Type: Critical Essays
Sample donated: Randall Obrien
Last updated: July 24, 2019
Name: Viral YemulEnglish 160Date: 10/25/2017 For the last few years, Chicago has been in thenational spotlight as it struggles to address many political, economic, andsocial problems. The budget deficit and a corrupt city council are someproblems this city has been facing for a long time and it still happens to beone of the leading issues. The biggest threat to social justice in Chicago ispoverty. Segregation and discrimination between the black and the white race inthis city have become one of the reasons for increased crime rate, and the hightaxations in the city. Poverty and violence often go hand-in-hand, as they feedon one another, and share root causes. The issue of poverty is getting worseeach day, but still, nothing helpful enough is being to fix it. Poverty is basically the lack of essentialresources or just money. Poverty also includes the condition of not being ableto afford for basic educational facilities or medications for one to lead ahealthy life.
These are all the consequences of being poor, so the people whocan barely afford food, and shelter obviously can’t consider other expenses.Nearly half of the Chicagoans are considered to be living in poverty,approximately 9.5% Chicagoans are in extreme poverty, 20.9% Chicagoans live inpoverty and 20.9% Chicagoans are considered low income (Heartland alliance-Cycle of Risk, pg:07).1The issue of poverty is usually attributed to thegovernment of the place or sometimes the people living below poverty line. Thesystem is held responsible in situations like these as the people of a countryexpect the government provides the public with better economic conditions inmany ways (job availability, changes in taxation system). One of the reasonsleading to poverty is corruption and extra liberal government of a place.
Mostof the times, the money paid by the citizens according to the taxation systemof their respective states are being used by the corrupted politicians tosatisfy their wants. In fact, taxes should be used to help the city develop andthe people in need. Another reason for poverty is the high tax values.The taxes are applied when you purchase something from a store. It does notmatter how high or low your income is you must pay a fixed percentage of anyproduct purchased. and.
For example, you go to a supermarket, and you buy alaundry bag that costs $6, but you have to pay $7.25 which includes variouskinds of taxes. Money paid as taxes do not differ according to a citizen’sincome, it is equal for each and everyone and this is how it gets difficult forthe poorer section to survive and easier for the upper-class. The problem hereis, a laundry bag is a requirement not a waste of money, so it must be bought.
Such small requirements do not let people save money for further use. The conditions that perpetuate poverty and violencereinforce each other. People living in poverty are more likely than people withhigher incomes to become victims of violence. Chicago has a reputation forstrict gun laws; federal courts struck down its ban on handgun ownership andgun sales, but guns were easily available from nearby jurisdictions2. Chicago’s Police Department can respond onlyto the critical, dangerous issues, which leaves the citizens to feelresponsible for their own security. When we talk about poverty and growingcrime rate in Chicago, one of the fundamental areas of concern isdiscrimination; the unfairness between the two races blacks or theAfrican-Americans and the white Americans. Dr.
Hagedorn also points out thatthough the city has a lot of Latino gangsters, Chicago’s violence is muchhigher among African-Americans. Three quarters of all homicide offenders andvictims are black, he said. “The multiple events where gun firing is involved,are more spontaneous over day-to-day humiliations of youthfulAfrican-Americans,” Dr. Hagedorn said, “A person feels unsafe to walk alone onthe streets because of the high crime rate”.3 Poverty affects the crime rate; it affects aperson’s life negatively, sometimes the effects can be brutal and cause witherdeath or trauma which has prolonged effects. As poverty and crime rate goesalong with discrimination, so does stigmatization by race. People belonging toblack race are more often associated with criminal activities.
This not onlycauses racial stigmas but also gives the major population of Chicago reasons toget indulged in such activities, which leaves them with no thoughts of findinga decent, job to suffice their daily needs.4 With stigmatization and discrimination, anumber of segregation increases, and in Chicago this can be witnessed by theway more African-American population accumulated on the south side and Whitesin the north side. When segregation happens in a city, people can’t feel thefeeling of collectiveness of belonging to the same city or a state to thedemands of these two races slowly differ.
This causes inter-race conflictsaffecting the crime rate and, they fail to present themselves as a strongpublic. Another cause of poverty is thatChicago is one of that most segregated city among the fifty states. It has beenin the top three in terms of segregation for many years.
