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Poverty is one of the world’s biggest unsolved issues. Even though the United States is the wealthiest country in the world, it’s masses still live in poverty every single day. According to the non-profit organization ‘Bread for the World,’ “more than one in five children live in households that struggle to put food on the table, and most Americans (51.4 percent) will live in poverty at some point before age 65.” Of that percentage, a huge chunk comes from broken homes, including single and teenage mothers. This chunk is being blamed for the poor social mobility in the U.S.
According to a survey in the book “From Parents to Children,” written by a group of scholars, “children born into poor homes in America — where single-parent and teen-parent homes are more common (than in other parts of the world)– tended to remain poor throughout their life, while Australian and Canadian children born into similar families were more successful in advancing themselves.”
One of the scholars who wrote the book, Ottawa University’s Miles Corak, a poverty and education expert, said, “the tie between the educational attainment of children and the educational attainment of their parents is much tighter in the UK and U.S. than not just Australia and Canada, but also the vast majority of comparable rich countries.”
Children in the United States that are born into poverty are considered less developed than children entering elementary school in Australia and Canada. By the time these children enter high school, the gap of development continues to widen. Additionally, according to NewsCore, students born into poverty are much less likely to further their education after high school than impoverished students in other industrialized nations.
In hopes of improving the lives of those born into poverty in the United States, there are several things that the public can do to contribute to the lives of those that are most affected. Educational Charity Sutton Trust, which works to address such inequalities, said, “if we can understand the reasons for the much higher levels of social mobility in nations such as Canada and Australia … then the hope is that we can develop policies that will improve the life prospects.”
‘Bread for the World’ outlines several solutions to end poverty and to change the current statistics of poverty in America. Better jobs with higher wages need to be created for adults to support their families, and work support programs need to expand for families to have access to affordable health care and child care.
Strengthening tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, which help working families, and child nutrition programs—school lunches and breakfasts, summer feeding programs, and the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program—are critical to ending childhood hunger. When children receive the nutrition they need, they are more likely to move out of poverty as adults.