Social Stratification in America
Poverty can be defined as the lack of the most basic human needs due to the inability to afford them. These are nutrition, clean water, health care, education, shelter and clothing. There are two types of poverty, absolute poverty or destitution and relative poverty. Absolute poverty or destitution is the lack of these resources due to the inability to afford them while relative poverty is having lesser resources than other members of the same society are.
Poverty can also be termed as a state of mind or a lifestyle. This is where it is seen as not just a lack of resources but a state where people are insecure and deprived. The United Nations defines poverty as a denial of opportunities and choices, incapacitation from participation in the society, violation of human dignity and absence of enough food and clothing. In addition, as the lack of resources like schools and clinics, lack of an occupation, lack of land for cultivation, lack of access to credit, insecurity, lack of power, susceptibility to violence, marginalization and lack of clean water and sanitization.
In the world today, about three billion people live on less than two dollars a day. This is way below the poverty line. Almost a billion children in the world live in abject poverty and roughly 29,000 children died in 2003 before they reached the age of five years due to poverty. Escaping from poverty for the poor is the hardest part due to marginalization. This significant group is least represented in political and social activities and forums and thus their issues are never addressed. Therefore, it can be safe to say that the wealthier one is, the more their chances to access social and political resources and benefit from political and economic policies.
In America, 45 million people were living in poverty in the year 2009. The same year saw the largest increase in the poverty rate in America. America’s poverty growth rate is the third highest among developed nations. One out of every six Americans is utilizing at least one anti-poverty program instituted by the government.
The American government’s attempts to reduce poverty have not been successful this is mainly because of the politics behind the whole issue. The debate and blame game that exists between the Democrats and Republicans has greatly contributed to the efforts to alleviate poverty being meaningless. Both parties ignore the harsh economic policies that the Federal Reserve has been making Americans go through.
While concentrating on politics, both parties have also ignored the trade deficit that has grown significantly larger with time. The parties have also stood idly as great investments and American businesses have left the United States market. Americas spending has also increased while both parties grab each other by their throats. These are some of the reasons why the government’s attempts to reduce poverty have not been successful (Beeghley, 2010).
The federal government should create and formulate strategies on how to create investments, businesses and jobs and retain them, to provide employment for Americans. The government should also lay down procedures on creating jobs for the uneducated like manual labor to reduce poverty in America.
The government could also reduce the spending and concentrate on creation of resources to be utilized by the American citizen to build the economy. The federal government should also concentrate on formulating better policies that shall enable the American citizen access better sensitive and basic services like health care. The tax system in America should also be revised to favor the low-income earners to promote saving and lending. This shall promote investments and therefore build the economy.
Beeghley, L. (2010). Social stratification in America: a critical analysis of theory & research. Goodyear, AZ: Goodyear Pub. Co.
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