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What about poverty?

I have some research and writing on poverty throughout my college career and am interested in what other moms think are the roots and causes of poverty. For instance, is it an individual failure like drug addiction or laziness? Or is it a systemic problem that lies in the nature of our economic system? Please try to back up your answers with some sort of evidence, like personal experience or observation.

Answer Question

Asked by beshka76 at 4:08 PM on Jan. 7, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 11 (623 Credits)
Answers (17)
  • As long as someone is on the top, there will always be people on the bottom.

    Compared to the wealthiest 2% we're all living in poverty.

    Answer by UpSheRises at 4:13 PM on Jan. 7, 2011

  • There's a multitude of factors. I'm considered homeless and "hungry" but I wouldn't call myself poor at all and it's my choice to live this way. For some people it's laziness or an addiction. For others it's a culture and learned lifestyle. You can't blame poverty on one issue or cause.

    Answer by Laura2U at 4:19 PM on Jan. 7, 2011

  • I think that its a combination of social structure and characteristics of individuals. According to many sociologists some of the factors in poverty are race-ethnicity, education (or lack thereof), old age and family structure (families headed by only a mother are more likely to be poor than those headed by both a mother and a father). I know people who live in poverty because of features of society as well as people who live in poverty because they are just lazy... so it just depends on the situation.

    My minor was Sociology so these are just some things that I've learned and observed in everyday life.

    Answer by CocoaQT at 4:20 PM on Jan. 7, 2011

  • OP--There have been a number of studies and articles written about how one gets to the point of TRUE poverty--no to very little food, clothing, resources and poor living conditions--as opposed to not having a cell phone, a flat screen TV, designer clothes, etc!

    This is a great article by former Clinton Advisor, William Galston, outlining the three little things all one has to do to in order to have an 80% chance of NOT becoming impoverished!  Only 8% of the people who do all three of the things below end up poor, according to the IRS.

    1.  Graduate from high school

    2.  Marry before having children

    3.  Do not have children before age 20


    Answer by LoriKeet at 4:30 PM on Jan. 7, 2011

  • tasches

    Answer by tasches at 5:35 PM on Jan. 7, 2011

  • Most of it stems from generations of the same poverty. Sometimes someone from a poverty stricken family will pull themselves out but many times not. It always amazes me though how they could change things if they would just finish high school and go to college or trade school. An education goes a long way to removing oneself from that lifestyle.

    Answer by itsmesteph11 at 6:44 PM on Jan. 7, 2011

  • I think it has to do with what you were born in to. I'm basing my answer on what I have seen. The wealthy "mom and dad married* families have money to send their children to college, they can also afford for the mother to stay home and help the child more. The families in poverty can get a pale grant for college. The ones that make, for instance, 5 dollars too much...are screwed. JMO.

    Answer by kaileymom79 at 7:20 PM on Jan. 7, 2011

  • There is a teacher at my school who grew up in the Philippines. He gets all crazy when you call people in the US 'under privileged'. He says that people in the US don't know what being poor really is. He said that even our homeless are better off than many of the people of true poverty in the Philippines. He grew up in extreme poverty and only went to college by the good graces of a wealthy man in his city. There is a POV to everything. I think that many people are 'poor' by choice. As I was told today as school, "What do I want an education for? The gov't will take care of me if I quit school.". Well, he was right.

    Answer by jesse123456 at 7:38 PM on Jan. 7, 2011

  • People in the US claim poverty when they can't afford the newest electronics, a new car every year, cell phones, or designer clothes and fancy hairdos.

    Never mind that they have a roof over their head, food on the table/in the frig, running water, electricity, etc.

    Many people in this country claim poverty and get help to pay for these necessities so they can buy luxuries rather than support themselves/their families.

    To me, poverty is not being able to afford food and pay for necessary utilities plus the rent. The rest is a mindset ~ wanting what one can't afford/won't work for instead of being happy that they have a roof and something other than a dirt floor with candle stubs to provide some light ~ and saving up for anything more.

    I think the truly poor deserve help, especially the elderly. I think the 'wanters' should learn to deal with life and spend some time working instead of wanting/wishing.

    Answer by Farmlady09 at 7:57 PM on Jan. 7, 2011

  • Lack of education. Poor decision making skills Lack of a true support system- one that can help when times are tough and kick you in the pants when the situation arises.


    Answer by Sisteract at 9:39 PM on Jan. 7, 2011

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