From both my personal experience and a variety of primary as well as secondary sources, I concluded that not only the population of developing countries suffer from poor quality of life. Americans, particularly, New Yorkers with low to moderate income have similar problems, which mostly result from the resource availability issues they are facing. The level of poverty in the metropolis is almost twice as high as across the United States: 17.9% vs 10.5% (United States Census Bureau, 2019, para. 1). This means such a share of the residents have limited access to quality food, medicine, education, and other. Therefore, the existing welfare policies should continue, but, in my opinion, they need reframing, as they currently are insufficient. One of the most concerning issues is child poverty which continues to grow but is not being combatted properly.
Families with a single parent, typically female, and an underage child or children are at the highest risk of living below the poverty threshold, as the adults in such families have low employment chances. The existing child support policies, meanwhile, are available exclusively on the condition of permanent access to the job market (Shaefer et al., 2018). Therefore, the group of people that actually should be the main addressee of such programs remains beyond their scope.
It is also worth noting that the COVID-19 pandemic aggravated the situation. First, education from home denied low-income students access to the social benefits schools normally provide, such as food and childcare (Van Lancker and Parolin, 2020). Second, the number of children in New York State who live near or in poverty grew by 325,000, presumably because of quarantine-related job losses (Brundage & Ramos-Callan, 2020, para. 2). Neither the economy nor social institutions were prepared for such a rapid and substantial increase, which added considerably to the number of children whose priority is proper meals.
The above makes it critical to update the existing social welfare policies as well as develop new ones. Specifically, it would be reasonable to reconsider the conditions of receiving a child allowance, as currently, it only covers the minority of those who need it. Regarding food, it should be available not solely in schools, which requires enhancing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In addition, one of the serious issues is the age gap between five and seven, when children are not young enough for assistance programs but still do not attend school. It would be appropriate, therefore, to design similar policies for this group. Single parents and immigrants may also need additional support as the most vulnerable category of the population.
To summarize, the child poverty rates in New York, both city and state, continue to raise, while the social welfare system is not changing accordingly. As a result, most families with kids who lack finance, nutrition, and other resources find themselves ignored. This determines the need for enhancing the assistance policies as well as developing more so that all groups of people are covered properly.
Monitoring poverty rates should be done similarly in the future because, as said above, New York currently demonstrates outstanding inequality in access to resources, which problem requires more attention. Furthermore, smoothing the disparities would contribute to the overall well-being of American society. It is essential, however, to focus not solely on families with working parents, but on those who have limited access to employment as well; otherwise, no improvement will be possible.
Brundage, S. C., & Ramos-Callan, K. (2020). COVID-19 ripple effect: The impact of COVID-19 on children in New York State. Web.
Shaefer, H. L., Collyer, S., Duncan, G., Edin, K., Garfinkel, I., Harris, D., Smeeding, T. M., Waldfogel, J., Wimer, C., & Yoshikawa, H. (2018). A universal child allowance: A plan to reduce poverty and income instability among children in the United States. RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, 4(2), 22-42. Web.
United States Census Bureau. (2019). Quick facts: New York City. Web.
Van Lancker, W., & Parolin, Z. (2020). COVID-19, school closures, and child poverty: a social crisis in the making. The Lancet Public Health, 5(5), e243-e244. Web.