Classes in America

How a person's birth Affects their economic success.

The American Dream

  • The "American Dream" is the idea of rising up from nothing to something.
  • Industry in America accomplished this image.
  • Though America is supposedly a "classless society" U.S. citizens tend to stay in the class they are born into.
  • There is a clear distinction between the haves and the have nots.
  • A completely mobile class system would mean anyone could lose at anytime and the country would be worse off than it currently is.

Poverty and Gender

  • Women are more likely to be in poverty than men.
  • 1/4 of women in poverty are single mothers
  • 54% of women in poverty are single with no (dependent) children, though women are more likely to bear the child cost.

The U.S. has the third largest poverty gap (.17) behind Mexico (.21) and Chile (.17)

Kids in Poverty

  • If a women is pregnant and in poverty, she will most likely be uninsured and get improper prenatal care. Therefore children in poverty are more likely to have medical conditions putting them at a developmental disadvantage to kids not born into poverty.

School Age

  • Kids in poverty often receive lower-standard education because they have to frequently move or attend low-funded schools.
  • If a child does not learn to read or write well at an elementary school level, they will then have trouble in high school.
  • Poor high school grades make it hard to get into college, and in this economy a college degree is vital to a successful and well paying job, so this poor education sets them back for a lifetime.
  • As well, teenagers living in poverty are more likely to experiment with drugs, alcohol, risky sexual behavior, gangs and other unlawful activities.

Socological Poverty

"Culture of Poverty"
  • Entire families struggling to meet their basic needs.
  • People begin to develop ingrained beliefs that then limit their chances for future success.
  • This can lead to people believing that crime is an acceptable alternative to employment and that children shouldn't strive for good grades.

Situational Poverty

  • When a family suffers a negative financial change due to illness, job loss, or other temporary change.
  • Situational poverty is traumatic, but often not lasting.

Generational Poverty

  • Persistent, long-term struggle of poverty, that occurs over two generations of a family.
  • One of the most difficult to fix

Child Poverty

  • A state of economic inequality in which children have limited or no access to resources such as, adequate food, shelter, medical care, and education. This limit makes it harder for them to develop into healthy and productive adults.