Poverty is not just a third world issue

October 15, 2015





Editor-In-Chief | emo012@latech edu


As Americans, we tend to view the world from the outside looking in. We want to be the superpower that takes care of the world whether it is through sending people or money to impoverished nations.


I am all for global outreach when it is done correctly and without hidden agendas, but sometimes it feels as if we lose sight of our own nation’s poverty. Yes, we need to keep helping other nations, but we should not forget cities and people hurting in our own country.


We need to also focus on cities like Detroit, Milwaukee and Baltimore; being some of the poorest in the United States, they are deeply suffering. Close to home we have New Orleans, a city that is still recovering from Hurricane Katrina.


In all of these cities, there is a significant number of people living below the poverty lines, abandoned buildings, high crime rates, a large homeless population and poor educational systems.


According to the United States Census of September 2014, the official total poverty rate was 14.8 percent, and 46.7 million people were living in poverty.


We must not continue to let people live under these kinds of conditions; if we can help it, we really should make the effort to do so.


Our nation has always been about helping and coming together, so if we neglect this issue, these cities and the population that is suffering, we ultimately stray away from the things for which we supposedly.


In the state of Louisiana alone, 19 percent of the population falls below the poverty line and while this may not seem like an extreme number, we’re talking about almost a quarter of the population.


Of course our nation is large and demographically, we have a wide range of the wealthy, middle class and poor, whereas some smaller countries may have a smaller demographic, in terms of population, where poverty is more common in a closer range.


It’s honestly a little weird to drive through the country, or even just Louisiana, and to see broken down homes next to nicer newer ones. It’s sad this scenario does not bother us more, because it really should.


Poverty is a real problem, and I know there is no simple solution. Everyone has to want to step up and do something about it and prevent it from getting worse.


It’s inevitably always going to be an issue, but there are ways to decrease the impact on society.


It is definitely a world problem, but America tends to spotlight other nations for the amount of poverty they have and neglects to account for its own.


We should still help other nations, but do so out of a genuine desire to help, and not with the intention of belittling them or looking for something in return.


At the same time we examine poverty overseas, we need to understand that we are not completely void of some of these same problems, maybe not on the same level, but we still have them.


Ellie Moslander is a senior journalism major from Albuquerque who serves as editor-in-chief or The Tech Talk.


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