Poverty: Poverty and Poverty Stricken People Essay

Submitted By AnnTalmadge
Words: 2781
Pages: 12

ENGL 1010
8 May 2013
Essay IV
Keep Our Children and Future Generations Out of Poverty

Poverty, a nasty seven letter word that gets little to no attention. It gets swept under the carpet, or “don’t look, it will go away on its own”. Even the President of the United States rarely has used the word poverty in his speeches. On TV there are ads with scenes of impoverished children from other countries starving and living in unsanitary conditions. Celebrities on these commercials are asking for donations to feed and clothe these children to improve the children’s lives. What about the American children living in poverty and not having enough to eat, or a roof over their head? How can this country diminish poverty and take care of its children for generations to come? Start by not ignoring the problem and stop cutting the funds for schools and community help programs. Reasons for poverty can be caused by job loss, low wages, single parenthood, and unstable work just to name a few. All result in a lack of finances. A lack of finances makes it difficult to provide children with the necessary tools to become successful individuals within a community. According the NCCP (National Center for Children in Poverty), “21 percent of children live in families with incomes below the federal poverty line $22,350 a year for a family of four” (NCCP). “Poverty is defined as the extent in which people go without resources including financial, emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical support systems” (Payne, 55). They also don’t have positive role models. “Generational poverty is that poverty which has spanned over at least 2 generations” (Payne, 55). Poverty is not just a personal problem; communities suffer as well when its members are not able to contribute. There are solutions that should be provided within a community. They include education in parenting/family planning, job training, and completing higher education. These would help poverty stricken people be able to become self-sufficient. Education is the best way of getting out and staying away from poverty. Giving parents and caregivers the skills to raise children in a positive manner would help break the poverty cycle. Parents who battle finances every day lash out at the children, neglect them, or punish them harshly for minor incidents. Being a young person with no experience with the responsibilities of having to pay rent, utilities, and to buy groceries is hard enough without being an unexpected parent. Stress related illnesses are related to poverty, because when a parent cannot get to work they may lose wages for the days missed or even their job. Educate young people about how difficult marriage can be and how hard life is after divorce. Family planning programs provide information and tools to prevent teen pregnancy. These programs are not utilized enough, some parents don’t believe their child is sexually active and they forbid birth control. Many teens are embarrassed to ask for birth control, because they are afraid of being labeled “easy”. Pride needs to be set aside and sexual activity needs to be addressed. Harsher rules for unwed or absent fathers need to be established and enforced. Parenting works so much better when both a father and a mother work as a team, whether they are married or not. Women need not shut men out if they want to be in the picture. “Women need to be educated on the importance of a male role model” (Cosby, 22). “Family environment is crucial to a child’s academic success” (DeVol, 102). Unwed mothers have taken all the responsibility in the past. It is time the fathers be a part of the child’s life. “Between 1967 and 2003, individuals living in families headed by a single female have doubled, from 6 percent to 12 percent” (Hoynes, 2012). Boys growing up without a father often rebel and end up in trouble with the law, girls tend to want a man’s love, and so they seek male attention and end