Once we get past the wailing and hand-wringing about the injustice of it all we get down to more objective analysis. (And for those who always like to joke about Political Science being a classic oxymoron, let me point out that is what a political scientist does. Just like any scientist you observe what is happening then you attempt to apply some analysis of cause/effect. Measure, interpret, evaluate, analyse and maybe predict for the future.)
Take a look at this piece and see how you could frame the discussion:
Brit Paper Reports One-in-Five US Children Impoverished
Notice the map with that dark band of high poverty rates across the bottom of the nation. Is that reasonable? What's wrong with the statistics?
How about this: Poverty level is defined as a national dollar value. It's currently $22,350 per year for a family of four. The problem is that you can't apply a single number across a huge country with vastly different costs of living. You might be able to do quite nicely in Brownsville TX on that amount, but you couldn't buy two weeks of groceries in Manhattan, Aspen, or Palo Alto. To label states like Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana or New Mexico as wells of deep poverty is to apply a skewed yardstick.
Then what about this situation from the news article:
Poverty: Karla Washington, 41, an undergraduate student, has a five-year-old daughter but earns less than $11,000 from her part-time jobDid you break that down? She is 41 years old. She has a five-year-old, which means she gave birth at the age of 36. This is hardly an ill-timed adolescent adventure with dire consequences. She was a mature adult and supposedly cognizant of what causes babies.
Unless we have the second known instance of immaculate conception, she had a man involved. He apparently is not in the picture. No indication is made that he ever was.
While it is commendable that she is taking action to improve herself by pursuing a college degree the effort seems to be decidedly late in life and an apparent failure to prioritize her obligations. In other words she didn't do the number crunching prior to matriculation. Apparently the assumption is that someone will provide for her on the basis of giving her little girl that life that she deserves.
If that doesn't explain a lot about poverty and its causes I don't know what would.