Michael Scriven and Richard Paul determined the meaning for critical thinking as the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.  Critical thinking is a combination of the eight elements of reasoning: question at issue, the purpose of the thinking, information, concepts, assumptions, points of view, interpretation and inference, implication and consequences.

I tried to apply the Elements of Reasoning Model to the solving of societal problems. Solving social problems we have a better chance to understand our world better. Due to social problems we face to influential sociological findings and theories, which show many ways how to cope with the complicated social environment. Such problems like crime and juvenile delinquency, drinking and drugs, mental health, sexual behavior, politics, communities, poverty, inequality, racial and ethnic minorities and others influence a person or the whole society. Poverty is one of the societal problems need to be solved. Nowadays from 14 till 20 percent of the U.S. population lives in poverty.  Two points of view on poverty are considered.

Some people think people should not be poor because it leads to social injustice. The others believe poor people behave badly, it leads to social disorder. It is necessary to find the most suitable way for solving it. The ways also a part. On one hand, we have to make poor people be better people. On the other hand, society has to make steps to do people less poor. Poverty is unavoidable in modern society. People have different weekly incomes. Some of them are much more industrious and more successful than the others. Competitiveness of modern world causes inequality. Poor people will be able to overcome poverty working much harder in comparison with classes above. Poverty has resulted from poor people. Some people are to be lead to poverty by their behavior and specific features of character. Their poverty depends on their laziness, lack of some abilities and socializing. Poverty is caused by economy and politics. Social programs, demolished the impact of poverty, are not popular to state, because of the great amount of money needed.

Besides, social programs prevent poor people from any attempt to succeed.  Three scientific main approaches to the definition of the term poverty are absolute poverty (income and expense), relative poverty (deprivation), and subjective poverty (self-assessment of the poor). Social scientists explain the term of poverty in different ways. For the first poverty is natural or inevitable. The second concentrates on the behavior of poor people and the third considers poverty as the result of economic or political processes.  According to the perspective, poverty is natural and socially necessary at the same time. Inequalities are both the natural result of a competitive world and necessary to keep people trying to be successful. If governments want to solve this burning problem, they have to create special programs, providing steps on restoring it to its natural state, since better programs designed to ameliorate it prevent people trying to succeed. It leads to the demoralization of poor people, since that time they rely on social help but not their personal effort to support their families.The poverty trap occurs when people have little or no incentive to get a better-paid job or work longer hours due to benefits such as income support, housing benefit, single parent allowance and family tax credit. If somebody took a chance to get a well- paid job they would pay more tax. Consequently, their take home pay may be the same as before. The benefits must be reduced or even abolished. Due to them, people do not need to search a better-paid job. The government should grade benefit system. If you increase the amount of income that you can earn before you start paying any tax. At present, it is around £5,000.  The increasing of minimum wage makes people search for work. Family tax credits lead to lower tax bills and let those who work avoid any disincentives of working harder.