Poverty can be categorized as absolute or relative. People are said to be in absolute poverty when they lack basic necessities for survival. Relative poverty refers to a condition in which some people’s way of life is worse compared to a majority in the society. Their incomes fall below the average income threshold of the society. Generally, poverty in the USA can be best described by relative poverty.
The Federal Reserve Board of Consumer Finances compared the median income, total wealth and the non-home wealth of the African-American and Hispanic households. This population faired worse overall. Statistics show that in 2007, average white household had 15 times much total wealth compared to the African-American or Hispanic households. Further, the census reports of the year 2010 showed that the poverty rate of the African-Americans and the Hispanics averaged 27%, the Asians were 12.1%, while only 9.9% of the non-Hispanic white lived in poverty. Children under the age of 18 comprised 22% of the people living in poverty and out of this the African-American and Hispanic children were the majority. In 2009, the fiscal year reports indicated that most of the families under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program were the African-Americans and the Hispanics. The African-Americans and the Hispanics were 33.3% and 28.8% respectively while the white families comprised 31.2% overall.
In order to address this inequality and poverty reduction must be given deliberate and strategic consideration. The government should consider efficient implementation of minimum wages and the Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC). This may supplement the minimum wages of poor families and reduce the number of children in poverty. The affirmative implementation of this strategy would ensure that the African-American or Hispanic populations are empowered with sustainable income to be able to invest in businesses and improve their standard of living.
In conclusion, identification of the poor in the USA should be followed with strategic planning that targets poverty reduction among the vulnerable populations. This must focus on empowering the poor with resources to improve their standards of living. This will enhance reduction of relative poverty and social inequalities in the USA.