Povertyas a structural failing
Inthe past, poverty, which is thesituation of having little or no goods, money, or resources forupkeepwas alleged to personal deficits and individual characteristics. Thisapproach omits the primary causes of poverty, which includepolitical, economic, and social weaknesses in society. A theoreticalmodel is drawn to enable the reinterpretation of the vigorous povertyin America through the analogy of ten players who ought to sit ononly eight available chairs. It entails the significance of humancapital features, which determine those who lose out economically.The researchers concentrate on individual characteristics forgettingthat the game is structured to produce losers unavoidably(Rosenblum& Travis, 2016).Hence, the system is designed that there must exist povertyregardless of one’s skills and education. The economy ischaracterized with insufficient decentpaying jobs,and inefficient social welfare netprograms.
Changesneeded to alleviate poverty
Povertyalleviation involves humanitarian and economic measures aimed atlifting people from poverty permanently. The measures should aim athelping the poor to create wealth so that poverty cannot reoccur. Thepoverty in America is as a result of the structural failure of theeconomy. Therefore, the changes required should aim at making theeconomy better. Hence, the changes requiredtoalleviate povertyinclude creating jobs, increasing the minimum wage, raising theEarnedIncomeTax Credit (EITC)for employees without children, and providing paid sick days and paidleave. Furthermore, establishing feasible work schedules, andinvesting in high-quality and affordable early education and childcarewill help reduce poverty(Berntsen, 2016).
Thechange required to alleviate poverty is through creating jobs. Atleast 5.7 million jobs should be set up to help the economy get backto itsprerecession levels of employment.The strategies to be embraced include developingrenewable sources of energy, upgrading the infrastructure, andrenovation of the uninhibited housing. These will reviveneighborhoods, create jobs, and improve the national economy.Subsidized employment models should also be built to get theunderprivileged employees, and long-term jobless individuals tore-enter the job market easily.Subsidization entailssupporting the job creation initiative financially("Home", 2016).The federal unemployment insurance should work efficiently to createnew jobs through proper monitoring of the benefits meant for thejobless.
Moreover,another change required to alleviate poverty is increasingthe minimum wage. This is thelowest wage allowed by an act or a special contract for example theone with labor unions.In the 1960s, a permanent employee getting a minimum wage was able tosave a family of three from poverty(Rosenblum& Travis, 2016).However, the current state minimum pay of $7.25 per hour is low andshould be raised to $10.10 hourly. This will help the current rate ofinflation to be met as suggested by President Obama, and someCongress members. Through this, four million Americans will beremoved from poverty.
Anotherchange required to alleviate poverty is through raising the EarnedIncomeTax Credit (EITC)for employees without children. EITCis a returnable levycredit forsmall and moderate income earningpersons and couples, especially those with children. Thisstrategy enabled a minimum of 6.4 million Americans to evade povertyin the year 2012. Additionally, it is an investment, which paysdividends in the long run. Children gettingEITC have high chances of graduating from high school, and gettinghigher remunerations during adulthood. Workers without children donot benefit largely from this program as they get one-tenth of whatis given to those with two children. To solve this, President Obamaand other legislators have suggested a boost in the EITC(Marx,2016).The change in policy coupled with an increase in minimum wage willhelp alleviate the issue of poverty.
Also,the change required to reduce poverty is the provisionof paid sick days and paid leave. The US does not have a paid sickdays and medical leave making it hard for many people to balancefamily and work without forgoing their income. Paid leave is asignificantanti-poverty program.Tosolvethis,theFamilyand Medical Insurance Leave Act should be implemented to protect theworkers in need of some time off because of their illness, a familymember’s illness, or during childbirth("StanfordPoverty & Technology Lab – Stanford Center on Poverty andInequality", 2016).Additionally, the Healthy Families Act will help workers to earnincome for seven protected sick days annually. These will contributeto reducing the poverty levels.
Establishmentof feasible work schedules can be another change needed to alleviatepoverty. Hourly and low-pay jobs have unpredictable work schedules,which lead to difficulties in balancing work and caring for one’sfamily. The changes make child care hard, which result inuncertainties in one’s income. To solve the issue, the Schedulesthat Work Act should be implemented. This will enable thenotification of work schedules two weeks in advance. Therefore, aworker will be able to call for schedule changes in time guaranteeingtheir income despite shortened or canceled shifts(Rosenblum& Travis, 2011).Consequently, one will be able to live a balanced life with theirfull pay leading to an elimination of poverty.
Thelast change required to alleviate poverty is investing inhigh-quality and affordable early education and child care. This willease the ability to enter the middle class. One-third of the incomefor low-income families goes to child care implying higher povertylevels. The assistance by the federal government is accessed by onlyone of the six entitled children. Passingand implementing the Strong Start for America’s Children Act willimply high investments in kindergarten, quality child care fortoddlers and infants, and visitation of pregnant women and those withinfants(Marx,2016).This will help improve the economic flexibility of American children,which will imply low levels of poverty.
Inconclusion, poverty is caused by the structural failure of thepolitical,economic, and social activities in society. Dealing with individualhuman capital characteristics does less to solve this problem. Forproper tackling, the structured systems are to be handled for theeconomy to grow. Therefore, the changes needed to alleviate povertyinclude the creation of jobs, raising theEITC for workers without children, increasing the minimum wage,provision of paidsick days and paid leave, implementing workable work schedules, andinvesting in quality early education.
Berntsen,L. (2016). Measuring poverty in America: How politics has trumpedreason, and how to restore it. Gradworks.umi.com.Retrieved 11 November 2016, fromhttp://gradworks.umi.com/15/09/1509191.html
Home.(2016). National Poverty Study. Retrieved 11 November 2016,from http://www.nationalpovertystudy.org/
Marx,J. (2016). Women, Settlements and Poverty – Social Welfare HistoryProject. Social Welfare History Project. Retrieved 11November 2016, fromhttp://socialwelfare.library.vcu.edu/settlement-houses/women-settlements-and-poverty/
Rosenblum,K. & Travis, T. (2016). The meaning of difference (6thEd.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
StanfordPoverty & Technology Lab – Stanford Center on Poverty andInequality. (2016). Inequality.stanford.edu. Retrieved 11November 2016, fromhttp://inequality.stanford.edu/stanford-technology-poverty-lab