Causes of Poverty and Effects on Life Opportunities
According to Reutter, Veenstra, Stewart, Raphael, Love, Makwarimba, and McMurray (2005 p. 518), “Affordable housing was deemed especially difficult to obtain by 96%, but other resources (obtaining healthy food, giving children a good start in life, and engaging in healthy behaviours) were also viewed as challenging by at least 70% of respondents.”. Poverty has now become of the biggest issues in the world, with devastating effects on life opportunities, more severe in third world countries than first world, but still heavily present in both. Each place has its own unique causes such as personal/familial (Rank, 2001), local/environmental (Murry, Berkel, Gaylord-Harden, Linder, & Nation, 2011) and national/systemic (Ferriss, 2006). Some of the effects are mental health (Kuruvilla, & Jacob, 2007), lifestyle (Reutter, et al, 2005), employment (Rank, 2001), and education (Pagani, Boulerice, Vitaro, & Tremblay, 1999). However, there are always solutions such as policies (Duncan, & Brooks-Gunn, 2000) and financial backing from the government, such as the child defence fund (Sharpe, 1996).
Firstly, it’s better to have a better look at what poverty is and the two main types that currently exist, absolute and relative. According to Kuruvilla and Jacob (2007) absolute poverty is mostly concerned with not having enough resources to continue your ordinary life whereas relative poverty mostly is concerned with the income of the family or individual being substantially lower than that of others. Those two types of poverty have always been around but it has slowly been getting worse and worse through the years. According to Rank (2001) the poverty rate in 1999 was at 11.8% in the U.S however it was estimated that it was going to rise by 16.2% which was the figure of the population of Americans that are falling into poverty. Of course this is just the U.S, the figures might be a lot worse in third world or even developing countries, as stated by Lee (2011), child poverty in Australia has become one of the biggest concerns, especially for the development of the child, with the poverty rate standing at 11.6% in 2000 which is ranked at 11th out of 26 countries that were studied. However to fully understand the impact of poverty, aspects of health, education, employment and lifestyle must be considered as part of the individuals life opportunities. Health will mostly refer to the general mental and physical health of an individual (Kuruvilla & Jacob, 2007), education is mostly related to the level of education an individual will get based on their status in society and whether it is sufficient enough to apply for a job with (Reutter, et al, 2005), and lifestyle will refer to whether the individual is making a sufficient enough living to sustain their own life or their own families life (Murry, Berkel, Gaylord-Harden, Linder, & Nation, 2011).
To begin with, it is wise to look at 3rd world countries and...