Explain poverty in the United States and use and choose a theory to explain (Karl Marx) or (Max Webber)
Poverty in the United States
The Census Bureau in 2016 estimated the poverty levels in the U.S to be 12.7 percent which means 43.1 million Americans live in poverty. Historically, the poverty rate in the country has fluctuated yearly with the highest percentage going up to 22.4 percent which happened in 1959 and with the lowest going to 11.1 percent in 1973. While eliminating the extremes, the poverty levels have ranged between 15 and 11 percent (Semega et al.).
Karl Marx’s approach to any problem is uniquely characterized by examining an issue and its dynamic relation to others and relating it to historical, political, social and economic realities. It is an approach that does not make abstract assumptions about any problem. In other words, it is the use of sociological thinking to understand anything including poverty. Through a series of critical analysis, Marx’s argument assumes that poverty is as a result of uneven distribution of income and wealth which is a result of capitalism (Mondal).
According to this theory, the existence of inequality comes with poverty in any society. For the sociologist who adapts Karl Marx’s perspective, they believe that it is only through the abolishment of disparity in income that a community can get rid of poverty. Poverty does count not only income inequities but also social imbalance. Social inequity is about groups or individual people having more material resources that are in abundance as compared to others with little in the same society (Smith et al). Poverty is, therefore, insufficient supply of materials for some people. Karl Marx’s theory can, therefore, be a good starting point to understand poverty and finding ways to eradicate it.
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