Poverty in America


Poverty denotes the state of affairs where there are no ways of managing to pay for crucial human requirements which include food, clean water, schooling, clothes, physical condition’s care, and shelter. ‘Relative poverty’ dissimilar from the general definition of poverty; is the being in possession of a short supply of income or wealth, as compared to other individuals within the community, countries; or societies on a global scale.

It is of important to note that prior to industrial revolution, approximately 1.7 billion people worldwide lived in poverty. In order to reduce poverty rates, more resources should be made available to those people who are poorly positioned to afford them; by raising economic growth through increased levels of production. It can be argued that, scarcity of resources is caused by countries producing very little and as a result making wealth inadequate. Additionally, poor agricultural technologies lead to food shortages which together with the high cost of living; contribute to poverty. It can be said that, poverty levels are experienced in schooling, health, shelter, hostility and drug abuse (Windham 35).

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It should be noted that, a decade of strong nationwide economic expansion in the 1990s left a large American populations struggling behind medium nationwide actions of fiscal health. In this case, despite the extensive ventures in transportation and civic services infrastructures, the country’s local expansion patterns are becoming more irregular. Based on this, there is increasing income dissimilarity; and a rising number of societies falling behind the nationwide fiscal standards. Importantly, there are high rates of joblessness; labor participation rates have decreased and most communities are depending on the administration.

From this it can be argued that, women, children, black Americans, single-parent folks and the aged are the victims of poverty in America. It is of important to note that, most victims of poverty are found in Los Angeles, California and Michigan among others; where there are scarce job prospects and communities with a low number of successful means of fiscal improvement (Windham 35).

It can be said that, capitalism in America has contributed to a greater extent of increase in poverty levels. It can be argued that, the world’s richest people like Bill Gates live in America while there are other many people who go without foods. In this case, most of the middle class Americans are being sucked into poverty because of capitalism. Based on this it can be argued that, capitalism is a thing of the rich leaving behind the poor.

It is of important to note that, most of the social amenities are provided to the developed areas as a result of capitalism. For instance in the capitalist world; there are high chances of employment and good, adequate health care programs. On the other hand, since each person is working for his own gain, there is a stiff competition for the available resources resulting to those who have fewer resources ending up being poor, since they cannot improve their resources. When this happens, there are high rates of crime, illiteracy and poor quality health programs (Riis 6, 41, 59).

It can also be said that, capitalism has led to corruption where those who have; want to increase their wealth at the expense of the poor by exploiting them in terms of wages and market prices. In this case, the laborers who are mostly the blacks are paid lowly; but the prices of the produced goods are increased raising the cost of living. On the other hand, since the lower class stay in specific areas in American cities, the social amenities in these areas are poor because of corruption resulting to poor health conditions. As the costs of living increase and wages remain low, the low class Americans is unable to educate their children which result into child labor and high levels of illiteracy among them (Rector et al. 2).

On the other hand it can be said that, racism, nepotism and ethnicity have contributed a lot to the high rates of poverty in America. In this case, the blacks are discriminated and hence are not employed in white collar jobs. In this case, the blacks work in those areas which are health hazardous like at chemical industries and flower plantations, among others. Based on this, a good example is the consequences of the Hurricane Katrina where most African-Americans were left to feed themselves in New Orleans.

In this case, the reason as to why these people were left without food and drugs; is obviously because they belonged to an inferior race. It can be argued that, racism reduces the number of social amenities provided to a given population making, them lag behind. In this case, if education is not sufficiently provided to the blacks or it is extremely expensive; very few children will get educated which will result to illiteracy hence further poverty. As a matter of fact, when the blacks realize that they are discriminated, they fight the whites by turning into crime within society (Rector et al. 25-32).


It can be argued that, capitalism and racism both contribute to poverty increase in America. Based on this, in both cases the victims are the blacks who end up being the poorest in America. In this case it can be argued that, capitalism causes poverty through economic aspects like lowering wage levels and raising costs of living; while racism causes poverty through the lack of cultural and national integration. From this it can be argued that, these two factors have caused increased levels of poverty in America.

As a matter of fact it can be said that racism is the prime cause of poverty, since the blacks are discriminated in every aspect of life; making them deprived of national resources and social amenities (Karpinos 300).

Works cited

Karpinos, Bernard. Journal of the American Statistical Association, Vol. 57, No. 300 (1962), pp. 336-364.

Rector, Robert. and Hederman, Rea Jr. “The Role of Parental Work in Child Poverty.” Heritage Foundation Center for Data Analysis Report No. CDA03-01, 2003:25-32.

Rector, Robert. and Fagan, Patrick. “The Continuing Good News about Welfare Reform.” Heritage Foundation Backgrounder. No. 1620, 2003: 2.

Riis, Jacob. “How the Other Half Lives”. New York: Dover Press. 1971: 6, 41, 59.

Windham Connecticut et al. “Nutrient Density of Diets in the USDA Nationwide Food Consumption Survey, 1977-1978: Impact of Socioeconomic Status on Dietary Density.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association. (1983): 35.

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