Poverty in America

I do believe there is a problem in minority communities and I believe we have a very simple solution that minorities and activists are ignoring.

A few months back, I was walking to class when I overheard a conversation in which one student said to the other, "You know, honestly, I think black people in America should have free college." I got such a massive headache from this statement. I get it that blacks in America have been wronged and I get it that free education seems like a great idea, but honestly more government handouts are the last thing we should be looking towards. 

Research was done studying the Federal Reserve data from 2006-2015 estimated that student loan debt is growing about $2,726.27 every second. The average 2015 graduate has to pay back more than $35,000. Now although there isn't a cut and dry link between federal aid and student tuition, there does seem to be a connection between college sticker prices going up after receiving federal aid. While it may not be a direct cause, government throwing money at schools definitely adds some flame to the fire. 

So when I hear someone saying blank should have free blank, what I'm hearing is this person ignores the fact that government aid seems to only make matters worse for the people, but they also believe we should make matters even worse for the people. Now I, as any sane person, want to be able to help better the black community, because I believe if we help one section of the country, the entire country will grow. 

Although most of these statistics affect the black community the most, I do want to make it very clear that I believe we should focus less on the race aspect simply because lives matter. No matter the race, heritage, background, whatever. As a country, we should work to better our neighbors and create a better life for generations to come. 

Americans in poverty tend to mostly be minorities. So, to me, it seems like the best possibility to help these communities is by focusing on how to get citizens out of poverty. If government aid is causing a problem in colleges, then I hypothesize that government dependence leads to poverty.

The poverty rate in 2016 had declined to 12.7%. This sounds like pretty great news, except that means 40.6 million Americans are living in poverty. This income doesn't include government handouts households receive. 

 Out of the majority of the statics shown for welfare recipients, there  seems to be a fairly easy equation to use. 

  • Married couples - 5%
  • Adults with college degree or higher - 5%
  • Full time working adults - 2%

Marriage + College + Job = No Poverty. Ben Shapiro used the same equation in a speech discussing poverty and race. 

Single parent households are five times more likely than married households to use welfare programs. Single moms make up 51% of the poverty population. 

People of working age that aren't working make up 62% of the poverty population, and yet, they make up 23% of the working age population. 

Adults over 25 without a diploma were at a 24.8% rate and those with a college degree were at 4.5% 

Between 2009-2013, 58% of Americans stayed in poverty. 

So is there a way to better these communities?

Ultimately, it's up to those in poverty to decide. There's some saying that says 90% of success is mental. If you don't believe you're going to make it, then you probably won't. 

Following the rules for avoiding poverty can put you at a 74% chance of being in the middle class. No matter your circumstances, if you break these, you get bumped down to a 7% of making it to the middle class. The government is already going to massive strides to funds those in poverty and yet the poverty rate hasn't changed much. The point of welfare is to help those in poverty get out, not stay comfortably dependent. So why in the world would we look to the government to fund even more when clearly what they're doing isn't working?

 Education I understand can be difficult at times. But there are still job options out there that require very little education. They just might not be those super amazing high paying jobs, but a job is a job. Whether cleaning out sewers or working in an office, it pays the bills. 

Marriage has been almost looked down upon recently, but the fact still remains that a stable household of a mother and father better a child's life and the family income. 

Personal choices can completely change ones outcome in life. For example, my sister and I are both in college. She decided to go straight into a 4 year private university after high school. With a tuition of about $24,500 a year. With the minimum scholarship. When she graduates, my parents and her will be paying around $600+ a month. I, on the other hand, went to a public community college on a full scholarship. I worked to get into the honor society and maintain that, so when I go off to a university, I will leave with as little debt as possible. 

My sister and I are around the same grade wise, I would say, I did better in high school, but we're both pretty much A-B students. Since we made different choices, we will have different outcomes. I made choices that I could work with, she made the choices she wanted. 

If we want to better the lives of poor Americans, we need to encourage better lifestyle choices. 

Kaitlyn Holifield
Kaitlyn Holifield

I enjoy researching about different cultures, history, politics, anything and everything. I just enjoy questioning everything. I love playing devil's advocate. I enjoy creating positivity out of everything. 

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Poverty in America