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Poverty In The Us Essay

875 words - 4 pages

Poverty is rising at a scary speed in our country, as of 2010 15% of the population is living in poverty; this is the highest percentage since 1993. Aspects like public housing, Medicaid, employer-provided health insurance, food stamps, and EITC are not taken into consideration when calculating the number.
Poverty is defined by a total annual income that the government has set up as a minimum to sustain a set amount of individuals. For example, a single parent with one child must make a minimum of 15,030 annually or they are considered to be living in poverty, similarly one person under the age of 65 must make 11,344 or they are considered to be living in poverty. This has been the same method of calculation since 1960, the only changes being caused by inflation. Poverty has many effects on our society such as higher crime rates, low level of education, low paying jobs, child labor, and bad hygiene habits. The poverty cycle is when certain traits are passed down from one generation to another; this causes poverty to also be common among related families.
When compared to other developed countries, we do not do enough, but due to our circumstances and population the assistance provided is adequate. Many government funded Anti-Poverty programs are offered like social security, food stamps, WIC, Medicaid, Medicare, Unemployment Insurance and housing subsidies. Without this help, the poverty rate would increase to 25% of the total US population. The biggest portion of people who lived in poverty are children, 22% of children live in poverty, and children make-up 24% of the total US population. The next biggest percentage is taken up by single mothers, with 31.6% of single mothers living in poverty. Single men take up 15.8% and married couples 6.2%. This shows that the US government does in fact provide the proper tools and resources for people to be able to survive even if they need a little push to do it. About 5% of people who receive government aid take advantage of it, meaning that overall the aid is doing its job by helping the other 95% of people who do need it.
As governor of Florida it would be my job to look out for the people and figure out what they need from the government. The first step I would take towards reducing the poverty rates would be to lower the percentage of people taking advantage of the financial aid programs. To do this people will have to meet certain standards to prove that they are helping themselves using the...

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