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Social Inequality and Poverty

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What is poverty? What is meant by relative poverty? Research and discuss statistics on the demographics of poverty in the United States. Have the poverty rates increased or decreased over the last decade? Why do you think that it has been difficult to lower the poverty rates in the United States where they specialize in law, finance, marketing and computer technology. Global economic expansion has also caused the stock market to grow by a factor of ten, between 1980 and 2000, creating profits for people who have had money to invest.

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1. What is poverty?

Generally, poverty is the state of being poor; lack of the means of providing material needs or comforts. http://www.answers.com/topic/poverty

"Absolute poverty" is one measure of poverty and is defined as those who do not have the resources to meet the basic needs for healthy living. They do not have the income to provide the food, shelter and clothing needed to preserve health. The US Census Bureau calculated that a family of four in 2005 needed $19,971 to meet basic needs. Using this "Absolute Poverty" definition about 12.5 % of such families were "poor" in 2005. http://www.faculty.fairfield.edu/faculty/hodgson/Courses/so11/stratification/poverty.htm

Using the definition of absolute poverty, poverty decreased from 2000 (13.3%) to 2005 (12.5%).

2. What is meant by relative poverty?

Another way to think about the poor is in terms of relative deprivation. The poor are those with significantly less access to income and wealth than others in their society. This is a "Relative Poverty" definition. Realistically, do you think that a family of four with an income of $20,615 in 2006, about $1 above the "poverty line" for that year, did not feel poor? Were they not likely to feel "relatively deprived" when they contrasted their situation to that of the "average" American ...

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