Name: (Heartland alliance- Cycle of Risk, pg:07).[1] The

Name: Viral Yemul

English 160

Date: 10/25/2017

 

For the last few years, Chicago has been in the
national spotlight as it struggles to address many political, economic, and
social problems. The budget deficit and a corrupt city council are some
problems this city has been facing for a long time and it still happens to be
one of the leading issues. The biggest threat to social justice in Chicago is
poverty. Segregation and discrimination between the black and the white race in
this city have become one of the reasons for increased crime rate, and the high
taxations in the city. Poverty and violence often go hand-in-hand, as they feed
on one another, and share root causes. The issue of poverty is getting worse
each day, but still, nothing helpful enough is being to fix it.

            Poverty is basically the lack of essential
resources or just money. Poverty also includes the condition of not being able
to afford for basic educational facilities or medications for one to lead a
healthy life. These are all the consequences of being poor, so the people who
can 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 in
poverty and 20.9% Chicagoans are considered low income (Heartland alliance-
Cycle of Risk, pg:07).1

The issue of poverty is usually attributed to the
government of the place or sometimes the people living below poverty line. The
system is held responsible in situations like these as the people of a country
expect the government provides the public with better economic conditions in
many ways (job availability, changes in taxation system). One of the reasons
leading to poverty is corruption and extra liberal government of a place. Most
of the times, the money paid by the citizens according to the taxation system
of their respective states are being used by the corrupted politicians to
satisfy their wants. In fact, taxes should be used to help the city develop and
the 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 not
matter how high or low your income is you must pay a fixed percentage of any
product purchased. and. For example, you go to a supermarket, and you buy a
laundry bag that costs $6, but you have to pay $7.25 which includes various
kinds of taxes. Money paid as taxes do not differ according to a citizen’s
income, it is equal for each and everyone and this is how it gets difficult for
the poorer section to survive and easier for the upper-class. The problem here
is, 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 violence
reinforce each other. People living in poverty are more likely than people with
higher incomes to become victims of violence. Chicago has a reputation for
strict gun laws; federal courts struck down its ban on handgun ownership and
gun sales, but guns were easily available from nearby jurisdictions2.  Chicago’s Police Department can respond only
to the critical, dangerous issues, which leaves the citizens to feel
responsible for their own security. When we talk about poverty and growing
crime rate in Chicago, one of the fundamental areas of concern is
discrimination; the unfairness between the two races blacks or the
African-Americans and the white Americans. Dr. Hagedorn also points out that
though the city has a lot of Latino gangsters, Chicago’s violence is much
higher among African-Americans. Three quarters of all homicide offenders and
victims are black, he said. “The multiple events where gun firing is involved,
are more spontaneous over day-to-day humiliations of youthful
African-Americans,” Dr. Hagedorn said, “A person feels unsafe to walk alone on
the streets because of the high crime rate”.3

             Poverty affects the crime rate; it affects a
person’s life negatively, sometimes the effects can be brutal and cause wither
death or trauma which has prolonged effects. As poverty and crime rate goes
along with discrimination, so does stigmatization by race. People belonging to
black race are more often associated with criminal activities. This not only
causes racial stigmas but also gives the major population of Chicago reasons to
get indulged in such activities, which leaves them with no thoughts of finding
a decent, job to suffice their daily needs.4  With stigmatization and discrimination, a
number of segregation increases, and in Chicago this can be witnessed by the
way more African-American population accumulated on the south side and Whites
in the north side. When segregation happens in a city, people can’t feel the
feeling of collectiveness of belonging to the same city or a state to the
demands of these two races slowly differ. This causes inter-race conflicts
affecting the crime rate and, they fail to present themselves as a strong
public.

