There is one aspect of American society that confuses many people especially those in other countries…..American poverty.
Many sociologists, economist and other social scientists have tried to explain this situation….few succeed. This blogger tried to answer the question of Why Poverty 10 years ago….as I said….tried.
It is a nagging question. There are many myths to go with the question….the biggest of these is the answer that these poor people are freeloaders that do not want to work and all they do is take from the taxpayer.
It is a simple explanation that fits the narrative from the Reagan conserv years. It was a myth then and it remains a myth today. So why do some Americans stay poor?
In his State of the Union address, President Trump said “there has never been a better time to start living the American Dream.” But the new 2018 Prosperity Now Scorecard and its accompanying report says that isn’t so for low-income Americans.
“The system is, by just about all measures, stacked against those with low incomes and low wealth for the benefit of the wealthiest,” says the report from the nonpartisan but left-leaning Prosperity Now nonprofit, which provides research and recommendations regarding Americans with limited incomes.
One example: low-income people are ineligible for federal programs such as SNAP (food stamps) and TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) if they amass “even modest savings,” the report noted. Prosperity Now calls policies like this “a roadblock on the path to saving.
There is a considerable controversy about poverty and its relationship within inequality. From one point of view, any society with inequality is bound to have poverty. In other words, poverty is more likely to occur in a society which accepts inequality. Sociologists who adopt a relative definition of poverty accept that for the eradication of poverty, it is necessary to first abolish all inequality in income.
Now we know that the abolition of inequality in this country is never going to occur under this governmental standard. Not too damn many Americans are poor because they want to be so…the system is the problem and a system change is not very damn likely. Ergo the poor will remain poor and the wealthy will just continue to be exploitative and wealthier.