Who do we classify as the poor and what are their characteristics?
–Single-parent, female headed households twice as likely as two-income families to be poor. –Geographically concentrated. –More prevalent in rural areas than urban areas. –Twice as many African-Americans and Hispanics live below poverty line compared with whites. –Suburbs largely removed from poverty.
Some Americans live below the poverty line. The poverty line is basically the marker for what the govt. considers an acceptable standard of living. (full definition p.427) Citizens that live below this line are considered poor.
Circumstances that can lead to poverty.
–Poverty can be affected by job skills (or lack thereof), familial circumstances, and also the tides of the economy.
Social Insurance Programs
Social Security Act of 1935. Social Security would be a social insurance program – a program that recipients would pay into via payroll taxes and receive back at a later date. Social Security was designed to keep senior citizens from being destitute in their retirement years.
Recipients collect from the payroll taxes they have paid over time. However, payments to seniors are made from the taxes of current workers. This threatens the program long term, as there will not be enough workers to pay for benefits.
Enacted in 1965 after the 1964 elections swept in a larger class of Democrats into Congress. Provides health care to senior citizens. Funded by payroll taxes. In 2003, prescription drug coverage was added to Medicare.