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Poverty in America

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Essay title: Poverty in America


The issue of poverty in the United States seems to lie on the grounds of race education and family structure. As expected I found that educational levels paralleled poverty levels. Unexpected , research was found to prove that race did in fact play a substantial role in poverty. Family structure along with other influential factors either locked an individual into poverty or provided a means for escape from the continuing cycle. Other factors contributing to poverty was the location of homes or neighborhoods and the accessibility to better paying jobs.


It’s hard to believe in a country as wealthy as the United States, that we have the problem of poverty. Poverty has not become a recent problem of our nation. Legislators, scientists and those impoverished have long searched for the end of the poverty cycle. The fact is that poverty does seem to be an inherited trait. Almost as if we are living in a caste system, unable to move up and out of our class. One of the main factors contributing to poverty is education, or the lack of education.

Poverty in General

Poverty is seen differently through the eyes of others. Poverty to a billionaire could mean living in a three bedroom home in a suburb, where the average inner city family could only dream of having such a home. The rich tend to think of education as a right, where others drop of school to help support the family or watch siblings. Family structure is also am important aspect in poverty. Celebrities make single motherhood appear to be a breeze, where as poverty inhibits all aspects that allows the single mother/father to succeed. It is proven that all three factors: family structure, education, and race all make their own contribution that enables the poverty cycle to continue.

Poverty in Education

Education is the most important tool that can be used to escape poverty. Many impoverished families survive because of government programs and assistance. Some argue that welfare “adversely influences child’s education attainment”, and can cause “serious damage “ to their “self esteem and their sense of control”(Ku, 247). Teacher bias towards impoverished individuals could also factor heavily on the academic performances of a child. Disadvantaged students are seen as being “ discriminated against by teachers” (Dotts, 53).

Poverty and Family Structure

Family structure is important for developing stability for a child. Its is also a factor in the way a child will themselves feel about the institution of marriage. Likewise, children from ‘non-normal’ households are more likely to develop ‘nonnormative’ attitudes towards family life. The divorce rates among the impoverished are higher than those of other classes. Higher than that are the divorce rates of African-Americans of the impoverished class. Rector states that “blacks have higher poverty rates, mainly because blacks have lower marriage rates”(Rector, 27 ).

Poverty and Race

Race is commonly associated with poverty. It was found that “black and Hispanic family income has been approximately 60 percent of white median family income. Interestingly it was also discovered that their net worth was approximately one-tenth that of whites”(Squires

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