Essay on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

2221 Words 9 Pages
Undisputedly poverty has been one of the major persistent social problems in the United States for hundreds of years. Poverty does not discriminate against Caucasians, African-Americans, Hispanics, Jews, homosexuals, heterosexuals, age, gender, or persons with disabilities. Poverty can strike any population, community, ethnic group, and family. According to the U.S Census Bureau, 43.6 million people were in poverty in 2009 which was an increase from 2008. (Insert citation for website). There are multiple causes of why a family or individual can fall into poverty, which includes but not limited to, disability, unemployment, age, and recessions, as for which we have seen through the 2008 recession and the Great Depression.
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(DiNitto, 2007).
Although deprivation is an arbitrary definition for poverty, the government came up with the poverty threshold. The poverty threshold is the federal government’s calculation of cash income required for an individual and families to meet their basic necessities. (DiNitto, 2007) The first poverty threshold calculation was done in 1964 by the Social Security Administration and Economist Mollie Orshansky. The poverty threshold calculations were done by estimating a low-cost and nutritious food budget for households. The originally calculations only estimated the cost for individuals ages 65 and up, but the current calculations are based on the Consumer Price Index. (DiNitto, 2007) According to the census bureau, as of 2009 the poverty threshold for a family of four, which include two adults and two children, is $21, 756. (Insert citation from website).
Poverty as culture explains that poverty is a way of life that is passed down throughout generations. This cycle does not only involve low income, but it also includes an attitude of inadequate incentives and self-respect. As a result of the attitudes of alienation and apathy it is difficult for individuals who are in poverty to use the opportunities that may be granted to them for upward mobility. (DiNitto, 2007) Ultimately, for many people, the lack in the ability to provide yourself or your family with the basic necessities in

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