Sample Sociology Paper on Eliminating Poverty

Eliminating Poverty

Despite the United States (U.S.) being a developed country and the largest economy worldwide, a significant portion of the population remains poor. In 2012, 46 million Americans, representing 15% of the country’s population, was poor. Even with the government’s continued focus on reducing poverty over the years, the poor population seems to increase, rather than decrease, with 15m more people becoming poor between 2000 and 2012 (Edelman, 2012). Nevertheless, this assessment does not imply that government initiatives aimed at reducing poverty have been unsuccessful, especially considering that initiatives such as social security, the introduction of food stamps, and tax credit on earned incomes have contributed towards keeping about 40m people off poverty. The Center of Budget and Policy Priorities, CBPP, notes that without such initiatives, the levels of poverty across the U.S. would be approximately double the current rates (Edelman, 2012).

Edelman (2012) identifies four causes of continued rise in poverty in the U.S., and on which government initiatives need to focus in efforts to eliminate poverty. These include the prevalence of low-wage jobs for a huge number of people and the increasing number of single-parent households, which makes it difficult for such households to earn a high income from employment opportunities typically available. Other causes are the discontinuation of welfare initiatives (cash assistance for poor women and children) and the persistence of gender and race issues that perpetrate poor income levels among minority population groups and single-mother households (Edelman, 2012). An essential cause of continued poverty and a seeming inability to eliminate it in the U.S. is the fact that, despite much growth in the U.S. economy over the years, the beneficiaries of such development are primarily the top social classes (Mather & Jarosz, 2014). An effective strategy to eliminate poverty in the U.S. would have to involve an efficient income redistribution policy to enhance greater equality among social classes.


Edelman, P. (2012, July 28). Poverty in America: Why can’t we end it? The New York Times. Retrieved from:

Mather, M. & Jarosz, B. (2014). The Demography of Inequality in the United States. Population Reference Bureau Bulletin 69(2). Retrieved from: