The distribution of wealth and income is highly unequal in the American society.
Paul Samuelson, the economist, said: “If we made an income pyramid out of a child’s blocks, with each layer portraying $500 of income, the peak would be far higher than Mount Everest, but most people would be within a few feet of the ground” (Samuelson and Nordhaus 2005, as cited in Henslin, 2009, p. 199).
Why poverty continues to exist in the United States?
Have government attempts to reduce poverty been successful?
What are some things the federal government could do to help individuals and families improve their socioeconomic status?
The official measure of poverty calculated to include incomes that are less than three times a low-cost food budget (Henslin, 2009, p. G6). The poverty line is the level income that the government considers sufficient to meet basic requirements of clothing, food, and shelter. In 2007, the U.S. Census Bureau said that in 2007, 37.3 million people lived in poverty (Policy Debate Topic, 2009-2010).
Who are the poor?
1. 59 million Americans live in rural areas. Therefore, people who live in rural areas have a higher chance of poverty than people who live in urban areas.
2. The rural poor are less educated and they have more chance to find one-parent families and large-size families.
3. In rural areas, there is a high unemployement and work tend to be seasonal and people get low wages.
The Cycle of Poverty
1. Poor family with young children
2. They have less money for survival
3. Children drop out of school
4. Teenagers have more chance to bear children at a young age
5. Families have more children