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Poverty

The Lifelong Ravages of Poverty

Sunday, March 30, 2008 by: Jo Hartley
Tags: poverty, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) There is a new reason to feel ashamed about America's failure to fight poverty. Neuroscientists have recently discovered that children who grow up in poor families with a low social status are prone to experiencing unhealthy stress levels, which in turn may impair their neural development. This effects both language development and memory, and may predispose these children to lifelong poverty.

There was short-term success in fighting poverty during the 1960s under the leadership of Linden B. Johnson, who declared a "war on poverty." Poverty rates fell from 23 percent in 1963 to 14 percent by 1969. This was the end of the progress, however. In 2006, over 17 percent of America's children lived below the poverty line. This is a sharp increase from the numbers from the 1960s.

The true effects of living in poverty have always involved a sort of seclusion from larger society. To be poor in the United States today is to be an outcast of sorts. This is precisely what is poisoning the mind of America's poor children.

Instead of working to solve the problem of poverty, however, America seems extraordinarily busy fabricating excuses for the situation. One such excuse comes in the form of statements to the effect that America's poor aren't really that poor. One need only take a close look at any major city to see alarming evidence to the contrary.

Another is that America is a land of opportunity and anyone who has the desire or determination to succeed, will. Unfortunately, the cases of rags to riches are rare and more often people are caught in the trap of their parents' poverty. According to a recent statistic, American children who are born to parents in the bottom quarter of the income distribution have a 50 percent likelihood of staying there for their entire lives. This percentage rises to 66 percent if they are black.

Of interest is a study performed by the National Center for Education Statistics. They tracked a group of students who were in eighth grade in 1988. The bottom line of their study was astonishingly simple. Parental status trumps abilities. Even students who did well in standardized testing but came from low-income families were less likely to finish college than students who did not test as well but had higher income parents.

Europe, by comparison, has a much lower poverty rate than America. This is largely due to government programs designed to help the poor. Government can reduce poverty. If reducing poverty is a priority, great progress can be made, as evidence by Britain's achievements over the last ten years. They have made great strides in child poverty effectively cutting it in half.

The United States is capable of putting an end to the poverty that is destroying so many young American lives.

About the author

Jo Hartley
Wife, Mother of 8, and Grandmother of 2
Jo is a 41 year old home educator who has always gravitated toward a natural approach to life. She enjoys learning as much as possible about just about anything!
http://loftymatters.com - Current Events
http://winemaiden.com - Simply Abundant Living



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