The reasons for why poverty exists are widely contrastable. In casual conversations that I’ve had about the issue, I’ve found that more than a few times, my conversational counterpart’s perspective is that those who are impoverished are “lazy”. I won’t speak for the entirety of the middle class, but I have found that this outlook appears to rule the roost when it comes to the few friendly debates I have with friends, members who identify themselves with the middle class. I cannot, and would not, presume that this belief at large populates the class itself, and I have virtually no concrete evidence that indicates that it does. But I do wonder. I have heard all types of things, from simple statements like, “I work hard for my money. Why don’t ‘they’ just get a job?” to, “’They’ shouldn’t have kids they can’t afford” to prideful accounts of yelling obscenities at the homeless, and other passionate points of view about the subject.
From an economic standpoint, some of the statements I have heard from people hold water, though they are lacking in their understanding of other associated facts, and quite honestly, some of these statements surprise me merely based on the fact that attending a basic course in sociology is an educational requirement as one is on his/her way to obtaining a college degree. A basic book in sociology fully explains why “they” do what they do and is chock full of statistics, factors, and charts, so I do not understand why educated people (of all people) utilize ignorance or racism when participating in what should be an educated discussion. Unless they were not paying any attention in sociology class.
If in fact this is how poverty is viewed by the average American, then the issue at hand is related more to a lack of knowledge or education. Perhaps poverty itself is not to blame, but the state of our educational facilities. To break it down, “they” are impoverished for a variety of reasons, some which include mental health issues, addiction problems, domestic abuse factors, single-parenting, and deeper cultural obligations that result in an inability to generate enough income to support the members of a family. At this point, we do not have the social programs or governmental support needed to gain a full sense of awareness about the issue of poverty or, better yet, who it affects culturally and socially and why.
There is virtually little to no attempt to educate the public at large and shed light on the topic besides our spare college courses in sociology (unless of course we chose sociology as a field of study), and modern-day mainstream media offers us little more than titillating stories about sex, violence, and French fries. To gain real perspective on the topic we unfortunately have to bother ourselves, open up our web-browsers, and type in “poverty + U.S”, preferably utilizing the common search engine we all know and love, “Google”.