Essay Topics
Types of Essays
Essay Checklist
Word Counter
Readability Score
Essay Rewriter
Poverty as a social phenomenon has been a problem at every step of civilization. Although the portion of poor people in society fluctuates in comparison to other times, poverty always remained as a problem. Moreover, the policies used to eradicate poverty generally dealt with the reason-result relationship, none of them looked at the dialectic relationship between poverty and society. To achieve this aim, it is necessary to evaluate poverty within the invisible, hidden causes and underlying structures that increase poverty. It is also important to deal with this problem in the historical framework to provide better understanding for these hidden causes. And I will use realist approach to define and evaluate poverty to achieve the objectives mentioned above. What is Poverty? The usual definitions of poverty are based on lack of money, and annual income is the measure most commonly used. There are two general approaches defining poverty: the absolute approach and the relative approach. The absolute approach holds that a certain amount of goods and services are essential to and individual. Those who do not have this minimum amount are viewed as poor. But there is a problem with this approach because our definition of a minimum acceptable standard of living is itself likely to change over time. The relative approach, on the other hand, states that a person is poor when his or her income is substantially less than the average income of the population. With this approach poverty will persist as long income inequality exists. The weakness of this approach is that it tells us nothing about how badly, or how well, the people at the bottom of the income distribution actually live. When we deal with poverty we should know how many people are poor and how desperate conditions they live in. In most of the European countries and in the other parts the world; the absolute approach is used in defining poverty. The poverty line defined and this line is raised each year according to inflation. However, one way or another there are many individuals and families suffering from poverty independent from in what way you define them. And the main concerns of us should be the reasons of it and the problems of poor even the invisible causes and invisible problems. There are too many simple, logical causes of poverty. These causes are derived from the statistics of government. Because of the fact that poverty and social problems are closely related to each other in dialectical relationship. The surveys, which were done for another purpose, can be used for poverty. There are number of possible causes of being poor; * High-unemployment * Poor physical health * Physical disabilities * Emotional problems * Extensive medical bills * Alcoholism * Drug addiction * Large families * Job displacements due to automation * Lack of an unemployable skill * Low educational level * Female head of household with young children * Racial discrimination * Being labelled "ex-convict" or "crazy" * Living in an geographic area where jobs are scarce * Divorce, desertion * Gambling * Budgeting problems and mismanagement of resources * Sex discrimination * Being a crime victim * Handing anti-work ethic values * Underemployment * Low-paying jobs * Mental retardation * Being beyond the age of retirement This list is endless but as I've indicated before our major concern is to find unlisted, unwanted, invisible causes, i.e. the causes of the causes of poverty. Although the countries, especially where the market-economy was settled strongly and have political power, do not except, the mode of production and poverty are closely related to each other. To see clearly this relationship and provide better understanding for causes of poverty, historical framework should be drawn and these concepts must be evaluated within this framework. Historical Framework Although poverty has been existent at every stage of history of human beings, I will make my historical analysis by dealing with more about the stages after "enclosure movement" in England. As we know in the very early stages of history, human beings lived as a colonies and tried to survive by collecting things from their environment then after Neolithic Revolution they settled down in a specific territory and started to produce their own nutrition. Even in these stages, the concept of poverty exists (not in our modern sense but in very primitive sense) because human beings are classified by the territory where they live and by their gender. Then step by step the ratio of people suffering from poverty increase. In the feudal mode of production this increase accelerated but people can get the necessary things to survive from their landowners. With the change in field system (transformation from two-field system to three field system), change in methods in agriculture, with the extension of commercial activities the enclosure movement (the factor which stimulated the emergence of capitalist production) was started especially in England. Landowners enclosed their land to grasp sheep and to obtain more profit. And many serves became jobless so they migrated to cities. They became free labour forces for the new capitalist system. At first labourers had some control over system because the merchant was not free. However, after merchant owned the tools and capitals, which were necessary to produce goods, the labourer could only sell his labour force. In other words, after the merchant became capitalist because labourer did have nothing to sell other than his force, exploitation started. From the mid 18th through 19th century, the industrial revolution expanded in Europe and America. But the revolution went parallel with Protestant ethic and the laissez-faire economic view. These two had important effects on the poor. The Protestant ethic emphasized individualism, the view that one is responsible for one's action and conditions in life. People tended to be judged according to their wealth. The laissez-faire economic theory claimed that the economy and society in general would best prosper if business and industries were permitted to do whatever they desired to make profit. Any intervention was discouraged. Then many businessmen used this doctrine to justify monopoly, bad working conditions, competition and the exploitation of working class through low pay, long-hours and child labour. By the way, the number of people living the below poverty line increased step by step with the implication of capitalism. Because of the fact that exploited class did not aware of their being exploited, they were not able to avoid from living with poverty. Unfortunately these policies continue to countries tried to find the solution of their economical and political problem with the welfare state. The form of was a capitalist but it tried to provide continuity of "circular flow" by providing basic services such as health and education. By providing those services, they prevent the money withdraw from economy but exploitation still continued. Although exploitation existed, poverty seemed to be declined relatively. However, it should not be forgotten that in this period, especially between 1940s and 1950s, public concern switched to World War II then to issues such as Korean War and Spread of Communism. Therefore in this period poverty was no longer recognized as a major