Why Laws Are Necessary To Protect The Underprivileged

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It is without a doubt that we live in a society where there are extreme inequalities that exist between the poor and the rich. We still live in a country where many racial minorities still facing discrimination in many arenas of life. Whether it be employment, housing, education or banking; many who come from underprivileged backgrounds face mounting barriers that prevent them from being prosperous. Here is a quick overview of why we need laws in order to protect the underprivileged.

Housing

Many people, especially in larger metropolitan areas, have difficulties finding affordable housing. Although major cities like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago are well renown cities - many of these city residents can’t afford to live there. As a result, the Federal Government through the Department of Housing and Urban Development provides millions of dollars in housing assistance. Ironically, even with housing vouchers, such as the popular section 8 program - many landlords often discriminate against these voucher holders. They are often demonized as vagrants, drug users and criminals. Luckily, it is against federal law to deny someone housing through income discrimination.

Employment

It is no secret that the United States has had a history of racism. For many racial minorities like African Americans, finding suitable employment opportunities was difficult because many employers would not hire Blacks simply because of their race. Since the 60s, Congress has passed wide sweeping legislation making it a crime for employers to deny someone employment on the basis of their race, income status, gender, sexual orientation or religious affiliation. This is especially important since many racial minorities are underprivileged and live in undeserved neighborhoods and communities. These laws help minorities get a chance to find jobs that pay decent wages.

Education

Many children who live in undeserved inner city communities often find themselves going to poor-performing neighborhood schools that don’t have the same quality of resources compared to their more affluent suburban counterparts. Although there are many federal laws on the book that try to help rectify the inequalities that exist in the public education system; many states unfortunately still rely on antiquated and unjust tax redistribution systems that don’t pump enough financial resources into rural and inner city schools that most poor and underprivileged children are more likely to attend. While many states have begun the process of reforming this system - some like Illinois still rely on this. Many education activists are working night and day to lobby lawmakers to change these tax laws that prevent resources from being distributed in a fair fashion.

Banking

One of the biggest reasons why the economy crashed back in 2007 was due in part to predatory lenders taking advantage of poor people. The sub-prime mortgage crisis mainly affected lower income and blue collar households. Many of these individuals were sold loan products that contained ballooning interest rates. However, the original loan documents that were signed by many people contained clauses, stipulations and other requirements that were hard to understand. The Frank-Dodd Act, recently passed on Congress, took the necessary steps to fight predatory lending and prevent banks from financial redlining individuals who live in undeserved and underprivileged communities.

Obviously, more can be done to help fight the rising tide of income inequality and poverty in the country. However, ultimately it is up to the people to petition their local, state and federal lawmakers to pass laws that will shield the poor from the dirty and discriminatory practices of big business.