In the United States today there are many reforms that had been made to help cope with those who are living in poverty. However, these reforms have been keeping many from being able to climb the social class ladder because the “War on Poverty” has not been effective on ridding poverty in the U.S. According to the Heritage Foundation, there are about forty six million people who are living in poverty and it is a conflict in this country because it puts people of lower class at a disadvantage because they have to choose between necessities like healthcare, child care and food in order to help themselves and their family members; therefore, many sacrifices have to be made to insure their survival. Though many reforms have been made to help people living in poverty, there is still much work to be done to help the lower class maintain a sufficient standard of living.Many people are living in poverty due to the inability to find a job because some businesses are outsourcing jobs to developing countries since workers there are willing to be paid less than the average American worker. This creates problems for people who are trying to look for jobs due to the fact that not many jobs are available on the job market and will remain jobless if the government does not conform to the economic environment. Obama has promised to put more jobs into America to improve the social standing of people living in poverty, however, very few jobs had been put on the job market. Shah (2011) states that historically that the U.S has always had the largest gap between the rich and the poor compared to other industrialized nations. With the elite receiving more money than people who are of lower class, it creates tension between these two factions because of the unequal distribution of money has deepened the problem on poverty. Since 1964, President Johnson declared an “unconditional war against poverty” in his State of the Union. The Johnson Administration passed many reforms such as the Social Security Act, Food Stamp Act, Economic Opportunity Act, and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to aid the 19% who were suffering through poverty at that time and these reforms were able to help lower poverty rates in the U.S to 11.1% for the next decade (Raab, 2013). Though many of these reforms were able to help the lower class, the reforms were unable to keep up with the increasing standard of living. Under President Obama, the U.S still uses these reforms that were passed under the Johnson administration. From his first term, President Obama has been on the issue of poverty in America and has promised many he would help the lower class improve their economic conditions. Nevertheless, the talks Obama gives on this issue has demonstrated little rhetorical leadership and has only emphasized issues related to poverty which makes him similar to past presidents. Today about 14.6 percent of the population (Raab,2013) are still living in poverty and this pressing issue will not change if presidents continue to direct people on what to do about poverty, change would not be made. Instead, presidents should facilitate this problem because there needs to be more drastic changes that will help the lower class. Conflict TheoryConflict theory was first introduced by Karl Marx who saw that class conflict has pushed society from one stage to the next, in a dialectical process where the rich maintains control over order of production and the poor provides labor production. Class conflict is the struggle between capitalists and workers because there has always been an opposition between the two social classes in the United States (Henslin, 2014, p.10). The rich would often exploit the poor for their selfish reasons and pay the workers minimum wage but it is not enough to provide means to the workers’ family and themselves; it forces them to live pay check to paycheck. In the beginning Americans thought that our society was based on liberal ideals that saw society working together to preserve individual liberties and share ideas which will eventually lead to a more acceptable and advanced society. However, conflict theorists see that society does not work that way. Instead they believe that outside forces such as discrimination prevents an individual from being able to achieve their goal or certain aspect of living, which will eventually lead to violence, people stealing from others, and lastly poverty. Conflict of PovertyIn American society, the population is separated by social class. The social class distinguishes persons’ education, where they live, and where they stand in the social economic ladder. A person’s education and community would be a reflection of who they are going to be in the future. An example of those would be children who are from affluent families are likely to become successful in the future due to their wealth and the social connections; which also includes more government funding into their school system. Children who come from poor neighborhoods are less likely to succeed in the future since there is less government funding in their local public schools and there are no after school programs to help lookout for children. According to Center for American Progress, there has been a significant increase in the national poverty rate since 2008. Amongst the ones who are living in poverty, single women make up 59% of people living in poverty today (Weiss, 2009). Women are living in poverty because they only make 72% of what men earn and are not able to support themselves well; especially if they are divorced and are single mothers. Being divorced and a single mother ties in with the conflict issue because at one point many of these women were married at one point, but the loss of a husband can be the cause of a family to go through poverty because he was the main source of income that kept the family living in a stable condition. Feminization of poverty has become common since “mother headed families have become common” (Henslin, 2014, p.280). The population of women living in the U.S signifies a large population of adults who need of public assistance, housing assistance, and food stamps in order to live in a stable condition. Nevertheless, there is still much work congress needs to do to ensure that many of these government assistance programs would help the lower class lead a better life in the future. Since President Johnson’s time, the government has helped many people of lower class escape from the perils of living in poverty. However, many people are beginning to have the misconception that people fall into poverty due to the culture of poverty. The culture of poverty is the belief where behaviors of a subculture is responsible for people to continue living in poverty (Henslin, 2014, p.251 ). Behind this concept, arguments about poverty and culture have revolved around speculations whether if poverty is or is not a person’s fault. In Alison Stewart’s interview about the culture of poverty, the person she interview talks about how the culture is not related to poverty in any way and change is possible if an individual would be willing to put in the effort for change (2009). It is true that being born into poverty does not mean that the lifestyle a person lives determines that they won’t become successful later on in the future. Although there are many people who do fall into poverty generation after generation, there are those who strive for the best and are able to make a better life for themselves and their family. The main cause for culture of poverty would be the social structure that emphasizes discrimination amongst many subcultures. Discrimination has always been a problem within the lower class because it has always been an obstacle that has blocked the way of success says Stewart (2009). People of lower class are the victims of poverty who need money and resources that would eventually change their culture. Without aid, people of lower class will continue to suffer through poverty and will never be able to make changes in the culture.For many years poverty has been a problem within the American culture. To help the lower class, the government draws a poverty line that determines how people living in poverty may benefit from government aid. Since the 1960s, the poverty line was set because poor people were thought to spend about one third of their income on food (Henslin, 2014, p.276). As a result, the poverty line has been the official measure of poverty and remains unchanged. However, studies show that people living in poverty do not spend one third of their income on food, but only about one- seventh of their family’s expenses on food (NCCP, 2008). The way that the government measures poverty is based on outdated information that assumes a family makes a specific amount of money and that if the family makes more than a dollar above the poverty line, they do not qualify for government aid. The measure of poverty is a problem, because it is not enough to meet the basic needs of people who live in high cost cities like New York and those who live in rural areas may be living in far worse conditions. ConclusionPoverty is a big issue in the U.S because at least forty six million people are living in impoverished conditions or are on the verge of living in poverty themselves. The issue with poverty in America is seen through the conflict lens because it looks at how people living in poverty are barely making ends meet. Even if there is government aid, it can only help a little because the help that is given to these people aren’t enough. Change can only be made if the government sees the conflict of those in poverty and make drastic reform changes.

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