problem, although large segment of the population continued to live in poverty. Despite the fact that the programs in welfare state reduce to poverty somewhat, the optimism of the early 1960s that resulted in the expansion and development of new social programs was replaced by a more conservative approach in the 1970s and 1980s. Practically, no new, large-scale social welfare programs were initiated. After the public expenditures of state increased, there were cuttings in these services in new-right movement. With Reagan and Taetcher, they used the themes such as more employment, more economic growth other than public services. Therefore privatization policies were began to be applied and state was formulated as function-oriented. They leave social services in the hands of private sector. Nearly all the social, educational and health services have been cut so the proportion of people living in poverty has increased, the income gap between the rich and the poor widened. The number of homeless and hungry continued to grow. Conclusion As it was seen, I saw two break points in the history of poverty; one is the rise of capitalism (laissez-faire), another is new right. Under capitalism, only labour which produce profit for the employers can expect to receive payments and those who are not employed will necessarily suffer poverty. The pressure is always on to keep the costs of labour down. Moreover in welfare state there were also the same pressures to keep welfare payments down and that one of the reasons introduced in 1970s and 1980s has been the capitalism's inability to meet even the limited costs of the welfare state constructed after 1945. The process of economic restructuring in the world also encouraged a dual labour market with well-paid jobs at the core and low-paid jobs in the equalized periphery. The poor will tend to be those dependants on employment in peripheral sectors or not employed at all. And capitalism creates differences in poverty according to race and gender; as Williams (1989) has called a "patriarchally and racially structured capitalism" has played major role for women, especially black women to be the main providers of low-paid and casual labour. Poverty and wealth are closely related. Throughout most countries in the world, wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few individuals and families. In the social stratification that capitalism creates the top 20% gets 54.88% of national income whereas the lowest 20% gets 4.86% of national income in Turkey (SIS: State Institute of Statistics, 1994). So, it is clear that a simple redistribution of some of the wealth from the top to one-fifth to the lowest one-fifth could easily wipe out poverty. Of course, that is not politically acceptable to the members of the top-fifth, who have the greatest control of the government. And poverty hurts most when it leads to viewing to oneself as inferior or second class. Poverty exists because the power structure wants it to exist. The working poor are being exploited, paid poverty level wages so that their employers reap higher profits and live more affluent lives. To eliminate poverty, developing and expanding programs to reduce the causes of poverty will be effective. So laws to end racial and sex discrimination can be enforced, programs to curb alcohol and drug abuse can be expanded, higher quality education programs, family planning programs, public housing programs and national health insurance programs are needed. However, partly because poverty is functional, society makes a little effort to reduce poverty. To eliminate it would mean a redistribution of income from rich to poor and such a policy is not accepted by affluent society, of course. Because the rich control the political power, proposals that would eliminate poverty have generally met with oppositions. Poverty is not reduced because some groups benefit from seeing that the poor have less in such a way: * There are unpleasant jobs no one else wants to do. * Poor purchase poor quality good that otherwise could not be sold. * Poor provide an opportunity for others to practice their sacred duty of helping the less fortunate. * Poor make mobility more likely for others because they are removed from the competition for good education and good jobs. * They serve as symbolic opponents for some political groups and as constituents for others. * They often pay the price of modernisation. * Poverty eradication may be mere slogan used by a democratic state because the bulk of the voters may be poor. Therefore, poverty can best be dealt with by the poor becoming politically aware and active that they organise themselves to reduce inequality through government action. A set of chains on the poor on the poor people must be broken. As most conflict theorists believed poverty could be significantly reduced only through political action by poor people- action that receives at least some support from concerned members of the power structure. And finally, the quoted paragraph best describe the situation: "... poverty will be the portion of large numbers of the working class whilst the land and wealth of the country are privately owned and industry is carried on for profit.We assert that only when the land is decreed the common property of the nation, when the wealth created by the people shall belong to the people, and when industry is organised and controlled by the people in their collective capacity, will poverty be banished and the Poor Law or its equivalent be unnecessary." (Quoted in Clarke et al., p.78)
Essay Writing Checklist
The following guidelines are designed to give students a checklist to use, whether they are revising individually or as part of a peer review team.
Introduction
  • Is the main idea (i.e., the writer's opinion of the story title) stated clearly?
  • Is the introductory paragraph interesting? Does it make the reader want to keep on reading?
Body Paragraph
  • Does each body paragraph have a clear topic sentence that is related to the main idea of the essay?
  • Does each body paragraph include specific information from the text(including quoted evidence from the text, if required by the instructor)that supports the topic sentence?
  • Is there a clear plan for the order of the body paragraphs (i.e., order of importance, chronology in the story, etc.)?
  • Does each body paragraph transition smoothly to the next?
Conclusion
  • Is the main idea of the essay restated in different words?
  • Are the supporting ideas summarized succinctly and clearly?
  • Is the concluding paragraph interesting? Does it leave an impression on the reader?
Overall Essay
  • Is any important material left unsaid?
  • Is any material repetitious and unnecessary?
  • Has the writer tried to incorporate "voice" in the essay so that it has his/her distinctive mark?
  • Are there changes needed in word choice, sentence length and structure, etc.?
  • Are the quotations (if required) properly cited?
  • Has the essay been proofread for spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc.?
  • Does the essay have an interesting and appropriate title?
A Brief History of Poverty over the World
Trending Essay Topics
Explore today's trending essay topics:
Reference
Feel free to use content on this page for your website, blog or paper we only ask that you reference content back to us. Use the following code to link this page:
Terms · Privacy · Contact
Essay Topics © 2018

