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Synthesis Kozol Amazing Grace Cleveland and Stephenson suggest that the poor fail to seek opportunity and therefore are poor They also claim that poverty is caused by refusal on the part of individuals to take responsibility for their own economic well-being However Robert states that it is the governments fault that there is a lack of opportunities He also states that it is because people cannot receive a decent wage that they are poor Neither point is right or wrong Both sides have valid reasoning and evidence to why the poor are impoverished I believe that people are poor because they fail to seek opportunities and make unwise individual choices The mentality of todays poor is far off of the mentality the people from our forefathers because they posses a level of understanding and discipline that was passed on from a generation of immigrants who struggled to make a days salary and still managed to put food on the table This is the reason why the poor cannot create opportunities and make legitimate choices to enhance their situation Cleveland and Stephenson whom are advocates of individual responsibility believe that poverty is caused by the refusal on the part of individuals to take responsibility for their own economic well-being They believe that this attitude is encouraged by government social assistance programs that actually increase rather than alleviate poverty ViewPoint3 79 Cleveland and Stephenson claim that Decades of US welfare programs have failed to satisfy the urban and rural poor They believe that the only way to live happily is not to rely on the government for assistance but to take responsibility for your own actions They remind us that through individual choice it was the poor the uneducated and the unskilled that came together and transformed this country into an industrial giant On the other hand Robert Lieberman an assistant professor of Columbia University believes that poverty is not caused by a refusal to
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