Free Essays Poverty

After the global economic crisis of 2008, many people around the globe faced one of the worst social phenomenons: poverty. In the United States alone, the number of poor people in 2012 increased up to 46.5 million (Reuters). In developing countries, the situation had become even worse. Poverty does not mean that a person has little money to afford goods they want to purchase, or to maintain a stable quality of life; rather often poverty is absolute, which means that one literally has no livelihood. But what factors usually stand behind such dramatic impacts of poverty around the world, except the aforementioned economic crisis?

Poverty rates are greatly influenced by overpopulation. Overpopulation is a situation of a large number of people residing in a territory that is extremely limited in space and resources. Developing countries often face the problem of overpopulation; except the unequal distribution of resources and the lack of space, they usually have high birth rates, and low agricultural productivity. For example, Bangladesh has the highest population density in the world—2,970 persons per square mile. The dominating majority of them are engaged in low-productivity farming and manual labor, which causes extremely high levels of poverty in this country (Poverty at Large).

Another factor standing behind the increased poverty rates increase is unemployment. This problem has become one of the most urgent after 2008. In 2009 through 2010, about 42% of all families in Great Britain alone had no working members (Children Poverty Action Group). The job markets cannot offer enough jobs that would correspond with the skills of unemployed people. Besides, because of poverty, many people are willing to get any job for any payment; thus, they decrease the overall wages in those spheres that they start working at. In other words, the cheapening of labor and the working force takes place. There is no need to tell that low-wage jobs and part-time jobs are nothing else but poverty traps.

One more reason is significant demographic shifts. For example, in the United States a number of single-member families is traditionally high, and has been increasing; because one parent has less opportunities to ensure an adequate standard of living both for their children and for themselves, single-parent families are traditionally poorer then normal. Besides, poor people often share a belief that it is the social institutions to blame for their poverty, or that they can never make it out of their low income; therefore, they create psychological backgrounds for their financial condition.

Poverty is not a new social phenomenon. It has existed as long as the humankind has been around. But, until 2008, it was more typical for developing countries, whereas after the global economy crisis, even the developed post-industrial countries experienced it. Among the reasons for poverty the most obvious are overpopulation, unemployment, and demographic shifts together with psychological premises.

References

Mutikani, Lucia, Caroline Humer, and Susan Heavey. “U.S. Poverty Rises Despite Economic Recovery.” Reuters. Ed. Mohammad Zargham. N.p., 17 Sept. 2013. Web. 25 Sept. 2013.

“Causes of Poverty.” Poverty at Large: A Dark Spot in Humanity. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2013.

“What Causes Poverty?” Child Poverty Action Group. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2013.

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Poverty is defined by the Gage Canadian Dictionary as the condition of being poor or needy; the condition of not having enough income to maintain a standard of living regarded as normal in a community; the renunciation of the right to own property as an individual; emphasizes on being in actual need, owning nothing at all or having not enough for all the necessities of life.Deficiency according also to the Gage Canadian Dictionary pertains to lack or absence of something needed or required; incompleteness; the amount by which something falls short or too small. For less developed countries, poverty is often based on absolute approaches referring to monetary variables, for example, for countries where poverty can be realistically defined as a condition lower than the subsistence level, as observed. Such definition does not seem to work for developed countries. For reasons, it does not seem acceptable to use measures based on simple subsistence.

Measures based only on income or consumption expenditure is not enough because the relationship between these variables and the actual living conditions is not sufficiently strong. But this consideration on income is still valid for developed countries, where there is undoubtedly an indicator of poverty. Whatever maybe the main indication in determining poverty, somehow, it is global problem which all of the nations are facing, not just the third world countries but also those developing countries as well like the United States, which is a very rich country. According to Bradley R. Schiller, “America produces more than 20 percent of the world’s output”. Though this is a fact proof of supposedly poverty-free country, it is still a hot issue though, like that also of Canada, also considered a developed country.

Still the question remains- what are the causes of poverty? When we know its causes, then it would be easier to tract down certain solutions to overcome it. The presence of poor people in the midst of the world’s rich countries has to be explained, same as the poor from third world countries. I do believe that whatever nation each of us belongs to, reasons on this aspect are similar and that we have to extract on.
We are also aware of the present situation globally affecting us; this is regarding United States and Iraq. Many of us fear the consequences, especially for the poor, for we’re aware that this will make way for crisis.

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