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Government The Great Divide Essay

1694 words - 7 pages

The Wealth Divide Continues |
American Government |
Charles Hatley |
HCC Sienna |
Fall Semester


The United States of America is supposed to be a nation where everyone is created equal. A nation where everyone is supposed to have an equal chance. But looking at the huge gap between the wealth divide of our nation and the many problems it creates you would think otherwise. The rich continue to get richer and the poor get poorer while the government makes it even harder for the middle and lower class to stay out of poverty. Lack of affordable public housing and also lack of middle ...view middle of the document...

The Government is raising housing costs for the poor who are already having a difficult time. When does it stop I would like to know? Not only are costs being raised but a limited scale of housing assistance programs has contributed to the current housing crisis. In Recent years the shortages of affordable housing have been most severe for units affordable to renters with very little income. Federal Support for low-income housing has fallen 49% from 1980 to 2003(National Low Income Housing Coalition 2005). Over 200,000 rental housing units are destroyed annually. In 2003 the federal Government spent almost twice as much in housing- related tax expenditures and direct housing assistance for households in the top income quintile than on housing subsidies for the lowest income households. Federal housing is neglecting the poor while disproportionately helping the wealthiest Americans. How can the government live with themselves while they are taking money from the already struggling lower class? This just makes no sense to me at all, and shows that once you are wealthy why help anybody else but yourself. The lower class are living pay check to pay check just too sufficiently pay rent. That’s no way to live and the government continues to make it harder.
Not only Are housing costs rising but jobs for low and middle class are hard to find plus wages are dropping. The real value of minimum wage in 2004 was 26% less than in 1979(The economic Policy Institute, 2005). Declining wages have put housing out of reach for many workers, in every state. More than the minimum wage is required to afford a one or two bedroom apartment at fair market rent. So unfortunately for 12 million Americans more than 50% of their salaries go towards renting or housing costs, resulting in sacrifices for other needed necessities like health care or saving. And With unemployment rates remaining high jobs are still hard to find. So even if people can find work you still have a possibility of not escaping poverty.
The 30% percent rule is becoming outdated over the past decade. Now, one in four renters, or 10.1 million households, spend more than half of their income on rent and utilities, according to “Americas Rental Housing: Meeting Challenges, Building on Opportunities,” a new report from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS). Another 26.2 percent of renters spend 30 percent to 50 percent of their income on rent and utilities. Three fourths of the renters at the bottom of the quartile are facing the burdens. This has a snowball effect on the households spending abilities when they are paying up to 50% for rent. Households now have to worry about cutting spending on food, clothing, healthcare, transportation, and education. What is the use of a roof over your head if you can’t even feed your family? Shrinking supply is also straining the issue. The Harvard Joint center report says that since the mid 1900’s more than 700,000 rentals with subsidies tied to...

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