As you think about the employment challenges and economic disparities this week identify the social policies and institutions that continue to perpetuate poverty for Hispanics and other groups that...

As you think about the employment challenges and economic disparities this week identify the social policies and institutions that continue to perpetuate poverty for Hispanics and other groups that are marginalized.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There are different attitudes as to what causes poverty among Hispanics and other marginalized groups.  Therefore, different people will identify different social policies and institutions that perpetuate poverty among these groups.  In this answer, I will identify various social policies and institutions, but we must realize that not everyone will agree with each part of my answer.

Some people would argue that poverty is caused in part by low minimum wages and a lack of social services for poor people.  When poor people get jobs, the jobs do not pay enough to lift them out of poverty because the minimum wage is so low.  It is also hard for them to get jobs because the United States does not provide subsidized child care, good job training programs, and other programs that would make it easier for poor people to qualify for jobs and to be able to put in the hours required by those jobs.

Other people would argue that poverty is caused in part by an excess of social welfare programs and by excessive government interference in the marketplace.  When the government forces employers to pay a minimum wage that is too high, it reduces the number of jobs that employers will be willing to provide.  When the government provides social welfare programs, it makes it too easy for people to avoid work.  They are willing to remain unemployed because they can be supported by government programs.

One social institution that might perpetuate poverty is our educational system.  Our educational system is set up in such a way that schools in poor areas typically lack funding.  These schools also find it very hard to attract good teachers.  This makes it so that students from poor areas have a hard time getting a good education that could help them get good jobs.  Because our educational system is so bad for people in poor areas, it helps keep those people in poverty.

According to the “culture of poverty” point of view, families in poor areas tend to have expectations and behaviors that help bring poverty about.  These families are often broken, contributing to a lack of stability for everyone.  The families do not promote education well enough and do not push their children to take education seriously.  The families are willing to accept behaviors that make it harder for their children to get out of poverty.

There are many possible social policies and institutions that can be identified as contributing to poverty among Hispanics and other groups.  Different people will have different opinions on this issue.

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