Effects Of Poverty In America

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Danielle Skodak 10/30/2011 Cycles of Deterioration Any discussion of poverty will eventually run into the issue of relatively; being impoverished in America is certainly different than being impoverished in Zimbabwe. Jeffrey Sachs distinguishes between different three types of poverty in his work The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for our Time. The first two types of poverty, extreme and moderate poverty, simply do not apply to life in a highly developed nation like America (Sachs, 20). Those who are subject to extreme, or absolute poverty, face a grim future. Extreme poverty, according to Sachs, is defined as the inability to acquire the essentials for survival. This includes food, shelter and potable drinking water. Those who endure moderate poverty are just meeting the requirements for physical survival. Poverty in America assumes the character of “relative” poverty, in which those who earn below the national average income struggle to acquire quality housing, quality food and quality education (Sachs, 20). Though the immediate consequences of poverty in America may not be as severe as in other parts of the world, poverty in America still has a negative effect on millions and poses an extremely serious issue for legislators, administrators and other concerned Americans. There’s little in the way of unanimity when it comes to figuring out the causes of poverty. Some believe that poverty is caused by poor individual choices and governmental stifling of creativity and innovation. This view is demonstrated in Robert Rector’s testimony to the U.S. Senate in 2008. According to this perspective, unemployment is keyed to government intervention in the private market; poverty is caused by substandard public educational programs and welfare programs that provide the impoverished an incentive not to seek employment (Rector). Others argue

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