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Poverty is a situation whereby one lacks a usual amount of money or material possessions. There are many faces of poverty in the United States of America currently. There are middle aged men with pleading faces on the street begging for food, there are young children at school with anxious faces who depends on free school lunch as the only real meal for the day, there is a sad face of a single mother who doesn’t have money to buy clothes for her children and there is face of a frustrated young man who is unable to pay rent due to the little pay they get from minimum wage jobs. The number of people who are not able to access medical care is also a notable aspect that poverty is a key issue in America.
The federal government measures poverty by use numbers. In 2007, the government established a federal poverty line of $ 16,530 for a three member family and $ 21,203 for a family of four members. A family is classified as poor if it makes less than the amounts mentioned annually. A research conducted in 2006 by U.S census bureau found out that 12.3 of all the Americans were living in poverty. Though poverty in the United States is getting worse every day, very little is being done about it. Many people are willing to help those in needs but no one knows exactly how to help them. The main reason why people may not action is because they lack information that is provided about issues on poverty. The media is not stressing the issues of poverty to inform the Americans about the problems which the country is undergoing.
Poverty has affected the United States negatively to some to large extent; Children who grow up in poverty suffer more health problems as compared to those who grow under better financial circumstances. The birth weight of infants who are born into poverty is usually low and this is related to physical disabilities. Besides being sickly, these children are also likely to die before their first birthdays. Poverty is also associated with violence in families. Included is child and elderly abuse. As compared to middle- class families, poor families are said to experience much more stress. These families are exposed to financial uncertainties besides a series of negative events which include illness, depression criminal victimization and even family death.
According to Extreme poverty leads to homelessness which carries with it strong sets of risks to families among them including children. Homeless children are less likely to receive to be given proper nutrition and immunization and this makes them to experience more health problems. The black underclass in the United States has been rendered jobless due to poverty. These African-Americans are trapped in inner-city ghettos and majorly depend on welfare organizations. Many of the industries which previously offered employment to the black working class have closed down while newer industries have relocated to suburbs. The rate of unemployment for the blacks who live in the inner-city because most urban jobs usually require advanced education.
There are many sociological theories that try to explain the causes of poverty. One of the theories of poverty states that the choice of individuals may contribute to poor economic circumstances. Example an individual does not seek advanced educational training decides to take a low paying job. Another system theory of poverty states that poor infrastructure in certain parts may result in poverty. The quality of education may be inadequate in certain regions which puts those citizens at a disadvantage when it comes to securing higher paying, skilled jobs. Access to basic needs may also become limited due to poor economic conditions. A good example is the poverty history in the southern parts of the United States which has traditionally lacked industries which can offer good payment.