12 Sep 2022


Reflection for the Near Poor: A Framework for Understanding and Engaging with the Near Poor Population

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The Near poor are people with a family income that is below one hundred and twenty five percent of the poverty threshold. These people are slightly above or at the poverty threshold. The reason they are considered near poor is because accidents, job loss or illness may render them severely poor. The near poor do not get any government assistance. The near poor get pay checks, own cars and may own homes. Many of the people in this population pay taxes. The near poor mostly live in suburbs and are married with families. However, despite the fact that they have income, they do not have enough to save as they spend their money on daily needs (Rank. 2011). Then near poor are sometimes overlooked in the society. They form a huge part of the population than previously thought. Some may live from cheque to cheque, making life difficult for them. 

There are several factors, which can be blamed for the situation of the near poor. First, the government can be blamed for the situation of the near poor because of the taxes they impose on individuals despite their income (Toikka, Yelowitz & Neveu, 2005). However, there are people whose income is little such as those who are near poor who would be at advantage if their taxes were reduced so that they could afford better lifestyles. Individuals should also blame themselves for being near poor. Some people do not work hard enough or make use of their available resources however little to make their lives better. Therefore, they should blame themselves for their poverty. There are numerous stories of people who made it from nothing to millions and billions. Therefore, poverty is a state of mind which people can come out of if they work hard enough. Employers can also be blamed for many people being at the near poverty line. Some employers do not pay employees fair wages. This is a problem, as the employees would never get the chance to improve their lives because of the little pay. Some employers do not also give their employees promotions. This is a problem, as employees will stay in the same position for years without promotion or increase in salary. As a result, it would be difficult for the employees to come out of poverty. 

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The government should be blamed for the situation of the near poor. One of the reasons the government should be blamed is because the government is responsible for the creation of jobs. Creation of jobs would improve the standards of living of people thereby help reduce poverty. The government can also be blamed because of the taxes the near poor are charged. This is because the near poor are taxed yet they can hardly sustain themselves. At the same time, the poor get benefits from the government. The near poor should also be given some benefits by the government to make life easier for them. Individuals are also to be blamed for their situation. One of the reasons for this is because of their mentality (McFarland & Hayward, 2014). Despite being poor, people can work to improve their living conditions. Innate inferiority results to the belief of the poor that poverty is inevitable. This is a way of thought, which should not be promoted as it encourages failure. Employers should also be blamed for the situation of the near poor. One of the reasons for this is capitalism, which promotes poverty in the society. In the society, the employer is interested in making profits in his business. To maximize the profits, employees may not be given good salaries as employers may stick to paying them the minimum wage. Therefore, employers can be blamed for the near poverty situation. 

The measure of the poverty line has its flaws. As much as the needy may benefit from things such as tax credits, food stamps and other various programs. The taxes imposed on people are too much. When getting salaries, there are deductions such as Taxes, medical care and transportation that reduce the income for families. The conditions of the near poor can be addressed in various ways. First, research on this population should be done to figure out the problems affecting people in this poverty level. This would be a good way to start to figure out their employment status, salaries, status of the company they are in, and education level among others. The information can be useful in determining the causes of near poverty in the society, which can help deal with the issue of poverty. The cost of living should also be reduced to make life easier for many people. This can mean reduced cost of housing, medical services, transportation and other necessities (Toikka, Yelowitz & Neveu, 2005). Taxes should also be reduced so that people can work with their income and save more. This is because the cost of taxes are too high on some people making it hard for individuals and families to make savings to secure their future. The government should also look into private companies and how they pay their employees. The payment of employees should also be linked to the output of the company so that employees benefit from their hard work as much as the owners do. This would help reduce the gap between the rich and the poor and improve the situation of the near poor. The government and non-profit organizations should also come up with ways to empower the community. This can be important so that the people who are poor can realize that they can come out of poverty and make something of themselves. This program can be done for school going children so that they can be encouraged to work hard so that they could have a better life (Chrisinger, Fowler & Kleit, 2012). 

In conclusion, the near poor are individuals whose family income is almost at the poverty level up to one hundred and twenty five percent above the poverty threshold. The circumstances of the near poor can be blamed on the government, employers, and individuals. This is because the government imposes taxes, which may affect income threshold making people fall in the near poor threshold. Individual mentality can also affect their poverty situation. Employers can also be blamed, as some do not give employees salaries and benefits fairly. Therefore, all the groups are responsible for the situation of near poverty. To address the issue, it would be important to carry out a research to determine factors that cause poverty in the country to deal with the issue. Laws can also be reviewed to ensure people are protected and have insurance covers when employed to reduce the risk of accidents and the resulting costs. 


Chrisinger, C., Fowler,C. & Kleit, G. (2012). Shared Skills: Occupation Clusters for Poverty Alleviation and Economic Development in the US. Urban Studies; vol. 49, 15: pp. 3403-3425. First published on February 16, 2012 

McFarland, M. & Hayward, M. (2014). Poverty and Awakening Cortisol in Adolescence: The Importance of Timing in Early Life. Society and Mental Health; vol. 4, 1: pp. 21-37., first published on August 20, 2013 

Rank, M. (2011). Rethinking American Poverty. Contexts; vol. 10, 2: pp. 16-21. 

Toikka,R., Yelowitz, A. & Neveu, A. (2005). The”Poverty Trap” and Living Wage Laws. Economic Development Quarterly; vol. 19, 1: pp. 62-79. 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 14). Reflection for the Near Poor: A Framework for Understanding and Engaging with the Near Poor Population.


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