Causes and Solutions of World Poverty
Poverty is prevalent throughout the world around us. We watch television and see famous people begging us to sponsor a child for only ten dollars a month. We think in our own minds that ten dollars is only pocket change, but to those children and their families, that ten dollars is a large portion of their annual income. We see images of starving children in far away countries, and our hearts go out to them. But we really do not know the implications of poverty, why it exists, or even what we can do to help combat this giant problem in our world.
What is poverty? Well, according to Webster's Third New International Dictionary, poverty is "lack of money or material possessions; poor." Two-thirds of the world's population fits this definition. I know that many times we think of being poor as not being able to buy the car we want or take the trip we can only dream about. However, being poor, living in poverty, hits a lot lower than that. For example, a resident of the country of Chad will only bring in $100 each year. Since many people can make more than that in one week, some in one day, can you imagine having the feed a family of five or six, or even a family of two, on only $100 a year? These are the conditions that exist in poverty-stricken countries.
There are many reasons why poverty is an increasing problem. The first is delayed modernization. These less-developed countries barely have enough skilled workers and managers and technology. Industrialized countries have four times as many managers and workers as the less-developed countries, also known as LDC's. It is almost impossible for the lower-developed countries to catch up or even compete with the industrialized countries. With their high rates of illiteracy and lack of on-the-job training, their poverty will continue to increase.
The second reason is the increasing population. According to Weatherby, ninety to one-hundred million people are added to the world each year. If the population continues to grow at the same rate, over eight billion people will live on earth by the year 2025. In the lower developed countries, the population is growing at a rate two to three times faster than that of the industrialized lands. This is positive in the sense that the infant survival and fertility rates have increased, but how are all these people going to eat and survive?
And that's where the third reason for poverty comes in, which is unequal distribution of wealth. The United States donates foreign aid annually to help poverty. However, how thankful can we be to our country when we learn that two-thirds of the aid goes to Israel, one of more industrialized countries in the world? Haiti, for example, whose gross domestic product (GDP) is only $350, could benefit much more from this aid than Israel ever could. Israel needs the aid much less that most of the lower-developed countries. However, because the United States and Israel are close...