One of the major concerns among nations today is poverty; and, as we study the facts today, the United States is one of those nations who are seeking to address this issue. In the year 2012, according to the US Census Bureau, 16% of the population was living in poverty. Those belonging in this percentage is considered to lack the socially acceptable number of money and material possessions. It is shocking to know that this is still a growing concern with no concrete solution. It seems that the considered “economic recovery” has not done those in the poverty line any good yet. This situation actually brings up questions like, “Why does this happen?” “What has caused this?”
Most people would attribute poverty as an effect of laziness. It seems that for them, people just do not work hard enough to get themselves out of this condition. In some situations, this might be true; however, this has not always been the case. After hearing Laressa’s story, it has widened my view on poverty. It has opened my eyes to different possibilities of why many people still live in poverty. In these times the typical, “she’s poor because she’s lazy” stereotype has to go.
People like Laressa Matthews work all day and yet doesn’t seem to make enough for herself. A woman who earns $15,000 yearly for thirteen hours a day, but sadly, without any savings left for her own and no extra money left for health insurance is surely not lazy. At this rate that she’s going, she has to work double than what she is doing right now in order to sustain her basic needs including health insurance and to live above the poverty line. The way I see it, It is just a matter of lacking enough opportunities to come her way to help her get the extra kick that she needs to help her with her finances. First concern would be the limited number of children that she is allowed to accept daily is a concern. This limit set by the government has lessened her chances of earning more money. Second, working a full time job for 13 hours couldn’t allow anybody to get another part time job to help with the budget; and lastly, she has had a history of drug abuse that has limited her or rather, delayed her from getting enough education to explore other careers early on in life.
After hearing Laressa Matthews’ story, I came to understand that poverty is a premise with deep origins. Laziness might be a factor affecting poverty, but, the economic standing of the nation, a person’s life story and a person or a situation’s limitations can also be factors affecting the worsening case of poverty. Branding people lazy or even stereotyping them to be lazy does not help alleviate poverty. I think that the government and its people must start looking at the other factors surrounding poverty in order to develop better systems and solutions for helping the poor. It’s about time to note that we have stuck too much on the myth between poverty and laziness.
J. Liberto. (2013, November 6). Poverty level doesn't budge: 50 million and counting. Retrieved from http://money.cnn.com/2013/11/06/news/economy/poverty-census/.