There are over fifteen million people living in poverty today in the United States. The best explanation for this high number is, there is no best explanation. It is just how it is. There are two different theories to help identify the problem. But no theory has been proven correct. The first theory is assuming that there are plenty of opportunities for the poor to find ways of surviving in America. The theory, “blame the poor”, is making the inclination that the poor did not make the right decisions and opportunities slipped right pass them.

If these opportunities were attainable, the likelihood of the poor taking them, is very favorable. Oscar Lewis studied poor families. He believed the poor developed a “culture of poverty”. This meant that the poor had a bad self-image and low self-esteem. The poor considered themselves inferior which in turn led them to have depleted morals and values. The second theory is sociological. This theory believes that the society creates and maintains poverty because benefits are created.

Most people attain jobs that are fulfilling and stimulating, while the poor will take the underpaid, boring, and unpleasant jobs. The poor take these jobs because they cannot find better. By taking these jobs, the poor make the higher-class individuals aspire for the more challenging positions. This also creates jobs for the need of social work for the poor and police for protection against the poor. Both of the theories have defined loops and holes. The first theory of “blaming the poor” does not relate to all people living in poverty.

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Most poor people, if given the opportunity, will work very hard in a job. But the way society and the economy is set up, the poor will remain poor. The second theory blames the society. This theory starts out sounding good, but some of the reasons supporting this theory sound non-human. While it is good for those seeing a non-aspiring person in a dead end job and wants to achieve more for them, it leaves the citizens living in poverty to stay there and have no hopes of attaining more for them.

The truth is, there is no one or thing to place any blame on. Things and circumstances that result sometimes simply just happen. The poor did not choose to be or want to be poor, destiny and life lead them there. By blaming the poor, they are looked down upon and those who could help financially support social programs are reluctant because of what they have been lead to believe. It all seems to be a cycle that will take much time, effort, and understanding from the whole country to break.

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