Poverty is a major family resource management issue facing most families in the United States. The term poverty is used to describe the state of the general scarcity of material possessions or money. Poverty can either be described as relative or absolute, and it is also a multifaceted concept that features social, political and economic concepts. This essay is a discussion of poverty as a major family resource management issue in the U.S., by illustrating the available evidence of this problem and outlining its impact on different families in the U.S. This essay also illustrates the activities being undertaken in the nation aimed at addressing the issue of poverty, as well as a discussion of the changes expected in poverty levels in the nation in the next five years.
The Evidence Supporting Poverty as a Family Resource Management Issue
According to a report published by DeNavas-Walt and Proctor (2015), the rate of poverty in the U.S. as at 2014 was 14.8 percent (DeNavas-Walt & Proctor, 2015). This proportion translated to approximately 46.7 million persons in the U.S. This statistic supports the fact that so many families in the nation are faced with poverty. In a different publication authored by Lacour and Tissington (2011), the high rates of poverty among numerous family units have resulted into families dysfunction, which is often characterized by low rates of achievement. According to this publication, lack of financial resources affect the family members emotionally, mentally, physically, socially as well as academically (Lacour and Tissington, 2011).
Effects of Poverty on Different Families in the Unites States
From past scholarly research, poverty does not affect all families in the U.S. the same way. Nevertheless, there are some similar characteristics that can be manifested similarly across all nations affected by poverty in the nation. Such characteristics include lack of quality education, lack of medical insurance covers, participation in crime, prostitution, alcoholism and drugs abuse among others. According to a publication authored by Smith and Medalia (2015), a large proportion of families in the U.S. lacks medical insurance coverage (Smith & Medalia, 2015). According to the publication, this population segment is largely comprised of the poverty stricken persons in the nation.
Nevertheless, the level of poverty among different families also varies depending on the level of income each household attains. Some families although poor, have menial jobs which they can use to provide for their families. From the small level of income, which they are able to attain, such families have access to the three basic human wants; food, shelter and clothing. Nevertheless, they are not able to secure other essential human wants such as quality education and specialized health care services. For this reason, they are still categorized as poor households in the nation. However, there are other families that lack any regular source of income. Such persons heavily rely on the government for assistance or indulges in crime as a way of earning their livelihood.
Figure 1: This graph was attained from the Institute for Research on Poverty 2014. It illustrates the level of poverty in the United States depending on various age groups from 1968 to 2014.
Efforts Being Taken by the Government to Address the Issue of Poverty in the Nation
There are eight best strategies that are being employed to cut down poverty in the United States. First, the government is creating more jobs for its citizens and has also raised the minimum wage rate of most of the workers in the nation. It has also raised the attained income tax credit for childless workers, established support for pay equity and developed working schedules that actually work. The nation has also invested heavily in providing affordable child care services and attainment of childrens early education. In addition, the government has expanded the Medicaid cover and also reformed the criminal justice system by enacting policies that facilitate successful society re-entry of persons, after they have served their sentences.
Changes in the Poverty Levels Expected in the Next Five Years
Due to the implementation of effective poverty reduction measures by the U.S. government, poverty levels in the nation are expected to reduce significantly by 2021. The reduction trend has already been portrayed by the slight reduction manifested between 2011 and 2014. According to a report published by Dalaker (2015), the poverty rates in U.S. in 2011 were 15.1% (Dalaker, 2015). However, this statistic dropped to 14.8% in 2014 in the same nation (Dalaker, 2015). This justifies that the strategies enacted to curb poverty increment in the nation have been effective. This change can be illustrated by the graphical representation below.
Figure 2: This illustration was obtained from the Congressional Research Service Report 2015. It illustrates the reducing rate of poverty starting from 2011 to 2014.
In summary, poverty is a leading family resource management issue in the United States. Approximately 14.8 % of persons living in the nation are considered to be poor. As such, they are unable to access vital basic amenities such as quality education and health care support services among others. In the nation, poverty has not affected all households in the same way; some families are more affected than others. In addition, some of the strategies being employed by the government to reduce the high rate of poverty in the nation include the creation of more jobs, raising of the minimum wage rate and the establishment of support equity for its citizens. The government has also developed functional working schedules, attained income tax credit for childless workers and expanded Medicaid services to the public.
Dalaker, J. (2015, September 30). Poverty in the United States in 2014: In Brief. Congressional Research Service: Informing the Legislative Debate Since 1914, 1-9. Retrieved June 25, 2016, from https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R44211.pdf
Medalia, J. C. (2015, September ). Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2014. U.S. Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration. U.S. Census Bureau, 1-30. Retrieved June 23, 2016, from https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2015/demo/p60-253.pdf
Proctor, C. D.-W. (2015, September ). Current Population Reports. Income and Poverty in the United States: 2014, 1-68. Retrieved June 23, 2016, from https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2015/demo/p60-252.pdf
Tissington, M. L. (2011, May 12). The effects of poverty on academic achievement. Academic Journals: Educational Research and Reviews, 6(7), 522-527. Retrieved June 23, 2016, from http://www.academicjournals.org/article/article1379765941_Lacour%20and%20Tissington.pdf
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