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Assignment #2: Poverty Rates

806 words - 4 pages

The Census Bureau reports that the poverty rate for the state of Kentucky is 18.6%. The Census Bureau reports that the rate for Montgomery County is 25.4%. I decided to take my research a step further and look up Mount Sterling and I learned that the poverty rate is 29.3%. After learning the rates I believe my county and city are doing worse than the state of Kentucky is. The poverty rates for Montgomery and Mount Sterling were higher than the state alone.

The textbook gives a few meanings of the term poverty. The book breaks down poverty into two different types. The first type is absolute poverty and the book defines this as a poverty that is based on a fixed level of resources or “threshold”. In simple terms, this is the level of poverty for people who don’t have enough resources to care for their household so they must rely on TANF, EBT or food stamps. Absolute poverty could explain the reason why the rates are high for both Montgomery County and Mount Sterling over the state of Kentucky.

The textbook also discusses relative poverty and that is defined as a poverty being based on comparison. The text explains that relative poverty is an individual whose situation is disadvantaged to someone else’s. An example of this poverty would be Maria being classified as poor compared to a group of wealthy women but due to Maria’s job and family support she is more advantaged than someone who is on TANF or food stamps. This could also explain the discrepancy in the poverty rates because there are people who live in the county who are classified as being in poverty because of comparison.

In the United States, we tend to attribute poverty to individual flaws such as laziness, intemperance or inability to defer gratification. (Barusch, 2006, pg. 125) I believe it’s a sad thing at how quick some people automatically believe laziness is the reason for a person’s poverty. I am not saying that statement is 100% false but I am saying is that is not always true. There are some people who are ashamed to be a poverty level and they work hard to get above it but sadly it doesn’t work out that way for some. I also believe sudden job loss can contribute to poverty as well. A person...

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