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About 46.2 million Americans (15.0 percent) lived below the poverty line ($23,201 for a family of four in 2011) and the poverty rate for children under 6 in the U.S. was 24.5 percent.
Median household income continues to decline; in 2011, it dropped by 1.5 percent to $50,054 compared to 2010 and 8.7 percent lower than 2007. The vicious cycles of poverty mentioned before mean that lifelong handicaps and troubles that are passed on from one generation to another. To name just a few of these hereditary plagues: no school or education, child labor to help the parents, lack of basic hygiene, transmission of diseases.
Unemployment and very low incomes create an environment where kids can't simply go to school. As for those who can actually go to school, they simply don't see how hard work can improve their life as they see their parents fail at the task every day.
Along with simply the inability to acquire everyday necessities such as food, water, clothing, and shelter Concentration of poverty is important because researchers have found that living in areas with many other poor people places burdens on low-income families beyond what the families' own individual circumstances would dictate.
Results in higher crime rates, under performing public schools, poor housing and health conditions, as well as limited access to private services and job opportunities. Poverty is a major cause of social tensions and threatens to divide a nation because of the issue of inequalities, in particular income inequality. This happens when wealth in a country is poorly distributed among its citizens. The primary cause of poverty in the United States stems from societal structuring, social or racial grouping and stereotyping, isolation from social interactions and opportunities, lack of knowledge, employment skills, education and resources.
Failure of the job market to provide a proper amount of jobs which pay enough to keep families out of poverty.
Low minimum wage, combined with part-time jobs which offer no benefits, have contributed to the labor market's inability to produce enough jobs which can keep a family out of poverty. Resolving the dilemma of poverty in the United States is much more than just a moral issue, it is a smart, economical, long term investment. The return on investing in the eradication of poverty would be more socially cost effective than the current system which primarily addresses the results, or symptoms of poverty, rather than the causes. In order to reduce poverty, effective policies must be put in place which address the underlying issues, thereby creating opportunities for the poor to improve their quality of life, and giving them the means to do so.
1. Job Creation: In order to reduce the poverty rate, the jobs created must pay middle class wages. Minimum wage job creation may help to lower the unemployment rate, but these jobs don't lift families out of the depths of poverty.
2. Job Training: Individuals who rely on government services and public assistance need job training programs that match workers with emerging enterprises in need of qualified employees.
3. Education: The school system needs to train students to compete in high-demand fields, like math and science.
Creating new jobs will clearly reduce unemployment and help to improve poverty, but did we think about this..?
Where are these jobs coming from?
Who is paying for these new jobs?
Are current workers going to lose money?
Education is the best long-term solution. 10 Poorest Cities in America City, State, % of People Below the Poverty Level
1. Detroit , MI 32.5%
2. Buffalo , NY 29.9%
3. Cincinnati , OH 27.8%
4. Cleveland , OH 27.0%
5. Miami , FL 26.9%
6. St. Louis , MO 26.8%
7. El Paso , TX 26.4%
8. Milwaukee , WI 26.2%
9. Philadelphia , PA 25.1%
10. Newark , NJ 24.2%
What do the top ten cities (over 250,000) with the highest poverty rate all have in common?
Detroit, MI (1st on the poverty rate list) hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1961
Buffalo, NY (2nd) hasn't elected one since 1954
Cincinnati, OH -(3rd) since 1984
Cleveland, OH -(4th) since 1989
Miami, FL - (5th) has never had a Republican mayor
St. Louis, MO - (6th) since 1949
El Paso, TX - (7th) has never had a Republican mayor
Milwaukee , WI -(8th) since 1908
Philadelphia, PA -(9th) since 1952
Newark, NJ -(10th) since 1907 1. NORTH DAKOTA: 3.5
2. NEBRASKA: 4.4
3. SOUTH DAKOTA: 4.7
4. NEW HAMPSHIRE: 5.4
5. VERMONT: 5.6
6. IOWA: 5.9
7. WYOMING: 6.0
8. OKLAHOMA: 6.2
9. VIRGINIA: 6.2
10. MINNESOTA: 6.4 Unemployment Rates for States Annual Average Rankings Year: 2011 The U.S. poverty rate is now the third worst among the developed nations tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The number of Americans on food stamps surpassed 41 million for the first time ever in June.
One out of every six Americans is now being served by at least one government anti-poverty program.
The number of Americans receiving long-term unemployment benefits has risen over 60 percent in just the past year.
According to one recent survey, 28% of all U.S. households have at least one member that is looking for a full-time job.