Even though the U.S. is arguably the richest country in the world, a considerable part of its population suffers from the problem of poverty. The current paper explores the causes of such poverty. It is demonstrated that there exists a variety of contributory causes that together frequently lead the poor to preserving their socioeconomic status quo or becoming even poorer.
One of the significant causes of poverty is the lack of access to college education. Generally speaking, the access to higher education is restricted to individuals who come from the middle socioeconomic class or higher, which is due to high tuition costs that colleges and universities charge. Although there is a possibility of gaining a loan to pay one’s tuition, it is difficult to impossible to obtain such a loan for a representative of the lower socioeconomic class, since the loan-providing organizations are frequently unwilling to trust them to pay their debts. As a result, it becomes practically impossible for these individuals to obtain high-quality education, which means that they are generally restricted to unskilled jobs.
Naturally, the low wages for the persons selling their unskilled or low-skill labor constitute another contributing cause to the problem of poverty in the United States. While prices continue to grow constantly as part of inflation, the salaries of low-skilled workers rarely follow. In addition, there is such a problem as structural unemployment (Harvey 10-16); due to the ongoing globalization, many businesses choose to use offshore labor that is more cost-efficient (in other words, cheaper) and transfer their manufacturing facilities to other countries. As a consequence, there is a dearth of low-skilled jobs in the U.S., and those few positions that are available are not well-paid and do not propose any social benefits. Because of this, unskilled workers, even if they manage to find a job, rarely manage to make enough money to cover all their expenses.
In addition, there is another problem that contributes to poverty in the United States of America, namely, the lack of affordable housing, as well as the generally high expenses related to housing. This problem is especially severe for those who do not have a place to live of their own. The high costs of rent consume a significant part of their salaries, and they have little money left to cover food, health care expenses, childbearing costs, and so on.
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