Persuasive Speech on Poverty vs U.S Defense Spending

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Boston College
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What are the best ways to eliminate poverty and to improve education in the United States? This is one of the questions that has been troubling the United States and other countries in the world. Over the years poverty has been a significant challenge among most states. Poverty leads to various adverse outcomes on the economy and growth of a country. Many people may think that since America is among the wealthiest nations in the world, they do not suffer poverty. This idea is false as any nation can experience the scarcity of resources. I have a particular interest in poverty in poverty in the United States because of the wrong idea that people have that it is only developing countries that suffer poverty. During my stay in the United States, I have realized that there have been increasing levels of poverty. Poverty is on the increase in the United States. To fight the growing levels of poverty, strategic plans have to be put in op [lace to ensure that the economy of the country does not suffer. One of the ways is channeling funds into improving poverty levels and education, especially from the defense department where a lot of capital is spent.

It is indeed true that America is one of the wealthiest countries in the world in recent times. However, this does not rule out the fact that the state still faces poverty. More often than not the rising poverty levels is attributed to ineffective policies that the government has made over the years. Most of these lousy decisions are usually preventable and also correctable. Americans may not directly suffer poverty, but they may experience the problems that are brought about by rising levels of poverty. For instance, increasing levels of crime, poor healthcare among the citizens and increased suicidal tendencies. As once stated by one of the famous American revolutionists, Nelson Mandela Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is human made, and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings (Mandela).

During the period of The Great Depression about 1929 to 1939, America faced unbelievable levels of poverty. Americans could not access proper education, adequate housing, proper sanitation and proper nutrition and proper health care. With all these negative impacts of the increasing poverty levels, the citizens of the United Stated became susceptible to oppression both politically and economically. They also became vulnerable to conflicts and disasters due to their inability to protect themselves. As a result job security was significantly reduced. In a bid to counter the negative impact of the Great Depression the government created unemployment insurance and put in place programs that will support the citizen to overcome the effect of the high poverty levels. With time the citizens are prepared to endure the devastating poverty levels and therefore able to avoid such situations in the future.

To the surprise of many, the poverty levels of America have not improved much ever since the end of the Great Depression. This is attributed to the enormous impact that the Great Depression had on the economy of America. However, despite the diminished improvement in the economy, the spending of the government on the defense department has been on the increase. Do we ever take time to understand how much poverty is still hitting America? For instance, the current poverty levels if the American economy is about 15%. What does this mean? In every six individuals, there is at least one of the individual who is below the poverty levels. This percentage is even more significant among households which are only made up of single mothers. Of worth noting is that such families have also been shown to have the highest reports of suicide and poor health.

Various studies that have been done have shown that the defense forces are being issued excess funds to undertake their functions. It has been shown that as little as two percent reduction of the budget of the defense sector channeled to eliminate poverty is adequate to minimize the poverty levels and improve the education system greatly. In 2015, the Congress passed a budget of $573 billion for the defense sector. According to Times Military, from this two percent would provide about $11.5 billion just for eliminating poverty and improving the education sector.

The poverty levels have had an enormous impact on the public education in the United States. From research, it has been evidenced that American is one of the countries with the highest number of individuals suffering childhood poverty which has negatively impacted the education as a whole among the children in the country. Children who have been raised in the household with low income have been shown to have more struggles in the lifetime in school than those who have been brought up in well-off homes. The conflicts are attributed to the poor physical health that the face, lack motivation, ability to concentrate and curiosity. Every day in their lives they have a fear of the consequences of poverty. These effects may manifest as anger and hunger. Most of these children feel that the community has sidelined them and that they are not appreciated. As a result, they feel powerless and suffer a great sense of deep insecurities of being separated from the society.

Poverty denies children from the poor background the chance to reach the maximum educational potential. The result of this is that they may end up dropping out of school. Nevertheless, children who are from poor household have also been known to achieve great success when they are provided with the proper conditions that are conducive for them to pursue their educational prowess. Most success stories from prominent inspirational people always start with the poor and humble beginning. With this, it is therefore evident that with the proper conditions such children more often than not perform better than even those who have been brought up in wealthy backgrounds.

America suffered both a period of Depression and Recession (Peicuti, 55). Both these periods had some similarity on how they affected the people of America and the economy in general. A comparability between the two periods is that they both were associated with financial hardships. Attempts to stimulate the economy by various presidents, that is, President Roosevelt and Obama, by increasing the countrys annual budget failed. On the contrary, their attempts led to the worsening of the economy, more significant was during the rule of President Roosevelt where the unemployment levels rose to 21 %. However the Depression and Recession period had differences which were entirely the opposite of one another. During the depression period, the individuals who became unemployed and lost their homes and property would not benefit from the unemployment checks and support programs which had been started by the government to assist them to pay their mortgages (The Great Depression). On the other hand, during the recession period, the Americans greatly benefited from the unemployment checks and government provided programs.

In conclusion, poor education poverty strikes not only the developing countries but also the wealthy countries like America. Just as poverty is created by man, it can be corrected and avoided by actions of human beings. Poverty may bring adverse impacts to the human life from lack of basic needs such food, shelter, and clothing. Education and healthcare may also be interrupted by poverty. There are various ways of eliminating poverty. Conventional methods are the creation of more job opportunities and raising the minimum wages of the individuals. Access to proper education to allow the citizens develop expertise in their careers making them fit for the job market. The government can also channel some funds that are used in other sectors such as the defense to fighting poverty. This is because in America a lot of funds is directed to the defense department at the expense of the citizens. Just a small percentage being channeled to eliminating the poverty levels and improving the education make significantly improve the poverty levels in the country. A two percent deduction from the defense department budget of $ 573 billion will raise about $ 11.5 billion that can be channeled to improve the poverty levels and improve the education system.


Works Cited

"The Great Depression." American Historama, 2017. Accessed 1 May 2017

Mandela, Nelson. "In Full: Mandela's Poverty Speech." BBC News, 3 Feb. 2005. Accessed 1 May 2017.

Times, Military. "'Congress Passes $1.1T Spending Bill.'" Miltary Times, 18 Dec. 2105. Accessed 8 May 2017.

Peicuti, Cristina. "The Great Depression and the Great Recession: A comparative analysis of their analogies." The European Journal of Comparative Economics 11.1 (2014): 55.


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