The problem of poverty in America comes as a surprise. How can a wealthy nation experience poverty? Though the rate of poverty is lower in a developed nation like America than in Africa, the problem of poverty is real. Inner-cities and rural communities in America are all affected by poverty.
In 2004 the American government defined poverty as a family of four living with an income below $18,810. However, consider the costs in America of housing, utilities, transportation, food, health care, and child care. Even this income seems too small.
The effects of poverty in America are many. Poor nutrition leads to poor health. Poor health makes study and work difficult. Poor education and an inability to work effects income. These problems must be considered alongside other issues: the problem of racism, discrimination against communities, and unequal access to education.
With over thirty-five million living below the poverty line in America, poverty looms as one of the nation’s biggeset problems. It requires huge effort and imagination to begin solving the problem. At its heart, solving the problem of poverty is about the creative cultivation of the talents and dreams of all Americans.
Access to education must be equal for all. Those prospering must bear the burdens of those in need. Everyone must be helped to avoid despair and to hope for change. Everyone must recognize the offensiveness of poverty in a nation like America.
Some organizations have already begun work against poverty in America. The Catholic Campaign for Human Development seeks to transform America into a more caring nation where poverty is an offense against all. The Clemente Course is an education programme for the underpriveleged in America — it offers a humanities education to those unable to attend University on their own.
These organizations can help you begin to explore the problem of poverty in America and to contribute to a solution.
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Copyright 2005 Ofer Shoshani