Poverty in America Essay

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The want, not to need What is poverty? Poverty has a different meaning to everyone. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines poverty as: the state or condition of having little or no money, goods, or means of support, condition of being poor. The word holds so much more meaning than that. Unless you have known poverty personally you cannot know the true meaning and impact it has on a person. Jo Goodwin Parker really takes off her shoes and lets you step into them with her article “What is poverty?” You can almost hear her cry of anguish when she shouts, “Put yourself in my dirty, worn out ill fitting shoes and hear me”. According to Parker there are many different levels of poverty; you can have the poverty of living paycheck to paycheck, the poverty where you live in a house but there is no food in the refrigerator and then you have the poverty of destitution. This is being so poor that you would have to use bed sheets as a baby’s diaper, and when the baby is older you’d use those same sheets to sleep on. Parker talks about being so poor that she had no money to do anything. While on the surface you might say that is what poverty is about, not having money but poverty goes much deeper than that. Healthcare for the impoverished; is there such a thing? “They told me at the hospital when the last baby came that I had chronic anemia caused from poor diet, a bad case of worms, and I needed a corrective operation (Parker, 467)”. If you don’t have the means for health care and are too sick to work, how can you get well enough to look for a job if you can’t afford health care? How is it, in a country that’s capable of paying trillions of dollars to wage wars in other countries, many of its own citizens are living in a third world level of poverty? “Poverty is an acid that drips on pride until all pride is worn away” (Parker-470). When you are newly

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