Addressing Poverty in America
In recent years, the gap between rich and poor has grown wider in America. This is particularly evident in major cities across the country. Since the early 2000s, young people have rediscovered the perks of living in cities. They like being close to work, and having a variety of cultural activities and restaurant options. However, this gentrification has increasingly displaced working-class groups for whom cities are a traditional home.
An additional social problem has been the widening gap between rich and poor. While Silicon Valley companies like Facebook and Google have a reputation for paying employees well and offering great perks, many outsource facilities and other functions. This means that operational staff like janitors and other workers never receive benefits, significant pay increases, or opportunities for advancement that the organizations traditionally offered. Instead, non-engineers struggle to find housing and to afford food.
Right now, it looks as if poverty in the US is intractable. We know that isn't true, though. For example, there was a social contract in the postwar period where most Americans were able to benefit by working. There was a broad consensus that there was dignity in work, and middle-class people had respect for the workers who made their food and cleaned their offices. In recent years, that has shifted.
There's a widespread idea that only engineers, executives, and higher leveled positions need or are entitled to proper compensation for their time, and an othering of the working-class has started to take place. The role of geography is also important. As poorer citizens are pushed farther from city centers, they have less access to transit and services. This also has an impact on their prospects for successfully making a change in their lives.
Recent research has also shown that traditional programs are not working well when it comes to lifting people out of poverty. The lower class citizens have had problems with movement in both a literal and figurative sense. It's difficult for them to get from place to place, physically. It is also hard for them to level up in society and climb the ladder, accumulating more social and cultural capital. The U.S. Partnership on Mobility from Poverty is a new program that comprises five strategies. Taken together, these approaches are expected to increase the ability of people to move up in life.
Ultimately, the strategies to implement that will aid in lowering the poverty levels in America will take a joint effort by many parties. It is imperative that action is taken to save our cities and our citizens.
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