Sample Critical Thinking On Poverty In The United States
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Poverty is everywhere. Poverty is a cycle. Poverty affects a person, a state, or a country. The United States of America is part of the poverty cycle. Every individual in the United States needs to understand poverty. An individual can not understand poverty unless he sees it or he belongs to the poverty line. The government and public or private agencies seek to educate and to promote remedies to stop poverty. Poverty does not hit equally in all demographics. A study shows that socioeconomic status or SES and health are associated with poverty. The complexity of race, ethnicity, immigration, and health affect the level of poverty in the United States. Another study shows that social and economic costs influence poverty. It quantifies the overall costs to the United States society of the children who grow up in the line of poverty. The principal cause of child poverty is the absence of the married father in the home or happy marriage. Marriage is the strongest anti-poverty weapon; however, it is declining. Consequently, children suffer because poverty and welfare dependence is increasing. In the United States, poverty is one of the serious issues the government faces. In breaking the cycle of poverty, it is necessary to strengthen marriage; to develop a thorough understanding of poverty through a broad campaign of public education and health in low-income areas; and to appeal welfare programs in providing alternative work to the unemployed parents to have financial stability.
The two particular articles found at the National Poverty Center website, entitled: (1) Poverty, Migration and Health; and (2) The Economic Costs of Poverty in the United States: Subsequent Effects of Children Growing Up Poor described the significant aspects of poverty in the United States. The two significant aspects of poverty are financial issue and power.
First, financial issue or money aspect is the most common means of measuring poverty. In the poverty lines, money is the issue; it measures the absolute and relative poverty in the family incomes and its affordability. However, the scarcity of money is the core symptom of poverty. The poorest families have no income, they have no ability to have assets. While assets are the key to creating wealth, wherein wealth can break the poverty cycle. The economic conditions of the family impact the lives of the children, affecting the material and social resource availability. The parental emotional well-being, parental styles and quality of schools attended are affected because of poverty. Poverty affects the outcomes of the later life of the children, and it leads to sufferings in the society and the country as a whole. The lost earnings of every family impact on poor health.
Second, the power aspect leads to poverty. The poor families, especially those low-income families suffer from environmental health risks in urban areas. Poor families suffer from illnesses that are associated with lack of clean water, poor sanitation, and overcrowded living environments. The poorest families suffer from dysfunctions, they are the least able to influence how the cities are governed accordingly. In the United States, the poor families or people have higher rates of illness, disability, and death than the counterparts economically. Consistently, the data show a larger literature on health and status. The Socioeconomic Status or SES that is measured by education, income, wealth, or occupation, is the strongest determinants of health variation. In most cities in the formal structure and culture of governance, it tends to exclude the poor people from decision-making. The counterparts of the poor people tend to focus their decision-making with the small number of elite groups in the society. In addition, information is under the poverty of power. The poor families lack access to information. Even though the information is available, poor families can not access and the information is not understandable.
Among the three theoretical perspectives, considering the two particular articles, the conflict perspective demonstrates the most than the functionalist and symbolic interactionist perspectives. The conflict perspective focuses on the changing nature of society and the negative effect of poverty. It has a clear demonstration of potential inequality in economic, status, health, and accessibility. The inequality of the poor families and its counterparts have conflicts in values and agendas. The conflicts have caused constant competition that leads to the basis of the changing nature of society.
Henslin, J. M. (2013). Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach (12th ed.). Pearson.
Holzer, H. J., Schanzenbach, D. W., Duncan, G. J., & Ludwig, J. (2007, January). The Economic Costs of Poverty in the United States: Subsequent Effects of Children Growing Up Poor. National Poverty Center Working Paper Series, 7(4), 1-37. Retrieved January 30, 2015, from http://npc.umich.edu/publications/u/working_paper07-04.pdf
Rector, R. (2010, September). Marriage: America’s Greatest Weapon Against Child Poverty. The Heritage Foundation, 2465, 1-16. Retrieved January 30, 2015, from http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/09/Marriage-America-s-Greatest-Weapon-Against-Child-Poverty
Williams, D. R., & Mohammed, S. A. (2006, June). Poverty, Migration and Health. National Poverty Center Working Paper Series, 6(16), 1-51. Retrieved January 30, 2015, from http://www.npc.umich.edu/publications/workingpaper06/paper16/working_paper06-16.pdf
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