Modern Poverty And Economic Inequality

1200 Words Sep 22nd, 2016 5 Pages
The United States of America: the land of the free and the home of the impoverished. In a country where 47 million of its citizens fall below the alleged poverty line, there is an obvious dire urge for social reform. As Mark Rank stated in his book, Rethinking American Poverty (page 19), “between ages of 20 and 75, nearly 60 percent of Americans will experience at least one year below the poverty line.” Poverty in America has reached a feverish high. Readings of O’Connor, Rank, Wacquant, Fording, Soss, & Schram, Katz, Iceland, and Gans adequately summated the topic of modern poverty and economic inequality in the United States. From analyzing the poverty line to evaluating how our neoliberal-paternalistic society effects the less affluent, it is important to develop a fresh mentality to properly frame poverty as an urgent social problem. In order to better understand and conceptualize the epidemic of poverty, it is imperative to identify the flaws in popular conceptualizations of poverty. In Michael Katz’s article, The Undeserving Poor: From the War on Poverty to the War on Welfare, he addresses how America tends to think of poverty as a “them” problem (page 236). Instead of individualizing the topic of poverty, the country should be thinking about it as an “us” problem. Less affluent citizens are out of the loop. Katz described them as, “strangers to be pitied or despised, helped or punished, ignored or studied, but rarely full citizens.” This is an interesting way to…
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