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Six Biggest Myths About the Poor

  • Date Submitted: 03/01/2014 02:45 PM
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Tammy Early
Week 3 Assignment
SO1050
Dr. Ricardo Richards

Six Biggest Myths About The Poor

Myth 1: People are poor because they are lazy and refuse to work.
Fact: Of poor people 16 years and older, 12 percent work full time year round, and another 25 percent work part time (Mead 2008).
Myth 2: Most poor people are minorities.
Fact: Almost 43 percent of people living in poverty are white (DeNavas-Walt et al.2009). In proportions, however, African Americans and Latinos are much more likely to be poor than Asian Americans and whites.
Myth 3: Most poor people live in inner cities.
Fact: A large number (33 percent) of the poor live in inner cities, but the rest live in urban areas outside of the inner cities, the suburbs, small towns, and rural communities. In 2008, one third of the nation’s poor lived in suburbs (DeNavas-Walt et al. 2009; Kneebone and Garr 2010).
Myth 4: Most of the poor are single mothers.
Fact: Of all the families living in poverty; 51 percent are single mothers and their children, but 40 percent of married-couple families and 9 percent of father-headed households are poor (DeNavas-Walt et al. 2009).
Myth 5: Most of the poor are older Americans.
Fact: About 10 percent of people 65 years and older are poor, but 35 percent of the poor are children younger than 18 (DeNavas-Walt et al. 2009). Between 2000 and 2008, the incomes of people ages 25-54--especially men—decreased about 11 percent but increased by 8 percent for men ages 65-74 (Cauchon 2009).
Myth 6: The poor get special advantages.
Fact: The poor pay more for goods and services than do wealthier people. Supermarket chains and discount stores rarely locate in low-income communities, and because the poor have limited access to banks or other financial institutions, they must often rely on “check –cashing stores” that charge high rates for cashing checks or borrowing money (Jeffery 2006).
Myth 7: Few U.S. children are homeless.
Fact: More than 1.6 million of the U.S.’s...

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