Poverty Reduction in America

Living in Michigan, Detroit and Flint are two areas known to have high poverty levels.  Allowing me to experience first hand the problems within our society in relation to the poor.

“It’s a fundamental paradox: in America, the wealthiest country on earth, one also finds the highest rates of poverty in the developed world. Whether we examine children’s rates of poverty, poverty among working age adults, poverty within single parent families, or overall rates of poverty, the story is much the same—the United States has exceedingly high levels of impoverishment.” (Rank, 2011). This quote explains the importance behind the research about to be presented. Even though America has long been though of people who base their opinion on second hand information and the image portrayed by the media to be one of the wealthiest most influential countries in the world, the segment of the population living below the poverty line has been a growing concern in recent years due to the Great Recession.

The Obama-Biden Plan, provided by (2012), illustrates what the President and Vice President plan to do during their last term in office in the fight against poverty in America. The major issues set out to be reduced by this plan include: “expand access to jobs, make work pay for all Americans, strengthen families, increase the supply of affordable housing, and tackle concentrated poverty areas” (Obama, 2012). While the federal government is taking actions to directly fight this issue, the understanding of the causes of poverty is still widely unknown. Sawhill (1988, p. 1113) remarked that “from a scientific perspective, we still understand very little about the basic causes of poverty—whether it is a matter of genetic or cultural inheritance, a lack of human capital, a choice variable related to work and family decisions, a result of macroeconomic failures or of social stratification based on race, sex or family background”.


Obama, Barak (2012) The Office of the President – Elect. Retrieved April 12, 2013 from

Rank, M. R. (2011, Rethinking American Poverty. Contexts, 10, 16-21. Retrieved from:  


Shek, Daniel T. L. (2002, December 22). Chinese adolescent' explanations of poverty: the perceived causes of poverty scale. The Free Library. (2002). Retrieved April 12, 2013 from adolescent' explanations of poverty: the perceived causes of...-a097723213