Poverty is determined by the amount of income that is produced by a family prior to taxes; if this amount is below the threshold determined by the government then they are considered poor (Schriver, 2011). Poverty refers to individuals who are at the bottom of the income distribution and they are unable to provide themselves with the basic necessities to maintain a healthy life. Schriver (2011) stated that poverty is experience more in African Americans than in White Americans and that 91 percent verses 52.6 percent will experience some type of poverty throughout their lifetime. According to Schriver (2011) poverty is as a direct result of obstacles that prevent an individual from obtaining a good education, maintaining optimal health throughout one’s lifetime, access to resources and subjected to violence and abuse (Schriver, 2011). This point of view has been confirmed through results that show poverty is more prevalent as it relates to single-parent families, racial inequalities, economic insecurity and infant mortality (Schriver, 2011).
According to Schiller (2008) public opinion polls show that Americans consider poverty as one of the most important issues facing the nation and is perceived as getting worse every year. However, the present attitudes of Americans toward poverty is best described as undecided and that polls reveal the 70-80 percent believe that anyone who is poor can overcome poverty by working hard (Schiller, 2008).
The purpose of this paper will be to discuss the issues with poverty and if the poor are to blame for being poor. The conservative perspective will be utilized to show how the poor are perceived and whether this perspective continues to oppress the marginalized population or helps them.
The conservative perspective is more traditional in values, believe in small government and hold a capitalistic belief. Conservatives believe in capitalism and the freedom to keep wealth without regulation (Jansson, 2012). They believe that unregulated capitalism will produce prosperity because the wealth will trickle down to the lower socio-economic classes. This trickle down theory states that tax breaks for the wealthy will free up more money to invest, hire, spend on luxury items that will impact the other classes by creating economic growth (Jansson, 2012). Conservatives believed that individuals, families, churches and other private organizations could take care of the needy and did not want government to intercede. Conservatives were often able to block social reforms by rejecting the availability of resources (Jansson, 2012). They were able to accomplish by blocking financial resources through cutting taxes, so that funding would not be available for social programs (Jansson, 2012). An example to blocking financial resource would be to support costly projects, such as military programs and this in turn would limit resource available to fund social programs (Jansson, 2012)....