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Running head: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS NOT WINNING THE WAR POVERTY

United States of America is Not Winning the War on Poverty


Danielle D. Greer
James Madison University

Running head: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS NOT WINNING THE WAR POVERTY

Introduction:
The United States of America is undoubtedly considered one of the most developed countries in
current society; however, the US still struggles with poverty. As a young adult living in the US, I
find it important to maintain knowledge on US poverty to be conscious of how prevalent the
issue is and to also be aware of how much effort must be put forward to lower poverty rates.
Poverty in the US is a relevant issue because of the wide scope of people it effects; anyone from
children to the elderly can be effected by poverty. Caucasians, along with Mexicans, Blacks,
Native Americans, Latinos, and Asians, struggle with poverty in the US. Our country has formed
such a dependency on government aid programs that most programs fail to truly alleviate
poverty. My research also analyzes the lack of health benefits provided to workers effecting
poverty rates. This research is important to all Americans, whether they are in poverty or not,
because ending poverty wont happen without the whole country behind the cause.
Moses, J. (2014). Marriage Is Not the Solution to Ending Poverty. Poverty and Homelessness.
Retrieved from http://ic.galegroup.com/
In his article, Marriage is Not the Solution to Ending Poverty, Moses argues that
marriage is an insufficient resolution to lowering poverty rates in the US because of the
uncertainty of always having a financially stable partner available. The information in this article
exists to inform readers of the reasons why marriage is not an affective solution to poverty. There
are three key approaches Moses focusses on to claim the ineffectiveness of marriage as a solution
to poverty: a common-sense approach, an approach stating that year-round employment matters
whether married or not, and an approach that implies men have challenges of their own when it
comes to avoiding poverty. Moses detailed approaches as to why marriage is not a productive
solution to poverty are what make his purpose clear. The main claim of this article is that

Running head: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS NOT WINNING THE WAR POVERTY

marriage is a less than ideal solution to lowering poverty rates in the US. Much of this
information is Moses opinion; however, Census Bureau data is used to support Moses main
claim. The article concludes with the statement that economic security must first be addressed
before marriage could ever be considered a just solution to relieving poverty.
When examining Joy Moses (2014) credentials, it becomes evident that he is a credible
author because he Is a senior policy analyst with the Poverty and Prosperity program at the
Center for American Progress (para. 1). The intended audience of this article is US citizens who
view marriage as a solution to poverty, because Moses aims to inform these citizens as to why
their view is flawed. Information provided in this article is biased because the majority of it is
Moses opinion as to why marriage remains an insufficient solution; however, Moses (2014)
incorporates Census Bureau facts, such as According to 2011 Census data on families with
children, 27 percent of male live-in partners were not working, although most were looking for
work, to provide his article with a sense of credibility (para. 6). Published in a reputable journal
in the year 2014, Moses article discusses a relevant topic concerning countless US citizens who
view marriage as the key to overcoming poverty.
This article is useful to my research towards high US poverty rates because it focuses on
explaining why marriage, a solution that countless Americans deem appropriate for lower US
poverty rates, is a flawed solution. Moses biased opinion towards his main claim provides a
unique aspect to my research; the approaches he details are a relatable source of information that
entices the readers use of their own logical thinking. This way of analyzing my research will help
me connect more to my own audience. The common sense aspect of Moses article has reminded
me that statistics are not the only way to analyze the problem of US poverty.
O'Brien, E., Baer, D., & Wu, K. B. (2011). Poverty Among the Elderly Is Widespread in

Running head: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS NOT WINNING THE WAR POVERTY

America. The Elderly. Retrieved from http://ic.galegroup.com/


In the article, Poverty Among the Elderly Is Widespread in America, written by Ellen
OBrien, David Baer, and Ke Wu, it is reasoned that poverty rates regarding elderly Americans
are mismeasured. Facts are utilized throughout the article in order to inform how poverty rates
among the elderly are inaccurate. However, facts are often integrated in this article to provoke an
emotion of sympathy towards the elderly not receiving adequate assistance. The authors of this
article touch on the fact that certain races, such as Blacks and Hispanics, are hit especially hard
by poverty. They also discuss how extremely poor elderly citizens do not benefit from programs
that could supply limited incomes; assistance from noncash federal assistance programs are the
only form of aid attainable for most of the extremely poor elderly. The statistics and evidence
throughout the article help support the authors main claim that due to changes in the US
economy in the past couple decades, more elderly citizens are living in poverty than the Federal
Poverty Line suggests.
All three authors of Poverty Among the Elderly Is Widespread in America, are proven
credible. In 2014, OBrien, Baer, and Wu displayed their credibility through reporting that,
Ellen O'Brien is a senior strategic policy advisor at the Public Policy Institute of AARP, an
advocacy organization for older Americans. Ke Bin Wu and David Baer are policy research
analysts at the Public Policy Institute (para. 1). The intended audience for this article is the
select Americans that determine the usage of the Federal Poverty Line. Through analytical
reasoning, this article remains unbiased. In 2014, OBrien, Baer, and Wu claim that, The official
U.S. poverty measure has been in use for more than four decades, but increasingly, it fails to
accurately describe who is and who is not poor (para. 13). This realization proves the article is

