Poverty: a silent killer The merciless chain of poverty is enclosing its arm around America. Children are storming the streets starving for a modest meal and a heated room. It confines them, forcing them to live a life of nightmares. It is evidently noted that poverty is the silent killer all over the world. The danger is, no one truly knows what poverty is, and who is to blame. A snapshot of poverty would seemingly resemble the poorest of the poor. As an experienced person who lived through childhood poverty, I can relate.
When Bobby, a preschooler, scratched a mosquito bite on his leg, the area became infected. His parents took him to the doctor, who prescribed an antibiotic. However, because Bobby’s father earned very low wages at his job, the family could not immediately afford to buy the prescription. As a result of the family’s poverty the infection grew dangerously out of control and Bobby was hospitalized for three days in order to receive intravenous antibiotics. Each of those hospital days cost about $800, doctors estimated (Sherman, 6) What is the real truth about poverty?
Every conception of the term is misconstrued. There is no absolute one-size-fits-all definition for poverty. All we know is that poverty is currently at war with America and has been for an unquestionable amount of time. Poverty has structured the face of destiny for good. In the eyes of Americans, poverty is the plight of delinquents. Beginning with the Bible and continuing through the Elizabethan poor laws, there has been a belief among some that the poor have no one to blame but themselves (Edelman, XV). However, poverty looks different than it did decades ago.
The elderly are considerably more impoverished, and children have become the poorest age group. To understand why there is so much more poverty among children, we need to understand why their parents are worse off. Although some experts affirm children are affected by biological conditions (genetics, health, and nutrition) and environmental conditions (families, communities, and schools), some also believe there are no accurate measurements for poverty (Boyden and Bourdillon, 129). “Poverty is like punishment for a crime you didn’t commit. -Eli Khamarov. Around 21,000 children die around the world everyday due to poverty (Boyden and Bourdillon, 151). At this very moment, a child died from poverty. We need to pinpoint the cause for poverty now! But it is a cycle that cannot be broken. For example, as a child I was raised wealthy. Anything and everything I ever wanted could have been mine thanks to my parents. Although the economy began its sinking process, my family still managed to rise above surface. That is, until my dad’s company went bankrupt and all our money sunk with it.
The wealth turned to poor, and we had to do anything and everything we could to carry on. The food was scarce, and the toys were sold. I asked myself everyday why this was our punishment. After nearly a year of enduring the pain of poverty, I now know whom to blame. Ourselves. Are we enough to blame for our own predicament? Have we been lazy, made poor decisions, and been solely responsible for our plight? What about our government? Have they pursued policies that actually harm successful development? We’ve waged war on poverty and poverty won (Edelman, ).
With the real cost of minimal living, the cycle will continue unless America platforms a plan. As of right now, President Barack Obama makes little use of the word “poverty. ” The government website detailing the contents of his Recovery Act used the word “vulnerable” to characterize those portions of legislation relating to low-income people (Edelman, xiv) With that being said, both are to blame. America’s disease is greed. Greed has produced rash tax cuts that have given money to the rich and taken it from the poor.
We all want more money, bigger homes, and nicer cars; however, no one can appreciate what they have. The only people that can are the poor. In result to the greed of my family, when an unforeseen dilemma arose we didn’t know how to handle the situation at hand. Thus, we sunk further and further into the cycle and it took a fight to pull us to the surface. I believe that unless one truly experiences poverty no one will truly comprehend its meaning. On the other hand, poverty can happen to those born into it. As the government focuses more and more on other nation worries, a child dies from poverty.
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