Essay on The rise of urban poverty in America

Submitted By Abonds32
Words: 3068
Pages: 13

The rise of urban poverty in America

The 1970s and 1980s decades are also times when poverty in America became concentrated in urban areas, in particular the old, charming industrial centers. At the same time the population also started to change with the arrival of more and more immigrants from Latin America, reshaping the face of poverty.

Urban poverty then tripled in ten years and kept on its expansion onto the 1980s decade. It’s now one of the main features of poverty in America (country and continent). As of 1980, nearly 70% of the urban poor were black, 20% were Latinos, and 10% white.

New causes of poverty: immigration and single moms

Another thing that changed: the traditional family structure. Like it or not, things have changed and you won’t force an unhappy woman to stay married to her husband anymore. Although, some governments actually tried to by restricting welfare support to families headed by a married couple (talk about government intervention!). Well, that wasn’t the official goal but it was clearly the effect. And millions of single mothers were dropped from welfare support.

Demographic changes (immigration) as well as changes in the family structure have had a massive impact on poverty in the US for a couple of decades until things finally stabilized. Now their effect is minor, even though immigrants and single mothers (and their kids) still represent much of the poor. But in a stable way, i.e. the numbers don’t change too much. Yey. Oh no, that's without counting on the effects of the latest economic crisis! Why follow the right path?

Why would anyone follow the “right path” (i.e. schools) if you see that your parents did so and are still jobless or at best exploited and humiliated? Or if your identity and your place in society are constantly questioned, often by the government itself? It certainly won't help you feel at home.

This is a problem many governments are facing all over the world and they tend to react to demonstrations quite aggressively as they try to please certain groups of voters. By doing so they also forget that the very people they repress are also voters, and that trying to divide a nation will only bring more instability and more violence.

Poverty causes crime

In the countries where the social discrimination factor isn't very strong, results have shown that less education meant more criminal offenses ranging from property crime to “casual” theft and drug-related offenses (again, mostly theft). But not violence. It appears that in fact, poverty itself is more tied with violence, criminal damage and also drug use - as a catalyst for violence.

There are huge consequences of this kind of research for public policy and the positive impact of keeping children in school and reducing poverty. But for that we would need governments to actually read the research their universities produce! It shouldn't seem like too much of a stretch to argue that having kids actually graduate from school will in itself contribute to reduce poverty, no?
It’s only when people witness the starkest wealth differences that they can start complaining about injustice. In fact, often times crime is even worse within communities. Perhaps because it’s easier, but maybe also because inequalities are felt all the more intensely when it happens between people living in the same group.

For example, in China some 90,000 demonstrations occur every year and what the media never mention is that the bulk of it it happens at the “border” between urban and rural areas, where poor farmers can see first hand the massive inequalities between rich urban residents and themselves.

Property crimes vs. violent crimes

In a broader, social sense, inequalities generate more aggressive behaviour as a reaction to social bias and discrimination, which results in an increase in violent crimes. And while it’s been well-established that where poverty