Poverty In America Essay

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Jeff Doyle Sundol WRC 1013-11 1 Nov. 2010 Are Poor Americans Actually Poor? The number of Americans in poverty today is rather shocking. There are currently thirty-seven million Americans who are classified as being "in poverty" (Rector 2). Many Americans are classified below the line of poverty, but in retrospect to the rest of the world, Americans seem far from poor. America is considered to be upon the most prominent and successful nations in the world; so, why is over a tenth of our population deemed as "poor" by our government? According to Robert Rector, senior research fellow on welfare and family issue, poverty can be defined as an inability to provide a family with nutritious food, adequate clothing, and a decent home for shelter (2). However, by this definition, does America really fit into the same category of poverty as third world nations? If being in poverty solely means that one can't provide food, clothing, and shelter for themselves and their family, then there are not nearly as many poor Americans as the government states there to be. Statistics by a well-known research institute, the Center on Budget and Policy and Priorities, show that “twenty-eight million Americans make less than $8.70 an hour, the "official" U.S. poverty level for a family of four as of 2006” (Manning 1). There are hundreds of thousands of people in many other nations across the world who would be more than happy to do the same work for pennies a day. The poor of America may be spread sparingly across the nation, but they all possess one thing in common; they lack the ability to provide themselves and their families with the financial support needed to possess a successful American family life, in comparison to the average American. Some people are born into poverty; others however, fall into poverty as a result of some catastrophic event or natural disaster. Many

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