Final Draft Argument Essay
My peer review letter gave me powerful insight into two major issues that I was unaware of in my writing. The first issue was with continuity of my paragraphs. According to one of my peers I had an argument that was not definitive enough. I had a thesis but did not convince my reader of an audience to which I was speaking. I addressed this by further expanding the thesis statement to identify my audience implicitly. The second issue that was brought up was that my thesis was only partially argued. I extended my argument to include every aspect of my thesis. I found my peer review to be honest and informative, unlike previous ones that did not identify any issues.
Poverty is Everyone’s Responsibility
Having one of the highest gross domestic products of any nation, the United States inexplicably has a high percentage of citizens living in poverty. According to the Annie E Casey foundation, “poverty in America has reached record levels. In 2012, 16 percent of the U.S. population, or 46.9 million people, were living in poverty.” (Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2012). Ignoring a small decline of general poverty numbers after the late 1990’s, the number of Americans in poverty has been growing despite continued economic prosperity. “The lowest percentage in poverty since we started counting was 11.1 percent in 1973. The rate climbed as high as 15.2 percent in 1983. In 2000, after a spurt of prosperity, it went back down to 11.3 percent, and yet 15 million more people are poor today.” (Edelman 1) The recession of the 2000’s set the nation back economically and obviously resulted in a higher number of Americans living in poverty, however even with a strong recovery under the Obama administration the numbers of poor continue to climb. Despite the strength of economic markers like the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 being higher than ever on record, numbers show that the situation of the poorest Americans remains dismal. “At the same time, the poor have become even more desperate. The number of Americans receiving aid through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (known as food stamps) has increased by almost 50 percent since January 2009, from 32.2 million to 47.7 million.” (Brooks 13) The only explanation for this lies within the failure of our government to properly address the problem. Because of bipartisan mishandling of poverty, the number of poor continues to grow. The nature of their mistakes are unique to each side of the political spectrum, however larger responsibility can be laid at the foot of Conservatives in government due to their efforts to reduce assistance to the poor. Due to a shift in the ideological framework surrounding the causation of poverty, individual beliefs regarding the poor have changed. Previously poverty was considered a consequence of factors beyond the control of the individual. As responsibility shifted from government to the individual, resentment grew as did reluctance to assist the poor. These new attitudes have led to the challenge of poverty being met halfhearted by liberals and at times not at all by conservatives. The ignored cost that are shared by everyone despite socioeconomic status represent the real evidence as to the failure of poverty solutions, the true costs of poverty across economic lines, and the reasons we should consider poverty’s end as a benefit to us all. “The economic costs of poverty to society include certain public expenditures on poor families, especially for conditions and behaviors such as poor health and crime associated with the poor. Costs borne by victims of crime are examples of private expenditures and losses for the poor and non-poor that should count as burdens as well.”(Holzer 41)
According to psychologists Bobbio and Manganelli review of a social study by sociologist J Feagin on the beliefs of poverty, there were three main understandings of