Poverty is a state where someone lacks basic capacity to participate effectively in the society. It implies that a family does not have enough food and clothes, inability to access quality education and health service, does not have access to credit due to the lack of the collateral property to secure a loan or have credibility. There is no land on which to grow one’s food or a job to earn one’s living. It also means powerless, exclusion and insecurity of individuals because they are not financially stable. In America, the Census Bureau is the government organization which is responsible for the establishment of poverty levels of households in each year.
Every newly elected president goes to the White House promising to alleviate poverty and economic inequality. Yet in the end, many research and policy debates produce only marginal changes in this area. The elected presidents of America have tried very much in addressing the eradication of poverty in all dimensions through the empowerment of the people who are poor through their participation in the economic, political and social life, especially in the designing and the implementation of the policies which affect the poorest and the most vulnerable in the society groups. This poverty alleviation is the improving of the poor people’s living conditions.
The elected presidents have tried very much to put in measures which ensured that there were comprehensive plans which were aimed at assisting the people who are living in poverty, and other programs like the provision of the free state education, so as to increase the education levels of the people living in poverty, subsidizing essential commodities, provision of social amenities, improvement of the infrastructures, building of schools in the rural areas which are to have people who live in extreme poverty, as compared to those who live in the urban areas, and also the provision of free family planning methods for women and training so as to be able to contain the population growth in the poverty stricken areas and households. Other examples of assistance to the people living in poverty include cash aid, food and nutrition, medical, educational, housing, services, jobs and energy requirements.
It is very difficult to make these changes in public policies because of the cases on an increase in the population size of America. The population growth rate in the poverty stricken areas in America is very hard to control. With the increase in the population rate, it leads to an increase in the unemployment rate in the country and an increase in the criminal rate. This increase in the unemployment rate is as a result of lacking the required knowledge and skills that are required in the job market. This unemployment can further lead to an increase in the inflation rate which can make the poor people more poorer, because the prices of the essential commodities keep on rising and they cannot afford them which can lead to malnutrition and poor health problems in the poor people.
It is challenging to devise a comprehensive program to deal with poverty, because the majority of these people living in poverty are exposed to so many risks like criminal activity, poor health, and unemployment which can cause reduction in the labor market participation. This poverty can make people indulge themselves in bad and immoral behavior like drugs and substance abuse which has become another global problem and is also affecting other countries, except America. Some of the poor people are very arrogant and may take of these programs for granted. Sometimes the government is also termed to be arrogant, because the whole situation is in its hands, but it has done nothing to alleviate it.
Social unrest, high crime rates and the accumulation of human capital has made it very hard for the government of America to be able to fight and eradicate poverty which has been reported to be increasing at a very high rate in the country, and leaves the presidents who have been elected without a choice, because they cannot fully eradicate it. The main reason why this is so is that the number of poor people in America is increasing drastically each year which makes it extremely difficult to cater all the needs of each poor household.
Despite the recognition of the fact that we should try to substantially reduce poverty in America, the issue remains confined within the broader systemic agenda. The systematic agendas are those agendas in the society which delay an action, and they are agendas which still await the elevation into an active agenda. This systematic agenda is made up of all the issues which are perceived by the political community members as meriting the attention of the public, and it can also involve the matters which are present in a legitimate jurisdiction of a governmental authority which exists.
In the agenda setting, the policy cycle is made up of several steps which include the policy formulation, the adoption of the policy, the implementation, evaluation and either the termination of the policy or the change of the policy. This policy cycle begins with the stage where the government of America takes the issue of poverty as a very important issue which should be addressed. Before a policy is formulated, it can take a very long time, because it is sometimes very difficult for the policy to be termed as an institutional agenda or even an active agenda which could also make the whole policy to be dropped before it is even implemented.
The main problem in the agenda setting is that the government in most cases does not take any serious actions in serious problems like the issue of the alleviation of poverty. This is because in America, the people who live in poverty are not invisible, and the majority of them can be identified from their poor living standards which can be seen from the housing structures that they live in. The places that these poor people are very unhealthy with poor sanitation and in most cases they can be termed as to be very filthy, and only people who are extraordinary can live there. The government is well aware of the existence of such living conditions that the poor people are living in, but they still have done nothing to improve the people’s living conditions for very many years.
I believe that there is something that can be done to be able to bring the issue of poverty to the fore front of a political debate. The issue of poverty alleviation has been neglected for a very long time in America and it has been on the general public attention and power elite for many years. Through the adaption of Anthony Dawns, who was a social scientist, it is very true that the issue of poverty alleviation can be taken through to an attention cycle.
Poverty is a most pressing problem in America, and it needs to be addressed as soon as possible, because it can end up affecting the country’s economic status indirectly because of the increasing inequality gap. This could further lead to an increasing inflation rate in the country which could help in the extension of the problem beyond the point of control. The political will is the problem that the government has in the formulation of new policies and the implementation of these policies, since many of these policies may take a very long process which could make the whole situation of concern worse than it actually was.