programs that try to provide low-income people with nutrition: SNAP, WIC, National School lunches Program, The Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (“Hunger in America”). Due to the transformations in the welfare system and social programs for low-income families with children the poverty can be significantly reduced. However, this problem is rarely mentioned in the reports of bureaus and officials. The governors, politicians and activists behave as if the issue of marriage and poverty does not exist at ll.
Galbraith stated that poverty in America survives because people see only what they want to see. While people are bagging for food on the streets, wealthy people do not want to refuse from having delicious supper in the restaurant or the yard. The ones who possess a lot and have stable financial conddition and social status do not want to give up their lifestyles in order to share all they have with the poor. As the poverty is a problem of minority in the USA, rich people behave as if poverty does not exist at all because it does not exist for them. For instance, the issues of education and infrastructure development in low-income regions are being ignored by the society despite its obviousness. The dominant type of poverty in the USA is island poverty, which means that some ghettoes are marked with low-income citizens (Galbraith 234-243). American society is characterized by the absence of social balance and equal output of goods and services. It means that people should improve their interactions with each other in order to amend public sector and increase their financial wellbeing. Such aspects depend on infrastructure: many ghettoes do not have sufficient number of education institutions, which prevents low-income people from getting higher education that gives them opportunity to find the job and overcome poverty. While some areas do not have any educational establishments, there are many city districts full of various schools, colleges and universities. It provides some citizens with unequal educational opportunities. The educators are aware of such problem of ghettoes, but nothing is done to change the current situation. It is easier to develop infrastructure, public sector, and educational programs as these aspects do not require crucial changes in culture and economy of the country.
It may be concluded that Americans do not want to see poverty around them because they do not want to share their property or make efforts in order to improve the situation. Some problems of the American society are obvious because rich and poor people live side by side and interact with each other. The solution to poverty problems demands social reforms as well as numerous efforts of both the poor and the rich.