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At the beginning of the 2009 the U.S. Census Bureau has published a regular data on poverty in the country: in 2008, 12.6% of Americans (37 million) were below the official poverty line. (U.S. Census Bureau 2009)
Annual income, corresponding to the subsistence minimum in 2008, which is set annually by the State Office of Management and Budget, was $ 19,971 for a family of four, $ 15,577 – for a family of three, $ 12,755 – for the family of two persons and $ 9,973 for one person.( U.S. Census Bureau 2009)
Despite the fact that the total number of poor has not changed, if compared with the previous year, the number of people living in deep poverty has increased: under the deep poverty means income which is 50% less than the subsistence minimum. Another important indicator of poverty – the number of Americans without health insurance – also has arisen.
Little better from all live Americans in the northeast and middle west, where the number of poor is below the national average. Worst of all residents have the southern and western regions, where the concentration of poverty is higher. For example, in the south, traditionally “black” Mississippi and Louisiana, 21.3% and 19.8% of residents live in poverty. Very high concentrations of poverty exist in Puerto Rico, where officially poor in 44.9% of the population, and poverty among children reached 54.7%. (U.S. Census Bureau 2009)
The serious problem of poverty is in New York state, mostly in New York City: it brings the biggest and most unfortunate contribution to the spread of poverty in the state, where about 2 million 556 thousand poor, and where the concentration of child poverty is also very high – 19.4%. The poor in New York also are mostly immigrants, and not only from Latin America, but also from Africa. Often, they settle in separate groups and are unable to integrate into society, often because of lack of knowledge of English or unwillingness to adapt their religious and cultural traditions to the American way of life. (Zweig, Michael 2004)
But the most outstanding feature of the poor in New York – it is the people of so-called, “inner city”, where millions of people are looking for work, rent the cheapest rooms and apartments, and survive on state benefits of charitable organizations. Poor children, growing up in “inner city” – is a particular social problem of the city: they are often victims of urban criminal gangs, they do not get enough food, does not get education. According to an independent organization of “New York City Coalition Against Hunger”, one in five children in New York is hungry, and uses the services of street soup kitchens, churches, etc. These people are the American underclass, and also can be referred to the “undeserving poor”.buy research paper
Fighting poverty is the main goal of social policy and at the same time “Value dimension of state welfare.” For the poverty eradication and poverty reduction the U.S. government should:
– develop a comprehensive strategy;
– improve poor communities (social groups) access to productive resources and infrastructure;
– strive to meet basic human needs of all segments of the population;
– strengthen and expand the law to enhance social protection and reduce the vulnerability of certain categories of people.
In the general setting all these issues are directly related to the strategic direction of American government. The government declared the need for a state with socially-oriented economies.
Having studied the concept of poverty and “undeserving poor”, we can conclude and make some generalizations on this topic. The concept of poverty is interpreted in different ways: as a low level of income and expenditure, and as the inability to maintain desired standards of living, and as the inability to maintain desired standards of living, and a certain self-awareness in society.
Part of the population is on the verge of omission to the “bottom”, because of difficult economic circumstances. These people are mired in a complex social depression, they do not live, but strive to survive.
The state is fighting poverty by assigning various social benefits and payments to the poor, promoting work, strengthening social protection legislation, etc.
Poverty remains a major problem in our country and around the world. It may not be eliminated, but can be reduced, primarily due to a reasonable state policy and to help society.
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