The War against Poverty
This letter is about poverty, the effects it presents, and why we need to stop this problem.
Dear Mr/Mrs. President,
Unfortunately not all people in our country are privileged with a good job, lots of money, and a luxurious home. In fact, about 13.5 percent of people in the United States live in extreme fear and sorrow every day, because of poverty. That is over 43.1 million people who do not know where their next meal is coming from. Poverty has struck not only our country, but our world, and it will not go away until we decide to fix it. This problem cannot go overlooked as it leads to hunger, crime, and death. We must take a stand on this issue before these treacherous effects plague our nation any longer.
Hunger, crime, and death are all significant issues by themselves. However, an immense cause of these issues is poverty. Why should I be afraid of these effects? You may ask. Well, starting with hunger, it can affect anyone in the world, you may be at the top one day and at the bottom the next. Of course, many will probably disagree with the fact that people such as Bill Gates will ever fall to poverty, and in a way they are true as it is extremely unlikely someone so rich will drop to the bottom. However, recent history has shown that anyone can lose to poverty. For instance, famous actress Pamela Anderson received a $1.7 million dollar tax bill and owed $800,000 dollars for her mansion back in 2009. This forced her to move into a trailer park and start at the bottom once again. There are hundreds of these cases where people go from being rich to being poor, and as we know, once you are stuck in poverty, much needed resources are very hard to come by. This creates more problems and according to poverty.com, “About 21,000 people die every day of hunger- related causes.” Of course those who are stuck in poverty, understand the true effects that come with it. However, those who are not, are usually oblivious to these issues and don’t understand the chances of it happening to them. What they don’t realize is that as of August 2015 the unemployment rate is 7.9 millions, which could increase depending upon the wavering stock market and unstable world. An example of this is when the stock market crashed back in 2008 creating a loss of jobs and wage cuts. This number could increase at any time, and of course leads to poverty which then leads to hunger, crime and eventually death.
To go along with hunger, crime is also a major effect of poverty. “About 15 million children in the United States- 21% of all children- live in families with incomes below the federal poverty threshold.” According to NCCP.org. Think about your children, family, and friends right now, whomever may be reading this, what would you do if you could not look your son or daughter in the face and tell them, with complete honesty in your voice, that they will get to eat dinner today? That is what millions of parents and families go through everyday because of poverty. When this happens, many parents are forced to steal and commit crimes to provide for their families. In fact, from the period of 2008 to 2012, “persons in poor households at or below Federal Poverty Level (FPL) (39.8 per 1,000) had more than double the rate of violent victimization as persons in high-income households (16.9 per 1,000)” according to bjs.gov. Yet, some readers may challenge my view by insisting that this could be because of other factors than just because they need it for their family, which is correct. Some do it because that’s the way they grew up or they just want to cause others stress. However, there are many examples of poor people stealing to provide for themselves and/or their family, such as this middle- aged female who would steal and buy stolen goods to provide for her and her family. She states, “It’s not that I would do it as a way of life. I was brought up not to steal. But that’s how bad it’s got” and “If your were in poverty you would behave the way most people in poverty behave” amp.thegaurdian.com. We all know that crime is something we do not want in this country, or in the world, although it will continue as long as poverty is alive and well, and according to this victim, many of those stuck in poverty do illegal activities. But before we can do anything to stop poverty, we must first understand what causes it.
The main cause of poverty in the United States, is the high rate of unemployment .Contributing factors to the unemployment rate are excessive immigration and the exportation of manufacturing jobs. Currently, the unemployment rate in the United States is 4.9 percent, which may not seem very high, although, it accounts for millions of Americans across the country. In recent discussions of unemployment a controversial issue has been how are jobs are being lost. On one hand, some argue that many of our jobs are being stolen from us by an immigrant workforce . On the other hand, however, others claim that the reason our jobs are being taken is because Americans are not willing to do these hard labor jobs. In the words of Elizabeth Dwoskin, one of this view’s main proponents, “At a moment when the country is relentless focused on unemployment, there are still jobs that often go unfilled. These are the difficult, dirty, exhausting jobs that, for previous generations, were the first rickety step on the ladder of prosperity. They still are- just not for Americans” bloomberg.com. According to this view, the jobs that have been left for Americans in need of money are still not being filled because they do not want to do them. I believe that our jobs are being taken from us, as people are illegally coming into this country and stealing them from the poor in America. About 8 million of the 11.2 million illegal immigrants are in the workforce here in the U.S. That is 8 million jobs that are needed by people all over the country! I do not think that Americans are too lazy to work, it’s just they cannot find work as many jobs are taken up by immigrants. Along with this idea of excessive immigration, we have seen an increase, in recent years, of the exportation of manufacturing jobs to other countries. According to a report on Outsourcing by Working America, “Manufacturing employment collapsed from a high of 19.5 million workers in June 1979 to 11.5 workers in December 2009, a drop of 8 million over 30 years.” Corporations are seeking higher profits by moving their factories overseas to other countries, which creates a loss of jobs here in the United States. “That was over 5 years ago”, some will say. “Things have changed.” Yes, things have changed, although, the amount of workers employed in manufacturing is 8%, which has declined since 1960, when it was 24%, and 13% in 2000. The change is there, but it may not be a good change as it has declined, ever since the 1960’s. With this in mind, the United States needs to create incentives for businesses to bring jobs back to America. We also need to create new immigration laws that will open up jobs to the poor and give them another chance at freedom. These solutions will strike hard at poverty as if we decide not to attack it, then Americans will continue to decay through horror and distress.
To conclude, poverty is a dreadful problem that affects millions of people around the world. It leads to greater issues, which in many cases causes death. I see the effects of poverty everywhere I go, including my own communities here in Michigan. So I ask you Mr or Mrs. President, what will you do to put an end to poverty?
fellow american Chance Thuman
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