Reading Response on Poverty
Poor people in America do not stand a chance in the current economic setup in the country. Legislators pass laws and regulations that worsen the problem. The housing policies that legislators passed have pushed low income families into neighborhoods with low performing schools and colleges. Additionally, the wages of poor people have stagnated in the face of rising inflation. Children from poor communities are not prepared to face the world from affluent families. The only way of ending poverty in the country is increasing employee wages and providing financial support to single mothers. However, the government has ignored pleas by the poor. Therefore, the only way of forcing the government to act on these changes is organizing civic movements in the country.
To begin with, a civil rights movement for the poor would force the government to enact favorable laws. An active civil rights movement would force legislators to introduce policies that ensure an increment in the wages of poor workers. According to Edelman, “wages for those who work on jobs in the bottom half have been stuck since 1973” (2). People with low paying jobs cannot take their children to the best schools in the country. Moreover, they cannot access quality healthcare the same way like the rich. Edelman reveals that “there’s been growth, a lot of it, but it has stuck at the top” (6). Civil rights groups can use their influence to ensure that this money trickles down to the people on the ground.
Additionally, civil rights movements could call for the creation of a Fair Housing Act that could limit exclusionary practices by municipalities. These practices make it difficult for poor people to live in communities with better social amenities. Such movements can force the government to allow developer build apartments for both the poor and the wealthy. Such a move would ensure that low income families have access to quality education and healthcare services.
Moreover, civil rights groups can ensure that the government creates a safety net for poor single mothers in the country. In the past, through lobbying by civil rights groups, the government introduced the welfare program. It enhanced the income for single mothers and their children. Today, these groups of people do not receive support. In states where the program is in operation, “many states actually reduced the size of their rolls and lowered benefits to those in greatest need”(5).
Finally, economic segregation of schools in poor neighborhoods hinders their efforts to provide quality education. These schools deserve adequate funding from the government to carry out its activities smoothly. They need to build classrooms, purchase books, and hire teachers. Civil rights movements can force the government to introduce magnet theme schools in these neighborhoods. Additionally, these movements can lobby for the sponsorship of children from low income families to tertiary institutions.
Poverty is like the sun and every time a person hope for a better future, he or she loses it to a poverty equation. Employees report to their places of work on a daily basis and put more effort to earn more from morning to the evening. At the end of the month, their salaries only settles debts and bills. What remains cannot cater for their basic needs. In fact, they do not have much to deposit in a savings account. In the morning, they wake up and repeat the same routine.