Poverty Research Paper, with Outline

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Poverty in America Outline

Introduction

Thesis: Over the years, the United States has embraced different approaches with an aim of reducing poverty in the nation and the efforts have been successful.

Body Paragraphs

Current Poverty Rate

  1. According to the latest US Census Bureau estimates on poverty, America’s poverty rate stands at 12.7% where approximately 43.1 Americans are living in abject poverty.
    1. Usually, in undertaking this studies on poverty, the researchers send a survey to households to ensure that homeless people are not included.
    2. The sample also excludes incarcerated individuals, and military personnel who do not live with at least one civilian adult.
  2. The poverty levels in the US and the income relative to the Federal Poverty Level fluctuate annually.
    1. In a 2016 survey, the Census Bureau reported that at least 18.5 million Americans were living in deep poverty.
    2. That is, they were surviving with a household income of below 50% of the poverty threshold.
    3. The individuals represented approximately 5.8% of all Americans and 45.6% of the individuals living in poverty.

The Role of the Government

  1. It is the role of government to fight poverty in any nation.
    1. The government works in connection with private organizations to fight poverty and other ills in the society.
    2. The fight against poverty and the role of government and private sector are embodied in three major paradigms
    3. One, enhancing the business condition by supporting macroeconomic adjustment and procedural, administrative, and lawful changes.
    4. Two, rebuilding general societal division by diverting open spending, and urging the private area to contend in the conveyance of financing of administrations.
    5. Three, transforming the budgetary segment by supporting the improvement of effective money related frameworks that prepare investment funds and channel them to the most profitable uses.

Strategies to Fight Poverty

  1. The US has been at the forefront in the fight against poverty.
    1. In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson issued a declaration on the war against poverty.
    2. During Obama’s administration, three weeks after he got into office, he signed a law that offered $100 billion to fund education.
    3. Obama renewed and rebuilt the concept of the American Dream by arguing that everyone, no matter who they are, deserve a chance to succeed.
    4. In the 2016 presidential campaigns, Donald Trump promised that he would work tirelessly to ensure that the rights of American workers are protected.
    5. The Obama administration fought against poverty through pushing the Recovery Act.
    6. For individuals that heavily depend on salaries and wages, the Federal tipped minimum wage of $2.13 per hour, especially women and people of color, whose struggle has been harder.
    7. Obama raised the minimum wage to $10.10 for all Federal contractors who work at poverty-level wages.
    8. Offering social support services through things such as food stamps, unemployment benefits, social security, and earned income tax credits.

Conclusion

Over the years, the US has embraced different approaches with an aim of reducing poverty in the nation and the efforts have been successful. The fights against poverty began with President Lyndon Johnson who declared a war against poverty. Later, other presidents that followed have used policies such as quality education for all, pushing for the Recovery Act, creating jobs and offering social support services.

Research Paper on Poverty

Introduction

Poverty is a common phenomenon in many countries. The most affected are developing countries, but that does not mean that developed nations have eliminated poverty entirely. Every government must increase the living standards of its people with the aim of bridging the gap that exists between the rich and the poor. Different parameters measure the poverty level of a nation as will be discussed in this paper, but the most common and one that the US embraces is the use of the ‘poverty threshold.’ Over the years, the United States has adopted different approaches aimed at reducing poverty among its citizens and the efforts have been successful.

Current Poverty Rate

According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau estimates on poverty, America’s poverty rate stands at 12.7%. This means approximately 43.1 million Americans are living in abject poverty (Macartney, Bishaw, & Fontenot, 2015). Usually, in conducting studies on poverty, researchers often send a survey to households to ensure that homeless people are not included. The sample also excludes incarcerated individuals and military personnel who do not live with at least one civilian adult.

The poverty levels of the U.S. and the income relative to the Federal Poverty Level fluctuate annually. In a 2016 survey, the Census Bureau reported that at least 18.5 million Americans were living in deep poverty (Kneebone & Holmes, 2016). In other terms, these people were surviving with a household income of below 50% of the poverty threshold. This number represented approximately 5.8% of all Americans and 45.6% of the individuals living in poverty.

The official measure of poverty in the U.S. is largely determined by whether or not the cash income of a given household can help it adequately meet its basic needs. This means the health of the country’s labor markets and its poverty rate are strongly connected. “While U.S. unemployment declined 1.6 percentage points from 2014 to 2015, earnings and wages remained flat, especially for those near the bottom” (Stevens & Page, n.d.). The situation is especially dire for the bottom fifth of workers in the country, those whose wages are mostly less than $10 per hour. For such workers, it would not be possible to make enough to keep one’s family out of poverty even if one works full time all year round.

The Role of the Government

It is the role of the government to fight poverty in any nation. The government works in connection with private organizations to fight poverty and other ills in society. The fight against poverty and the role the government and the private sector play are embodied in three significant paradigms. As outlined by Karnani (2016), one of these paradigms is the enhancement of business conditions by supporting macroeconomic adjustment and procedural, administrative, and lawful changes. Second is rebuilding general societal division by diverting open spending, and urging the private sector to actively participate in the conveyance of financing of administrations. Third is transforming the budgetary segment by supporting the improvement of favorable money-related frameworks that prepare investment funds and channel them to the most profitable uses.

