For a country on the cutting edge of technology and innovation, a leader in healthcare, and an international superpower; nonetheless we seem to have a hard time fixing one of the fundamental national problems; POVERTY!!! The land of opportunity, a dollar and a dream, and “the American dream” are all values that are ingrained in the identity of the US and yet for so many these are not even distant aspirations.
The foundation of American society is based on the idea that you can create a better life for yourself and your family with a little sweat and some hard work. This is simply no longer true. The age of optimism has passed, taken from the working class in the process, and replaced with a hard dose of reality. Moving up the ladder in the US has become increasingly difficult with the widening gap of wealth distribution. Currently less than 1% of the population controls 90% of the wealth. See videos below:
So why is poverty a problem?
Morally it’s a problem because the United States is seen as the land of opportunity, and yet we can not take care of our own people. What I mean by this is that there are way too many people who are struggling just to survive.
Society has a moral obligation to help those who are less fortunate. Secondly, it is economically a problem for many reasons. Our economy relies on consumers to be circulating money, buying and selling, because in this way our economy will be strong and prosperous. If the focus of people is merely survival, then any money they manage to make is going towards just that and not contributing to the economy. In this very way poverty diminishes our economic strength.
Lastly poverty is associated with a higher crime rate and more drug abuse. For obvious reasons this is a not only a moral problem, but an economic one as well. Cutting down on crime and drug use costs money. It is this money that could otherwise be going towards more beneficial things.