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Poverty and Suggested Solutions - Essay Example

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Poverty and Suggested Solutions Even as there are countries that continue to enjoy relatively stronger economies, there are still many people from all over who are still suffering from varying degrees of poverty. This irony continues to exist despite the much vaunted trend of globalization, which said to lessen the gap between the poor and rich countries and provide better income opportunities for peoples…
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Download file to see previous pages In fact, “of the world’s 6 billion people, 2.8 billion—almost half—live on less than $2 a day, and 1.2 billion—a fifth—live on less than $1 a day, with 44 percent living in South Asia” (World Bank). Countries that are economically well-off are not absolutely without cases of poverty too. When the global financial crisis hit these, their poverty levels also grew substantially. However, when compared to the developing and underdeveloped countries, these are still far better. Poverty becomes more glaring and reprehensible if it exists while there are a few that enjoys immense wealth. It is the economic inequalities that actually make people conscious of their impoverished situations. According to the World Bank report “the average income in the richest 20 countries is 37 times the average in the poorest 20 – a gap that has double in the past 40 years” (2001). The global financial crisis that gravely affected the economies of the developed countries did not level the economic conditions or reduced the gap. While the developed countries did suffer from the crisis, those that are poorer were also badly affected. What happens is that when an economic recession of a global scale occurs, the most developed countries get badly hurt but it is the underdeveloped majority in Africa, Latin America, and most of Asia that get the worst beating. It is necessary to define poverty accurately so that determining its existence and severity in every society is made possible. If it is not defined in the most objective and precise manner, there is the tendency to exaggerate it or to ignore its seriousness. In many underdeveloped countries with less democratic governments, the tendency is to deny its severity in attempts to make themselves unaccountable for the impoverishment of their respective citizens. Timo Airaksinen “distinguishes relative and absolute poverty, explaining relative poverty as the inability to reach an ‘acceptable’ and ‘average’ standard of living, whereas for absolute poverty, the words used are ‘minimal’ and ‘bare survival’” (Axinn, 1985, p.59). The World Bank, on the other hand, that poverty generally means being in the state of hunger, lacking in shelter and clothing, not having access to healthcare and education. Airaksinen may be right when he stressed that poverty can be relative, considering that this becomes more pronounced when there are a few that are enjoying extreme affluence. While it may be appropriate to describe poverty as it is, analyzing it further for the purpose of achieving an accurate definition may lead to consider relativity. The fact is that people tend to feel the pain of poverty more if they had experienced living a relatively more affluent lifestyle before or if they see that there are others who are. The World Bank report pointed out the three dimensions that are prominent among the impoverished (2001). First is the lack of economic capabilities in the form of income from productive activities and assets or properties. It is because of this poor people do not have the purchasing power needed to acquire the basic necessities such as food, shelter, and clothing, as well as the fundamental health services and education. The second is their apparent powerlessness in the political sphere. Even in countries that claim having a political system modeled after the key democracies in the West, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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