Wednesday, 10 June 2015 19:16

Poverty Should be Priority in 2016 Elections

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In today's entry, Michael Omidi discusses why poverty should be a key talking point in the 2016 elections.

Already this year we are seeing politicians announce their candidacy for the upcoming 2016 Presidential elections. Most notably was the announcement by Democrat Hilary Clinton. During these political figures' campaigns they'll create key talking points which they feel are the important issues impacting America. They will put emphasis on how their policies will be different while offering a solution. Today, I'll discuss why poverty should be a key talking point in the 2016 presidential elections.

Poverty Impacts American Families

Poverty tears apart the foundation of the American family. Often times families who live in poverty work multiple low-wage jobs. This takes away the parent from the child. Without guidance, the child is more likely to perform poorly in school. Families with low-income jobs are often left to make hard choices on nutrition. Utilizing government food subsidy programs like SNAP, families often are guided to foods that are fast and convenient instead of healthy and well rounded. This puts the children at risk of child obesity, which could lead to medical problems later in life.

According to census.gov, 1 out of every 5 children in the US receive some form of food subsidy. The 2013 census found that 45.6 million people lived in poverty. The highest age demographic living in poverty were people under the age of 18. This means a large percent of our children are disadvantaged. They will historically have less opportunity and live shorter lives due to medical issues.

Poverty Impact the American Public

Since poverty rates are still fairly high, this means more families are forced to use government programs which are heavily financed by the American public. Food and housing subsidies are a few of the type of programs provided to those living in poverty. These are costly to fund and it is put on to the American people.

One way to help reduce these numbers is to push for a raise in the federal minimum wage. Los Angeles recently pioneered this push by having their city's minimum wage raised to $15 an hour. This was to help encourage a boost in the standard of living for those with lower paying jobs.

Action Must Be Taken in 2016

Politicians must address the issue of poverty during the 2016 elections. It is unacceptable that a developed nation like America still has families living in poverty. It will be interesting to see politician's stances and potential plans to help combat this awful socio-economic condition.

Yours in health,

Michael Omidi

Michael Omidi is the co-founder of No More Poverty, a nonprofit organization that works to alleviate poverty throughout the world.

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