Inequities In Access To Quality Programs: A Detrimental Factor In Continued Strife Within The Urban Underclass

2494 words - 10 pages

The socioeconomic status for those who are impoverished in the United States is inherently poor and has not seen marked improvements over the last 30 years. Rather the situation has grown increasingly dire with continued and extreme inequities. Communities within the urban setting suffer from poverty levels much greater than those in rural communities. Mona Scott (2012), explains that minority groups suffer from the effects of the inequity of poverty. African American communities experience an unemployment rate of 15 percent, whereas white communities have an unemployment rate of 10 percent (p. 177). Great strides must be taken in order to reverse the negative effects of poverty overall, and the magnified negative impact poverty has in the urban community. Since the early 1980’s, there has been a steady decline in the overall welfare within the urban condition. According to Paul Peterson (1991), in 1964 President Lyndon Johnson waged a “War on Poverty” passing legislation with a strong vision of ending poverty. Conversely, the war was funded with little monetary allotments and feasted on an ideology of social community support and few sporadic ineffective educational and employment training programs. This vision based on a renewed national pride was honorable, the poverty level in the United States was at its lowest in recorded history sitting at 11 percent (p. 619). However honorable the intent was at the time, the only demographic the welfare policies had a long term positive effect on the elderly population was. The availability of affordable medical access and monetary support has allowed for sustained low poverty rates amongst the elderly (p. 619). The lack of sustainable long term strategies, effective in lowering the effects of poverty, and substantially alleviating the effects of poverty within the urban underclass, have not yet been realized. There is a lack of assistance programs that encompass all aspects of support for the household. These include access to quality educational programs, gainful employment for those who are unemployed and affordable, quality housing options. The lack of these basic needs continue to be aggravating factors in maintaining social inequality.
Amongst the urban underclass, you find a forced sense of acceptance on their social stratification that is, their place in the social status. Unable to find gainful employment, those in the urban setting are separated by race, densely located in small, inexpensive, unacceptable housing situations. Within the households, are numerous family members living in the same cramped unacceptable living conditions. Additionally, many of the families have single women as the head of the household, who are working at minimum wage jobs which cannot fully support the needs of the family. According to Carole Marks (1991), without the support or availability of male role models or family figures, there is an inability of a single parent to keep children from being...

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