A Brief History Of Poverty Over The World

Words: 2056    Pages: 7    Paragraphs: 28    Sentences: 105    Read Time: 07:28
Highlight Text to add correction. Use an editor to spell check essay.
              Poverty as a social phenomenon has been a problem at every step of civilization. Although the portion of poor people in society fluctuates in comparison to other times, poverty always remained as a problem. Moreover, the policies used to eradicate poverty generally dealt with the reason-result relationship, none of them looked at the dialectic relationship between poverty and society. To achieve this aim, it is necessary to evaluate poverty within the invisible, hidden causes and underlying structures that increase poverty. It is also important to deal with this problem in the historical framework to provide better understanding for these hidden causes. And I will use realist approach to define and evaluate poverty to achieve the objectives mentioned above.
             
             
              What is Poverty?
             
              The usual definitions of poverty are based on lack of money, and annual income is the measure most commonly used. There are two general approaches defining poverty: the absolute approach and the relative approach.
             
              The absolute approach holds that a certain amount of goods and services are essential to and individual. Those who do not have this minimum amount are viewed as poor. But there is a problem with this approach because our definition of a minimum acceptable standard of living is itself likely to change over time. The relative approach, on the other hand, states that a person is poor when his or her income is substantially less than the average income of the population. With this approach poverty will persist as long income inequality exists. The weakness of this approach is that it tells us nothing about how badly, or how well, the people at the bottom of the income distribution actually live. When we deal with poverty we should know how many people are poor and how desperate conditions they live in.
             
