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Income Inequality and Poverty

Poverty can be defined as lack of proper essential services and good. Both income inequality and poverty negatively affect not only economic growth of the USA, but it affects population mentality. Economic development is the primary source of nation’s wealth in the USA, but social and income inequality is inevitable part of every society. Actually, it is rapid economic development that drives social inequality. The number of people living beyond the poverty line is decreasing, but still is present.

The current situation is the following: the rich are becoming richer due to swift development, though the poor failed to share the benefits of economic growth and the gap between them has widened. Income inequality is caused by different abilities of people to succeed, opportunities to receive good education or enter professional training programs. Other causes are discrimination (according to statistics, non-Americans are paid less than native population), different preferences and risks, unequal distribution of wealth in the country, market power, etc.

Personal factors are also of importance: misfortune, luck, favorable position in society and connections. All these factors have led to widen gap between the rich and the poor. Since 1970s the number of American families living in poverty has risen over. The main reasons of growing inequality are: demand for skilled workers and professionals, demographic changes, prosperity of international relations and trade, decline of unionism, and increased number of illegal immigrants. In 2004 the official poverty rated was reported 12. 7 percent compared with 12. 5 in 2003.

It means that more than 37 million people are living in poverty and the figure is increasing with years passed. The poverty rate for children under full age was 17. 8%, though the number of children living in severe poverty was the same as in 2003 – 13 million. The poverty rate for children under full is significantly higer than that of adults (11. 3) and people over 65 (9. 8%). For Example, in 2004 the official poverty rate for non-Americans was the following: African Aamericans – 24. 7%, Hispanics – 21. 9 %, non-Hispanic Whites – 8. 6%, Asians – 19. 8%

Speaking about possible solutions to poverty it is necessary to make efforts aiming at normal employment, gaining necessary skills and establishing personal values such as honesty, organization and cleanliness. The government has to implement income-maintenance systems: social security programs, social security, Medicaid, unemployment benefits, public assistance, food-stamp program, etc. It is necessary to establish charity trusts and, for example, to introduce tax deductions on charity. It is important to educate population that poverty isn’t inevitable and to make them accept the principle that they are able to fight.

Other solutions to eliminate poverty in the USA are: ? Development of affordable housing and promotion of urban regeneration ? Affordable education and health care services ? Generating more employment and helping in finding jobs ? Encouraging social work and political participation ? Raising the minimum level of education ? Presenting concrete governmental prosperity programs ? Establish and supporting research institutions, voluntary organizations and agencies In order to eradicate poverty government should declare that it has no rights to keep population poor.

Government should also subsidize employment for elder people and for those who have difficulties in finding work. Furthermore, government should introduce curriculum aiming at explanation that poverty can be avoided and at explaining the ways out. It is necessary to devise and introduce programs exactly to all sectors which are responsible for eradicating poverty. For example, the programs can involve craftsman training schools, farm schools, adult education, ideas for commerce how to decrease poverty rates, etc.

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