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How Poverty Represents an Unjust Distribution of Wealth - Essay Example

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When poverty is addressed, implications of wealth distribution are raised within the platforms of the poor and the rich. The definition of poverty is something that cannot be done in a straightforward manner…
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How Poverty Represents an Unjust Distribution of Wealth
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How Poverty Represents an Unjust Distribution of Wealth

Download file to see previous pages... Shostak, 1965, as cited in Misturelli & Heffernan (2008) perceives poverty as being “a personal experience that only the poor can understand” (p.666). At the same time, poverty may be referred to as an individual’s incapability to satisfy basic needs in acquiring food, clothing, shelter, and nutritional health. In most developed countries, relative poverty is where annual revenue plus the profit made is below the median, thus creating a point of drawing a poverty line. It has been asserted globally that poverty results from wealth distribution issues, which clearly defines the line between the poor and the rich. Poverty has been talked of for quite a long time globally, but the issues surrounding the linkages between the population earning high wages and the population earning low wages have not been addressed officially. This has made the gap between the rich and the poor widen gradually in the global context. Levels of poverty have been estimated and announced over the years, but the credibility of such figures has been put to question by many concerned authorities. It has been argued by many policy makers that the actual rates of poverty in the world precede the official figures that are indicated by most reports (Pinto, 2011, p.43). However, the UNU Report of 2006 with regard to data of 2000 was the first report that covered all nations worldwide, while exploring household wealth components such as infrastructure, land and assets that were financial. According to the report, of the total population in the world, 98% are ranked as being poor, whereas only 2% are rated as rich (UNU-WIDER, 2006, para.1). The rich population own about half of the world’s wealth and the other half is shared by the large, poor population. These figures have raised controversies over the relationship that exists between poverty and wealth distribution globally. People have had different views and contribution towards the analysis of issues that poverty revolves around, and there has been a notion that poverty represents an unjust distribution of wealth. How true is this assertion? Ethics and Justice related to Wealth Distribution and Inheritance Wealth is characterized by the ownership of assets and resources, having the potential of generating income (Heilbroner, 1987, p. 880). The distribution of wealth raises the issue of the rich and the poor. The constructs of poverty have been from many dimensions given that its perception from the view points of the rich and the poor totally have a stark contrast. For instance, many people perceive poverty from the standpoint of ill-being, for they associate poverty with the scenario of a deprivation in social, physical and material needs. In this case, poverty is purely physicality as well as a state of mind. From this ethical point of view, the aspect of well-being and ill-being as brought out psychologically corresponds to a wide spectrum of experiences attached to poverty. Similarly, the grouping of the poor as being homogenous is faced out by the fact that the experiences of poverty are often personal. In critical cases, the poor end up lacking basic needs to an extent death, due to malnutrition (Fitzgerald & Constantine, 2011, p.34). Given that extremely small shares of the world’s wealth are received by the majority of the world’s population, it is inevitable that the people who are ranked in the category of the poor will experience poverty. Logically, when a pawpaw is divided among 10 children, the shares acquired by each of them will be smaller compared to the shares that will be received when the pawpaw is divided among 3 children. In this scenario, the three children will have their shares and perhaps keep some for consumption some other time. For the ten ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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