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Assignment 1 - Essay Example

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Crime and Poverty Student’s First name, Middle initial and Last Number and Name Prof. First and Last name of lecturer November 3, 2011 Poverty has been identified as a global issue and can drive any person affected by it, to the edge of desperation…
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Download file to see previous pages People may find themselves in poverty because of natural disasters, unexpected expenses due to medical reasons or reduced access to resources. However, fact remains that there is sufficient resources in the world for everyone. For e.g., there is enough food in the world such that each person may receive at least 4.3 pounds of food each day (Poole-Kavana, 2006). This includes two and a half pounds of grain, beans and nuts, a pound of fruits and vegetables and another pound of meat, milk and eggs. Therefore, the important issue is that many people around the world do not have access to this resource because they are too poor and have limited means to buy this food. This disproportionate distribution of resources among people is supported and maintained by social institutions. Social Institutions Contribute to the Problem of Poverty Social institutions define the social values of a society. In America, the dominant social values include success, productivity, leadership and efficiency. Therefore, businesses and governmental regulations are focused on achieving excellence and profit. However, in this process they create and perpetuate poverty as they marginalize small businesses and the poor. In the following pages, four major social institutions and their contribution to the issue of poverty have been examined in detail: Government: There is a huge divide between the affluent rich and the weak poor as governmental operations and decisions typically favor the rich than the poor. The poor who live in remote areas find it extremely difficult to avail programs developed to benefit them due to issues like inadequate staffing in governmental offices, lack of proper communication regarding the availability of the program and complex application process. Again, the multiple decision making centers are the federal, state and local government levels make it difficult for the poor to avail the benefits of these programs as it often gets diluted, changed or sabotaged when implemented. Economy: The capitalist economy also favors the rich as it allows concentration of wealth. The poor find low paying jobs with few or no benefits while the rich enjoy high paying jobs with several perks and benefits. The economy also guarantees that a certain percent of the population would remain unemployed or earn wages below the national poverty level. In a recent study, Talukdar (2008) revealed that the poor pay substantially more than the rich for the same consumer goods and services. Family: The poor typically have large families, the demands of which lay considerable burden on the breadwinners. Children who live in poor families often exhibit low intellectual achievement and high school drop out rates. With minimum parental guidance and intellectual stimulation, the issues of drug and alcohol abuse, divorce and violence exacerbate the problem. Education: Family patterns significantly affect the educational achievement in children. Parental involvement in school activities has been found to be more among the high-income families than poor families (Lauer & Lauer, 2010). Children from poor homes have very low educational expectations and typically study in schools that do not have adequate facilities in terms of teachers and resources. All of these factors reflect the low access to economic opportunities among the poor. Poverty Affects the Basic Rights of People Clean air, basic sanitation, food, clothing, shelter, health and education are some of the basic ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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