persistence of poverty

persistence of poverty - Connor Billing Povertys...

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Connor Billing 4/13/2010 Poverty’s Persistence Poverty is a topic much disputed among people of this world today, and the citizens of the United States of America are no different. The concept of poverty is constantly argued, and what could possibly be done to decrease poverty levels in our country. Some experts will argue that poverty isn’t really persistent in America, but this begs the question, what does “persistent” really mean, and what is “poverty”? In the book The Persistence of Poverty in America by Mangum, Mangum, and Sum, they argue that poverty is persistent in America, and some of what they say is supported by arguments and statistics from different websites. Despite the facts in the book and on websites, there is still sufficient evidence against the belief that poverty in America is persistent. In order to argue the persistence of poverty in America, one needs to understand what factors into poverty being persistent and why some believe this is true, and finally, in my opinion, what this means about poverty in America. Putting persistence and poverty in the same sentence, if affirmative, can never really be good, but what does it really mean? Persistence can be defined as “continued existence or occurrence (Dictionary.com). Poverty is defined, in one case, as “ the state or condition of having little or no money, goods, or means of support; condition of being poor; indigence” (Dictionary.com) Really only the definition of persistence can be taken into account in this case. I realize that dictionary.com might define poverty in words, but in my opinion, it is really a very relative term that is different for each and every person. The government has its own definition of poverty in America, it being “a lack of nutritious food, adequate warm housing, and clothing for a family,” but given this definition there would not be as many “poor” people in America (Rector). I find it really hard to believe in a written universal definition of poverty, because poverty is so relative. In the year 2009 the poverty threshold for the average American family (four people, two parents and two kids), was an annual income of $21,756 (U.S Census Bureau). This number seems very low, but that is because it is relative to American incomes. Many of the citizens of other countries in the world would love to have this type of
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income, but in America anything below this income level deems you to be in poverty. Given that these thresholds are calculated depending on the Orshansky method, many life expenses are not directly taken into account when calculating the thresholds (Fisher). Obviously other sources of income are not taken into account such as non-cash benefits and un-reported incomes, but despite what some sources
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This note was uploaded on 09/20/2011 for the course HON 181 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '09 term at Miami University.

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persistence of poverty - Connor Billing Povertys...

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