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Bridging The Gap Essay

1113 words - 5 pages

“Poverty is the worst form of violence.” Mahatma Gandhi’s words still ring true in today’s society. Poverty is nothing to sweep under the rug or put on the back burner. While many statistics state that poverty is decreasing, other sources state the opposite. Poverty is a hot topic in the U.S., foreign countries, and speaks true about many genders, ethnic groups, and children.
Poverty is present in today’s U.S. social system. For example, as Lesser states in the Clearinghouse Review, “Forty-six million Americans live in poverty” (1). Lesser then goes on to say how forty-six million Americans living in poverty correlates to almost one in every three single-parent families is poor (1). This is a daunting fact as it applies to today’s economic context with “rising unemployment rates and mortgage crises driving more individuals and families to seek the support of a cash-strapped social welfare structure” (Grijalva 1). With this in mind, many legislators are discussing the topic of poverty in the political realm. In order to tally the score of representatives the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law conducted its sixth annual Poverty Scorecard. “The 2012 Poverty Scorecard grades the voting record of every U.S. senator and representative on the most important poverty-related votes in 2012” (Lesser 1). The 2012 votes covered a range of topics such as budget and tax, food and nutrition, health care, housing, and many more (1). The results of the 2012 Poverty Scorecard showed some eye opening results about poverty. “95 percent of senators and 92 percent of the representatives were at one extreme or the other” (2). This means that senators and representatives were either extremely for or against the fight against poverty. The Scorecard also found another interesting fact. “An inverse correlation exists between a state’s poverty levels and the voting record of its congressional delegation. Members with poor records in voting to fight poverty tended to come from states with higher levels of poverty whereas members with good records tended to come from states with lower levels of poverty” (2).
Poverty not only exists in the U.S., but also around the world. To illustrate, poverty is an issue of debate in England. To illustrate, in 2012, Iain Duncan Smith, work and pensions secretary called for a new way of measuring poverty (Giles, “New Ways to Gauge Poverty” 1). He goes on to state, “Official figures showed the largest one-year drop in middle incomes since 1981” (1). Smith calls for a new way to gauge poverty due to the fact that “The government’s poverty line is linked to median income, so as the average salary has declined there are fewer people considered below the breadline” (1). On the other side of the scale, many people state that many families on welfare benefits are fine. For instance, “80 percent of recipients did not regularly run out of money, 71 percent had not had a period of “real anxiety” over money, and that...

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