              In most of the European countries and in the other parts the world; the absolute approach is used in defining poverty. The poverty line defined and this line is raised each year according to inflation. However, one way or another there are many individuals and families suffering from poverty independent from in what way you define them. And the main concerns of us should be the reasons of it and the problems of poor even the invisible causes and invisible problems. There are too many simple, logical causes of poverty. These causes are derived from the statistics of government. Because of the fact that poverty and social problems are closely related to each other in dialectical relationship. The surveys, which were done for another purpose, can be used for poverty. There are number of possible causes of being poor;
             
              * High-unemployment
             
              * Poor physical health
             
              * Physical disabilities
             
              * Emotional problems
             
              * Extensive medical bills
             
              * Alcoholism
             
              * Drug addiction
             
              * Large families
             
              * Job displacements due to automation
             
              * Lack of an unemployable skill
             
              * Low educational level
             
              * Female head of household with young children
             
              * Racial discrimination
             
              * Being labelled "ex-convict" or "crazy"
             
              * Living in an geographic area where jobs are scarce
             
              * Divorce, desertion
             
              * Gambling
             
              * Budgeting problems and mismanagement of resources
             
              * Sex discrimination
             
              * Being a crime victim
             
              * Handing anti-work ethic values
             
              * Underemployment
             
              * Low-paying jobs
             
              * Mental retardation
             
              * Being beyond the age of retirement
             
              This list is endless but as I've indicated before our major concern is to find unlisted, unwanted, invisible causes, i. e. the causes of the causes of poverty.
             
              Although the countries, especially where the market-economy was settled strongly and have political power, do not except, the mode of production and poverty are closely related to each other. To see clearly this relationship and provide better understanding for causes of poverty, historical framework should be drawn and these concepts must be evaluated within this framework.
             
              Historical Framework
             
              Although poverty has been existent at every stage of history of human beings, I will make my historical analysis by dealing with more about the stages after "enclosure movement" in England.
             
              As we know in the very early stages of history, human beings lived as a colonies and tried to survive by collecting things from their environment then after Neolithic Revolution they settled down in a specific territory and started to produce their own nutrition. Even in these stages, the concept of poverty exists (not in our modern sense but in very primitive sense) because human beings are classified by the territory where they live and by their gender. Then step by step the ratio of people suffering from poverty increase. In the feudal mode of production this increase accelerated but people can get the necessary things to survive from their landowners.
             
              With the change in field system (transformation from two-field system to three field system), change in methods in agriculture, with the extension of commercial activities the enclosure movement (the factor which stimulated the emergence of capitalist production) was started especially in England. Landowners enclosed their land to grasp sheep and to obtain more profit. And many serves became jobless so they migrated to cities. They became free labour forces for the new capitalist system. At first labourers had some control over system because the merchant was not free. However, after merchant owned the tools and capitals, which were necessary to produce goods, the labourer could only sell his labour force. In other words, after the merchant became capitalist because labourer did have nothing to sell other than his force, exploitation started.
             
              From the mid 18th through 19th century, the industrial revolution expanded in Europe and America. But the revolution went parallel with Protestant ethic and the laissez-faire economic view. These two had important effects on the poor. The Protestant ethic emphasized individualism, the view that one is responsible for one's action and conditions in life. People tended to be judged according to their wealth.
             
              The laissez-faire economic theory claimed that the economy and society in general would best prosper if business and industries were permitted to do whatever they desired to make profit. Any intervention was discouraged. Then many businessmen used this doctrine to justify monopoly, bad working conditions, competition and the exploitation of working class through low pay, long-hours and child labour. By the way, the number of people living the below poverty line increased step by step with the implication of capitalism. Because of the fact that exploited class did not aware of their being exploited, they were not able to avoid from living with poverty. Unfortunately these policies continue to
             
              countries tried to find the solution of their economical and political problem with the welfare state. The form of was a capitalist but it tried to provide continuity of "circular flow" by providing basic services such as health and education. By providing those services, they prevent the money withdraw from economy but exploitation still continued. Although exploitation existed, poverty seemed to be declined relatively. However, it should not be forgotten that in this period, especially between 1940s and 1950s, public concern switched to World War II then to issues such as Korean War and Spread of Communism. Therefore in this period poverty was no longer recognized as a major problem, although large segment of the population continued to live in poverty.
             
              Despite the fact that the programs in welfare state reduce to poverty somewhat, the optimism of the early 1960s that resulted in the expansion and development of new social programs was replaced by a more conservative approach in the 1970s and 1980s. Practically, no new, large-scale social welfare programs were initiated.
             
