The problem of poverty in the united states of America

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The current dynamic has posed the world with many obstacles that it must face. Globally, there has been an increased social, economic and environmental threat. These include, but are not limited to, increasing hunger, increasing crime, global warming and terrorism. These threats posed a major danger to human life. Every day, people around the world are living in fear about what tomorrow will be. Life in the upcoming generation can no longer be expected with accuracy. Climate change has since changed the practice of cultivation and, with the rise in desertification, the availability of food has steadily decreased over time. This has necessitated the adoption of modern technology in the production of food which leads to the use of genetically modified food (GMO) which has long term negative effects on the human beings. Poverty has been the major challenge globally, with most people living below the poverty line. Poor people struggle to meet the basic needs like food, clothing, shelter, health and education for the children. Though United State of America is among the most industrialized nation globally with high per capita income, there is still a nightmare among certain quarter of the populations. Some Americans are struggling to make ends meet. Some cannot even afford to take their children to schools to acquire knowledge necessary for the development of their careers. Poverty causes malnutrition among the children due to eating food which does not contain all the nutrients required by the body. However, malnutrition is very low in the United States. Some of the major causes of poverty include poor economy, lack of housing, drug abuse, lack of education and medical expenses.

Poor economy has been the major cause of poverty in the United States. The weak economy of the United States has led increase in the level of unemployment in the country (Smeeding, Tim. 2008). Some firms in the country have been forced to close down while others have downsized their operations with others retrenching their employees. Other companies have even shifted their operations to other countries where the economic conditions are favorable and they can easily accessed cheaper raw materials and readily available cheap labor that are paid less than the America workers. Most of these decisions by the companies resulted from the poor economic condition in the country. The closure and shipping of production process to other countries has lead increase in the unemployment among the citizens of the United States. Therefore, some people have no source of income and hence cannot afford the basic commodities. The continuous closure of the companies in the United States has increasingly become the major cause of unemployment which in turn leads to increase in the poverty level among the population.

Moreover, gone are the days when the Americans were enjoying high quality jobs with great wages accompanied by other benefits. The unemployed people also have a rough time looking for jobs since the jobs has become scarce and the completion for these scarce jobs become intense. This explains the reason for the decrease in the wages, surplus supply of labor but low demand. The unemployment greatly affects the family of the individual. These changes in the economic condition drive many families to the poverty which in most instances leads to inability to cater for the family needs.

Drug abuse is also among the major cause of poverty. The drug and alcohol addiction contributes to about 20 % of the homeless population in the United States (Marshall, T. 2007). The drugs once it becomes addictive, an individual cannot do without them. They would spend most of their income in buying those drugs. Some even use all their income in buying the drugs as they cannot do without them. For instance, a packet of cocaine illegally brought to the United States cost $ 100 per packet, if an individual uses one packet per day, then it means in a week, $ 700 goes to the cocaine drug. This is a large amount of money which could have been used in other productive activities. Alcohol also takes a large portion of an individual income, more so those with little income. The abusers of drugs may also suffer some other adverse economic conditions. Since most of them spend most time abusing drugs, they become less productive in work as they may be arriving for work late with hangovers and others are frequently absent from their work stations. This could lead to lead to loss of the employment opportunities, increased cost of medical care as the drug abusers are prone to many diseases. The drug abusers are also prone to break the laws hence increase in the legal cost and also inability to borrow loan from lending institution to develop yourself. This could lead to homelessness and also increase in the level of poverty.

Another cause of poverty is due to the lack of education among the citizens. Many people particularly from the lower class to attend higher level of education like college in order to earn a degree (Kluegel, J. 1987).. Therefore, they can only get casual labor which does not require any skills, and which they will be low wages which cannot sustain them and their families. This would drive these families into the poverty.

Moreover, medical expenses are also the causes in the United State. Both the rich and the poor sometimes contract some diseases which require a lot of money to pay for the medical expenses. Most of the illness happens unexpectedly and the sick person may be admitted in the hospital for a long time, with very expensive medications which may include the surgery (Katel, P. 2009). Staying in hospital more so during the night is quite expensive. The medical expenses strains the family of their resources some even selling their properties in order to pay for the medical expense. People who are sick and those who take care of them in the hospital are not able to work hence they are not involved in any income generating activities. Therefore, they stay in the hospital with no source of income at the same time straining those who are working and paying for the medical expenses.

In conclusion, poverty has become of great concern to many leaders across the world each trying to come up with the solutions to address them. The major causes of the unemployment in the United States are the lack of education, high medical expenses, drug abuse and the poor economic development.



Katel, P. (2009). Housing the Homeless. CQ Researcher, 19-44,,21428,c_time_history,00.shtml

Kluegel, J. (1987). Macro-Economic Problems, Belief about the Poor and Attitudes Toward Welfare Spending, Social Problems, Volume 2, 82-99.

Marshall, T. (2007).Citizenship, Class and Other Essays . The Economic Journal, 61(242), 420-422

Smeeding, Tim. (2008). “Poor People in Rich Nations: The United States in Comparative Context.” Journal of Economic Perspectives. Volume 20(1), Winter:69-90

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