Poverty as a Social Problem in United States

2135 Words Mar 4th, 2011 9 Pages
What is Poverty and why is it a social problem? Poverty is a standard of living below the minimum needed for maintenance of adequate diet, health and shelter (Eitzen187). Thirty seven million Americans were reported poor in 2005 (Eitzen 187). The key word is reported because about another 30 million Americans are unreported since many are homeless or illegal immigrants. These millions of people are discriminated in schools, courts, job market, and marketplace. This discrimination has trapped many poor people in these conditions (Eitzen 187). People living in poverty are placed there by an invisible line which divides them from the non poor. This line is the poverty line which is computed by the Social Security Administration which figures …show more content…
For example Philadelphia school districts spend about $11,078 per student while Lower Merion spends $21,399 per student. That is more than $10,000 a student that Lower Merion can spend for a student then Philadelphia. Who is to say that Philadelphia students need that extra ten thousand dollars a year for school supplies since many Lower Merion students come from wealthier families (Philadelphia Inquirer 2007). Since there is limited funding in Philadelphia it has been shown that children who live in poverty the first five years of their lives have an IQ deficiency regardless of the family structure (Eitzen 210). Which sets back a child even before starting kindergarten and most likely will keep them behind their peers. Since many people who are living in poverty have inferior education their market in the job force is limited compared to those who have better education. Many poor students are six times more likely to drop out of high school compared to affluent counterparts (Eitzen 209), which leaves them with limited job opportunities especially in today’s job market. Many of the poor are single mothers and they need to have a job that allows their child to go to daycare, school or a relative so they are limited to the hour selection they can work usually having