              After the public expenditures of state increased, there were cuttings in these services in new-right movement. With Reagan and Taetcher, they used the themes such as more employment, more economic growth other than public services. Therefore privatization policies were began to be applied and state was formulated as function-oriented. They leave social services in the hands of private sector. Nearly all the social, educational and health services have been cut so the proportion of people living in poverty has increased, the income gap between the rich and the poor widened. The number of homeless and hungry continued to grow.
             
              Conclusion
             
              As it was seen, I saw two break points in the history of poverty; one is the rise of capitalism (laissez-faire), another is new right.
             
              Under capitalism, only labour which produce profit for the employers can expect to receive payments and those who are not employed will necessarily suffer poverty. The pressure is always on to keep the costs of labour down. Moreover in welfare state there were also the same pressures to keep welfare payments down and that one of the reasons introduced in 1970s and 1980s has been the capitalism's inability to meet even the limited costs of the welfare state constructed after 1945.
             
              The process of economic restructuring in the world also encouraged a dual labour market with well-paid jobs at the core and low-paid jobs in the equalized periphery. The poor will tend to be those dependants on employment in peripheral sectors or not employed at all. And capitalism creates differences in poverty according to race and gender; as Williams (1989) has called a "patriarchally and racially structured capitalism" has played major role for women, especially black women to be the main providers of low-paid and casual labour.
             
              Poverty and wealth are closely related. Throughout most countries in the world, wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few individuals and families. In the social stratification that capitalism creates the top 20% gets 54. 88% of national income whereas the lowest 20% gets 4. 86% of national income in Turkey (SIS: State Institute of Statistics, 1994). So, it is clear that a simple redistribution of some of the wealth from the top to one-fifth to the lowest one-fifth could easily wipe out poverty. Of course, that is not politically acceptable to the members of the top-fifth, who have the greatest control of the government. And poverty hurts most when it leads to viewing to oneself as inferior or second class.
             
              Poverty exists because the power structure wants it to exist. The working poor are being exploited, paid poverty level wages so that their employers reap higher profits and live more affluent lives.
             
              To eliminate poverty, developing and expanding programs to reduce the causes of poverty will be effective. So laws to end racial and sex discrimination can be enforced, programs to curb alcohol and drug abuse can be expanded, higher quality education programs, family planning programs, public housing programs and national health insurance programs are needed. However, partly because poverty is functional, society makes a little effort to reduce poverty.
             
              To eliminate it would mean a redistribution of income from rich to poor and such a policy is not accepted by affluent society, of course. Because the rich control the political power, proposals that would eliminate poverty have generally met with oppositions. Poverty is not reduced because some groups benefit from seeing that the poor have less in such a way:
             
              * There are unpleasant jobs no one else wants to do.
             
              * Poor purchase poor quality good that otherwise could not be sold.
             
              * Poor provide an opportunity for others to practice their sacred duty of helping the less fortunate.
             
              * Poor make mobility more likely for others because they are removed from the competition for good education and good jobs.
             
              * They serve as symbolic opponents for some political groups and as constituents for others.
             
              * They often pay the price of modernisation.
             
              * Poverty eradication may be mere slogan used by a democratic state because the bulk of the voters may be poor.
             
              Therefore, poverty can best be dealt with by the poor becoming politically aware and active that they organise themselves to reduce inequality through government action. A set of chains on the poor on the poor people must be broken. As most conflict theorists believed poverty could be significantly reduced only through political action by poor people- action that receives at least some support from concerned members of the power structure.
             
              And finally, the quoted paragraph best describe the situation:
             
              ". . . poverty will be the portion of large numbers of the working class whilst the land and wealth of the country are privately owned and industry is carried on for profit. We assert that only when the land is decreed the common property of the nation, when the wealth created by the people shall belong to the people, and when industry is organised and controlled by the people in their collective capacity, will poverty be banished and the Poor Law or its equivalent be unnecessary. "
              (Quoted in Clarke et al. , p. 78)
Poverty Essay 
+1
Tip: Use our Essay Rewriter to rewrite this essay and remove plagiarism.

Add Notes

Have suggestions, comments or ideas? Please share below. Don't forget to tag a friend or classmate.
clear
Formatting Help
Submit