Running head: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS NOT WINNING THE WAR POVERTY

relevant, because the official US poverty measure is being more outdated each day. Something
must be done to prevent the mismeasurement of certain poverty statistics.
The fact that this article has three credible authors ensures a strong source of information.
I can use this article in my research to compare the state of poverty found throughout older
Americans with the state of poverty found throughout children in America. Focusing specifically
on the elderly gives me a more in depth aspect of research, instead of generalizing US citizens as
a whole. The fact that this article points out how the Federal Poverty Line is outdated has made
me more analytic of statistics found throughout the scope of my research. After reading this
article, I began to question whether or not the United States economy has made adequate living
too unattainable because of ridiculous costs.
Ohanian, L. E. (2014). The war on poverty is lost. Hoover Digest. Retrieved from
http://ic.galegroup.com/
According to The War on Poverty is Lost, the United States of America struggles with
high poverty rates due to an immense reliance on government assistance. Lee E. Ohanian makes
his argument clear by providing statistics to inform readers of US poverty rates. He also reasons
through the ways that government assistance is doing little to help Americans in poverty,
claiming much of the assistance causes those in poverty to remain where they are. Through
reasoning and statistics, Ohanian contends his main claim that the US will continue to lose the
war on poverty, until programs do more to progress citizens in the work forces without making
them dependent upon the programs.
Lee E. Ohanian (2014), the author of this article, is credible because he Is a professor of
economics and director of the Robert Ettinger Family Program in Macroeconomic Research at
the University of California, Los Angele (p. 1). The article is intended mainly for those who

Running head: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS NOT WINNING THE WAR POVERTY

create government assistance programs. This is evident because majority of the article points out
the flaws of government assistance programs ironically causing citizens to become dependent on
them. Due to his credentials, it can be affirmed that this scholarly article remains unbiased. This
article was written last year, making it extremely current. The issue involving unconstructive
government assistance programs is very relevant to the United States of America, because if
these programs arent fixed in a way to decrease poverty rates while simultaneously making
citizens self-reliant, then the programs hold little value.
Ohanians article is a valuable asset to my research, because it supports the claim that the
US is losing the war on poverty while critiquing current solutions to this issue. This article will
help me shape my argument because it doesnt merely state certain poverty rates, it provides a
clear argument as to why the poverty rates are so high. After analyzing Ohanians article, I now
maintain a better understanding of why some government programs fail to truly alleviate poverty.
Skinner, C. (2013, May-June). Child poverty by the numbers. The American Prospect.
Retrieved from http://prospect.org/
The author of this article, Curtis Skinner, evaluates the high poverty rates among children
in the United States. Skinner informs his readers that child poverty rates in America have risen
significantly since the recession and have not yet receded. Statistics are presented in Skinners
article in order to support his main claim. At the end of the article, a table is shown in order to
portray the high poverty rates among American children. This table also breaks down the
statistics by race, giving a more in depth look at child poverty rates.
Noting Skinners (2013, May-June) position as the director of The Family Economic
Security program at the National Center for Children in Poverty, at Columbia University, he
remains a credible author (p. 1). The article is intended towards all Americans, but especially

Running head: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS NOT WINNING THE WAR POVERTY

those who have children. Having a child is a huge responsibility; one must make sure they are
not only financially stable enough to support themselves but their children as well. Skinner
(2013, May-June) states that The stubbornly high child-poverty rate is partly explained by
persistently high unemployment during the weak and protracted economic recovery (p. 1).
Clearly, unemployment rates are directly related to child poverty, and Skinner intends for his
audience of American parents to fully consider this fact. Considering Skinners credentials and
his use of statistics, it is safe to say this article remains unbiased. A reputable publisher supports
this article; however, although it was published within the last five years, there is a good
possibility of child poverty rates in the United States changing since then. Needless to say, this
article remains relevant because the children of today are the future of tomorrow.
Skinners article is beneficial towards my research because he focuses strictly on child
poverty rates in the United States. While some of my other sources evaluate American poverty as
a whole, this source will give me a more in depth outlook. This source made me realize just how
specific I am able to get with the different poverty rates among all age groups, genders, and
races.
The rise of poverty. (2011). American Educator. Retrieved from http://ic.galegroup.com/
According to The Rise of Poverty (2011), the US is not winning the war on poverty,
when realizing the number of citizens battling severe poverty and those without health insurance.
This informative article emphasizes the US struggle with high poverty rates through the
incorporation of statistics. The article provides evidence that one of the causes for American
poverty is a lack of employer-provided health insurance; however, the article also states that
Medicaid and the Childrens Health Insurance Program have actually succeeded in providing
coverage throughout America.

Running head: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS NOT WINNING THE WAR POVERTY

Though The Rise of Poverty (2011) has an anonymous author, the evidence this article
provides from An analysis of Census Bureau statistics conducted by the Center on Budget and
Policy Priorities assures credible conclusions (para. 1). The Rise of Poverty (2011)
specifically addresses American employers; this becomes evident when it is stated that, The
number of people without health insurance increased to a record high of 49.9 million, which the
center attributes to a decline in employer-provided health coverage (para. 3). Published four
years ago in a reputable academic press, this article remains current. The unbiased information
provided is helpful when considering United States poverty rates.
While this article mentions one specific cause for Americas high poverty rates, it also
states two programs that have helped alleviate poverty. This positive note on relieving poverty is
a unique attribution to my research, because these successful programs will give me something
to compare abortive programs to. Much of my research has been negative facts on poverty rates
in the US and the failings of government programs, so this article reminded me that there are
definitely helpful government programs available.