Strategies to Fight Poverty

The U.S. has been at the forefront in the fight against poverty. In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson issued a declaration on the war against poverty. At the time, the country had not instituted approaches aimed at eradicating poverty other than public education. However, President Johnson put in place several programs that would fight poverty or avoid it. Since Americans do not like the culture of offering money to non-disabled individuals, the struggle by the American government has been to provide enough cash and other benefits to the poor to ensure that they attain self-sufficiency and get a foot on the ladder to success.

There exists a positive correlation between poverty and lack of quality education. During Obama’s administration, three weeks after he got into office, he signed a law that provided for $100 billion education funding (McGuinn, 2016). Although most of this money went to helping low-income and special needs learners, a considerable part of it also went into instituting educational reforms. Throughout his administration, Obama renewed and rebuilt the concept of the American Dream by arguing that everyone, no matter who they are, deserve a chance to succeed. The funding of the public school system was one way through which he aimed at fulfilling the promise and the dreams of many American children.

Lack of employment opportunities is yet another huge problem for poor Americans. During the 2016 presidential campaigns, President Donald Trump promised that he would work tirelessly to ensure that the rights of American workers are protected. He also promised well-paying jobs and high-quality jobs with the aim of increasing Americans’ living standards and reducing poverty. After election into office, he has gone a long way into fulfilling these promises and ensuring Americans work in decent jobs and are well paid.

The Obama administration fought against poverty by putting in place the Recovery Act. Five years down the line, Americans see an increase in job growth and a 5% drop in unemployment rates. Through the Act, Obama stimulated growth, provided aid to states and invested immensely in infrastructure. For instance, by saving the auto industry, the former president saved at least two million jobs and cushioned an entire region against severe depression. In 2015, the benefits of recovery were felt by most Americans with a massive decline in poverty rates due to improvements in the labor market.

Despite claims by pundits and policymakers, a majority of the poor are employees, and their wages and salaries are their primary source of income. The problem is that their salaries and wages are too low to help them sufficiently meet their needs. It has been argued and supported that these people are full-time employees, but they do not make enough money to support a single person, much less a family. For individuals who heavily depend on salaries and wages, the federal government tipped a minimum wage of $2.13 per hour. This has especially been directed towards helping women and people of color, whose struggle has been harder.

Noteworthy, the U.S. Congress had failed to offer a federal minimum wage for a long time before Obama’s administration. Therefore, Obama heavily relied on an execution plan rather than enforcement. His first step was to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for all federal contractors who work at poverty-level wages. In the process, some states also increased their minimum wages which meant that there would be a general increase in salary and a decrease in low-wage employees. On employment, the U.S. government has worked tirelessly to enforce and update labor standards, end irregular scheduling, provide paid sick and family leaves, and offer a sturdy safety net.

The support for social welfare programs by the American government has gone a long way in improving the lives of many poor Americans. Here, social support services refer to things such as food stamps, unemployment benefits, social security, and earned income tax credits (Kasperkevic, 2014). There have been people who have questioned the credibility of these services and whether or not they are effective. However, as explained by Kasperkevic (2014), these social services have played a significant role in the reduction of poverty among American citizens.

Conclusion

Over the years, the United States has embraced different approaches aimed at poverty reduction and the efforts have largely been successful. The fight against poverty began with President Lyndon Johnson who declared a war against the problem. Later on, other presidents that followed have continued to use policies such as quality education for all, pushing for the Recovery Act, creating jobs, and offering social support services. As such, the efforts of the American government in the fight against poverty are evident.

References

Karnani, A. (2016). Fighting poverty together: Rethinking strategies for business, governments, and civil society to reduce poverty. New York, NY: Springer.

Kneebone, E., & Holmes, N. (2016). “U.S. concentrated poverty in the wake of the great recession”. Brookings. Retrieved May 28, 2020 from https://www.brookings.edu/research/u-s-concentrated-poverty-in-the-wake-of-the-great-recession/

Kasperkevic, J. (2014). “Welfare programs shown to reduce poverty in America”. The Guardian. Retrieved May 28, 2020 from https://www.theguardian.com/money/us-money-blog/2014/nov/12/social-welfare-programs-food-stamps-reduce-poverty-america

Macartney, S., Bishaw, A., & Fontenot, K. (2015). Poverty rates for selected detailed race and Hispanic groups by state and place: 2007-2011. US Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Amininistration, US Census Bureau, 2013.

McGuinn, P. (2016). From no child left behind to the every student succeeds act: Federalism and the education legacy of the Obama administration. Publius: The Journal of Federalism46(3), 392-415.

Stevens, A. H., & Page, M. (n.d.). “How to reduce poverty in the United States”. Center for Poverty Research. Retrieved May 28, 2020 from https://poverty.ucdavis.edu/post/how-reduce-poverty-united-states

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