            Another cause of poverty is that
Chicago is one of that most segregated city among the fifty states. It has been
in the top three in terms of segregation for many years. Segregation happens in
diverse ways, there is segregation based on ethnicity, race, sex, caste,
geographical region, and class. In Chicago blacks and whites live clustered in
separate parts of the city young, white, highly educated professionals are
moving to Chicago’s north side along the neighborhoods of downtown while very
low-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 or
country’s growing GDP, poverty rate, population well-being or development. Like
every other place, Chicago also its own history and there exists the answer to
how poverty has developed with time. Discrimination contributing together to
the current situations of poverty. When discrimination is a major problem in
workplaces, then even though many jobs are open to the public, it cannot be the
key to success. People over time have created certain roles and jobs based on
their gender, race, age and sexual orientation. For example, if a black person
applies for a higher authoritative position in a job which also requires
laborers, the person would be rather expected to work as a labor even though he
might have better skills and knowledge than the other race to be better in that
field. In these cases, the people with good skills and knowledge do not get
jobs which they deserve which in return results in low pay and the end result
being poverty. Statistical studies by Socialist alternative from 2014 by Albert
L. Terry, III. Socialists show the racial distribution of people who are
victims of unemployment, the highest being the black or African American with
29.7% and white race with 14.7% ( Socialist alternative- Shocking Statistics of
Black youth unemployment).5

Poverty is the situation of the people of a country
who are living under unfair conditions daily. The rate of poverty is affected
by many factors, such as historical beliefs, discrimination, urbanization, and
technology. With each year coming to an end, these conditions which make lives
of the citizens getting worse, so the poverty rate is going down in return.
This shows that poverty can be abolished by implementing and abolishing some
rules and norms of a certain place. Many articles and statistical reports
support the statement that the poverty rate has been going down every year and
many economists and have reasoned out possibilities for the betterment of poverty
rate. The poverty rate in 2014 was 14.4 percent which dropped to 13.6 percent
and further lower in 2016 and 2017.6
Dan Lesser, economic director at the Chicago-based Sargent Shriver National
Center on Poverty Law, said he was encouraged by the trends showing declines in
poverty, but cautioned that too many people are destitute and “we
shouldn’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 economic
inequality and no job scarcity, then there would be no poverty, but if there
were jobs available and the people are unwilling to do it then poverty would
still persist. Considering Segregation, this can be the biggest threat because
of its effects, but all of these threats can be solved only by removing
poverty, which is why poverty should be considered as the biggest threat.

Poverty should be further reduced as poverty leads
to many other problems which can be devastating for the place and the people
living it. Nearly half of the Chicagoans are considered to be living in
poverty, approximately 9.5% Chicagoans are in extreme poverty, 20.9% Chicagoans
live in poverty and 20.9% Chicagoans are considered low income. Many articles
and statistical reports support the statement that the poverty rate has been
going down every year and many economists and have reasoned out possibilities
for the betterment of poverty rate. If there was no economic inequality and no
job scarcity, then there would be no poverty, but if there were jobs available
and the people are unwilling to do it then poverty would persist. Considering
Segregation, this can be the biggest threat because of its effects, but these
threats can be solved only by removing poverty, which is why poverty should be
considered as the biggest threat. Poverty essential resources lack in a place
then the death rate increases too. Various security issues which in return also
affects the rate of immigration, which would not give the same success rate and
that 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.pdf

Fessenden, Ford, and Haeyoun Park. “Chicago’s Murder
Problem.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 27 May 2016,
www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/05/18/us/chicago-murder-problem.html.

Fessenden, Ford, and Haeyoun Park. “Chicago’s Murder
Problem.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 27 May 2016,
www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/05/18/us/chicago-murder-problem.html.

 “Shocking Statistics
of Black Youth Unemployment.” Socialist Alternative, 27 Apr. 2015,
www.socialistalternative.org/2014/03/15/shocking-statistics-black-youth-unemployment/.

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.

 

 

s

1
https://www.heartlandalliance.org/povertyreport/wp-content/uploads/sites/26/2017/03/FINAL_PR17_3_14.pdf

2 Lee, William. “Are Chicago’s gun
laws 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.
“Chicago’s Murder Problem.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 27
May 2016, www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/05/18/us/chicago-murder-problem.html.

4 Fessenden, Ford, and Haeyoun Park.
“Chicago’s Murder Problem.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 27
May 2016,
www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/05/18/us/chicago-murder-problem.html.

5″Shocking
Statistics 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.

 

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