Appalachian Poverty

Poverty is a global problem, and it has existed from the beginning

of civilization. Hunger, homelessness, and lack of health care are major

aspects of this world-wide

dilemma. Many countries are in complete poverty and a majority are

third-world countries. Within the United States of America, a land of

plenty, there are also pockets of extreme poverty. Governments around the

world are trying to solve this huge problem. Third world poverty and

Appalachian poverty, which occurred in the United States of America, have

developed for various reasons, and these situations have led to a great

deal of problems.

Throughout the world, poverty has plagued all countries. In smaller,

under-developed countries many people die from starvation. These countries

can not afford to support their citizens. Due to their financial problems,

the people lack proper shelter and clothing to keep themselves warm during

cold months. Since they lack adequate shelter and clothing, diseases occur

all over. These diseases develop a lot easier with poor nutrition. Once

again with more financial problems, health care is limited to none.

Lawrence Senesh, the contributor of "Poverty as a Social Problem" from

World Book, says poverty is usually caused by the difficulty in holding and

even getting a job(650). Ability, education, and skills help determine the

kind of job an individual gets (650).

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Everyone does not have the same physical abilities and mental abilities.

Poor health and abilities prevent some people from holding a job. Through

science people have been able to hold onto jobs a lot easier (650). It has

increased the need for professional workers and lowered the demand for the

unskilled (650). So, the people with higher education will get paid a

higher income, and people with lower education will get paid a lower

income. Changes in economic slumps can often bring poverty. When

businesses drop off and production declines people lose jobs without

warning (650). Poverty is also caused by social conditions, such as racial

discrimination (Blacks, Asians, and Mexicans) (650). Whites are usually

the ones who do the discriminating (650).

There are a variety of third-world countries in the world. A third

world country is a country that is economically depressed and continues to

grieve. Examples of third world countries are Bosnia, Hungary, Austria,

Romania, and Somalia. The United States of

America, the richest country in the world, has its share of poverty

(Senesh650a). Granted, American poverty is no match to third world

poverty, but for such a prosperous country it is pretty sad. Most third

world countries do not have social security or welfare (650a). So, the

people of those countries have no income to keep themselves going. Even


America does have both social security and welfare, this country still has

many homeless and starving people.

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Appalachia includes thirteen states, ranging from southern New York to

eastern Mississippi (650a). About eighteen million people live in

Appalachia. In March, 1965, the

United States Congress passed the Appalachian Regional Redevelopment Act.

The legislation was designed primarily to create more jobs by attracting

tourists and industries. It provided funds and made the area more

accessible. Funds also were made available

for new schools and health facilities, land and mine reclamation, and

timber and water conservation.

The poverty in America will not be solved all at once (650a).

Simply creating jobs will not help eliminate poverty because there are some

people who are disabled and just can not work (650a). The government

social welfare programs help to add income to many people (650a). These

people could be the retired, unemployed, disabled, or widowed (650a). In

order to help the less fortunate, the people that are employed are taxed to

raise money to pay for social security and other benefits (650a). For the

higher income workers taxes are higher, and for lower income workers taxes

are lower. Michael Winerip stated in "What's a Nice Jewish Lawyer Like

John Rosenberg Doing in Appalachia?" from New York Times Magazine, that

Rosenberg left Washington to go to Kentucky ; he quickly realized that the

land was barren. A land that was once bountiful

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for its time is now a vast quantity of nothing (Winerip25). In the video

tape "Applachian Poverty"directed by Susan Jones, she shows how runned down

Applachia really is.

The government has been trying to eliminate poverty for decades. In

1946 an employment act was passed (Senesh 650a). This act charges the

federal government to

keep the economic stability of the United States of America (Senesh 650a).

The way the government has tried to decrease the poverty level is by

increasing in goods and

services (650a). Since the mid-1940's, poverty has been reduced about one

per cent a year, which is a normal growth rate (650a). Some other ways

that could