Segregation happens indiverse ways, there is segregation based on ethnicity, race, sex, caste,geographical region, and class. In Chicago blacks and whites live clustered inseparate parts of the city young, white, highly educated professionals aremoving to Chicago’s north side along the neighborhoods of downtown while verylow-income areas are in the south and west side of the city is also increasing.This segregation leads to accumulation of a high population of a single race,caste, class etc.Job availability is the key to any state orcountry’s growing GDP, poverty rate, population well-being or development. Likeevery other place, Chicago also its own history and there exists the answer tohow poverty has developed with time. Discrimination contributing together tothe current situations of poverty. When discrimination is a major problem inworkplaces, then even though many jobs are open to the public, it cannot be thekey to success.
People over time have created certain roles and jobs based ontheir gender, race, age and sexual orientation. For example, if a black personapplies for a higher authoritative position in a job which also requireslaborers, the person would be rather expected to work as a labor even though hemight have better skills and knowledge than the other race to be better in thatfield. In these cases, the people with good skills and knowledge do not getjobs which they deserve which in return results in low pay and the end resultbeing poverty.
Statistical studies by Socialist alternative from 2014 by AlbertL. Terry, III. Socialists show the racial distribution of people who arevictims of unemployment, the highest being the black or African American with29.7% and white race with 14.
7% ( Socialist alternative- Shocking Statistics ofBlack youth unemployment).5Poverty is the situation of the people of a countrywho are living under unfair conditions daily. The rate of poverty is affectedby many factors, such as historical beliefs, discrimination, urbanization, andtechnology. With each year coming to an end, these conditions which make livesof the citizens getting worse, so the poverty rate is going down in return.This shows that poverty can be abolished by implementing and abolishing somerules and norms of a certain place. Many articles and statistical reportssupport the statement that the poverty rate has been going down every year andmany economists and have reasoned out possibilities for the betterment of povertyrate.
The poverty rate in 2014 was 14.4 percent which dropped to 13.6 percentand further lower in 2016 and 2017.6Dan Lesser, economic director at the Chicago-based Sargent Shriver NationalCenter on Poverty Law, said he was encouraged by the trends showing declines inpoverty, but cautioned that too many people are destitute and “weshouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking there’s not more work to do.”The biggest threat to Chicago’s social justice is, poverty,some may not agree with this being the biggest threat. If there was no economicinequality and no job scarcity, then there would be no poverty, but if therewere jobs available and the people are unwilling to do it then poverty wouldstill persist. Considering Segregation, this can be the biggest threat becauseof its effects, but all of these threats can be solved only by removingpoverty, which is why poverty should be considered as the biggest threat.Poverty should be further reduced as poverty leadsto many other problems which can be devastating for the place and the peopleliving it.
Nearly half of the Chicagoans are considered to be living inpoverty, approximately 9.5% Chicagoans are in extreme poverty, 20.9% Chicagoanslive in poverty and 20.9% Chicagoans are considered low income. Many articlesand statistical reports support the statement that the poverty rate has beengoing down every year and many economists and have reasoned out possibilitiesfor the betterment of poverty rate. If there was no economic inequality and nojob scarcity, then there would be no poverty, but if there were jobs availableand the people are unwilling to do it then poverty would persist. ConsideringSegregation, this can be the biggest threat because of its effects, but thesethreats can be solved only by removing poverty, which is why poverty should beconsidered as the biggest threat.
Poverty essential resources lack in a placethen the death rate increases too. Various security issues which in return alsoaffects the rate of immigration, which would not give the same success rate andthat also affects the economic situation of the state/country. Bibliography https://www.heartlandalliance.
org/povertyreport/wp-content/uploads/sites/26/2017/03/FINAL_PR17_3_14.pdfFessenden, Ford, and Haeyoun Park. “Chicago’s MurderProblem.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 27 May 2016,www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/05/18/us/chicago-murder-problem.
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heartlandalliance.org/povertyreport/wp-content/uploads/sites/26/2017/03/FINAL_PR17_3_14.pdf2 Lee, William.
“Are Chicago’s gunlaws that strict? An explainer.” Chicagotribune.com, 7 Oct. 2017,www.
chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-chicago-gun-laws-explainer-20171006-story.html.3 Fessenden, Ford, and Haeyoun Park.
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“Chicago’s Murder Problem.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 27May 2016,www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/05/18/us/chicago-murder-problem.html.5″ShockingStatistics of Black Youth Unemployment.” Socialist Alternative, 27 Apr.2015,www.
socialistalternative.org/2014/03/15/shocking-statistics-black-youth-unemployment/.6 Elejalde-Ruiz,Alexia. “Chicago areas poverty rate declined in 2015 as incomes rose.” Chicagotribune.
com,15 Sept. 2016,www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-illinois-chicago-census-0915-biz-20160914-story,amp.html.