Poverty In The States hyerim park

“If you look at the studies of poverty, most poor people in this country have computers, have big screen TVs, have cars, have air conditioning. This myth that there are kids who don’t have anything to eat is a total lie." - Bill O'Reilly

Humanosphere disagrees, saying that "... it is hard not to see O’Reilly as someone who is either grossly misinformed or willfully misleading his audience."

As of 2015, the estimated percentage of US households who are food insecure is 12.7%, which is approximately 15.8 million households (one in eight). As of 2015, there were 43.1 million people living in poverty.

According to worldhunger.org, there are three main reasons for poverty in the US: "poverty in the world; the operation of the political and economic system in the United States which has tended to keep people from poor families poor, and, to a lesser extent, actual physical and behavioral issues among some people who are poor."

In other words, the reasons why people are poor is just that corporations move to countries with more widespread poverty issues because the cost of working in such locations would be lower, that the political system is not focused on the fundamental concerns of poor people, but on other things... And that sometimes, some people are just not in a situation where they are qualified to work - that they are, for all intents and purposes, "unemployable".

But regardless of reason, poverty exists.

Research shows that there are 1.5 million American households surviving on less than $2 per person per day, and about half of these households don't have access to public benefits like welfare and food stamps.

There are extremely important programs in place that act as safety nets, including but not limited to: SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program), WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children), the National School Lunch Program, Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), and Medicaid/Medicare.

Besides these programs, there's also minimum wage.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, although many states (and DC) have a higher amount. The main complaint with the minimum wage is that it is most often not enough to raise entire families out of poverty.

In 2014, the official US poverty level for a family of four was $24,008. With a 40 hour week, a family of 4 with one minimum wage earner working 52 weeks a year (usually with no paid vacation) would earn $15,080.

In addition to all of this, minimum wage wasn't indexed for inflation, meaning it's value has dropped over the years.

But knowing all of this will do us no good unless we figure out a solution.

Tianna Gaines-Turner, a child-care worker from Philadelphia, has three suggestions that she presented to Congress.

She says that America must "Provide living wages and family-oriented labor policies" - meaning that companies should no longer be able to take advantage of disadvantaged people by hiring them part-time so they don't have to pay for health benefits and sick leave.

She also thinks that people should be investing in a safety net that supports and promotes economic mobility - nutrition, housing, and health care assistance programs should stay active.

Gaines-Turner also believes that "the most important thing that Congress can do is to create a system where people who are poor can work together to create their own solutions to poverty." She believes that we should invest in community solutions to poverty, that poor people should have official positions on community and state advisory boards.

Created By
Hyerim Park
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