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Poverty: A Form Of Slavery Essay

3262 words - 13 pages

Today they say that we are free, Only to be chained in poverty -- Bob Marley

This paper will discuss poverty, the different types of poverty and their definitions and who is affected by each type of poverty. It will look at the some of the major reasons why poverty exists and what causes poverty, like such things as inequality, stratification and international debt. Some of the impacts of poverty will also be analyzed from a national and global perspective; things like education, literacy rate, and crime. This paper will demonstrate that poverty affects almost everyone in some form or another and exists because those with power and wealth want and need poverty to exist to force a dependence on the wealthy. A few of the main approaches that this is achieved is through economic systems, influencing government policies, and global stratification. Defining poverty is not a simple task and this is what this paper will tackle first.
WHAT IS POVERTY
Poverty is difficult to define exactly, as it has different meanings to different people depending on what country they live in, what culture they belong to, and how much income they earn. All these factors and more will change the way poverty is defined by an individual or organization (Seabrook, 2007, p.35). Adam Smith the classical economist had this view of poverty “poverty is a lack of those necessities that the custom of the country renders it indecent for creditable people, even of the lowest order, to be without” (Richmond and Saloojee, 2005, p.33). Another popular view of poverty is that of Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen who said the poor “cannot participate adequately in communal activities, or be free of public shame from failure to satisfy conventions” (Richmond and Saloojee, 2005, p.33).
The average person’s view of poverty is the poor they see on television living in third world countries. When they see them on television it is usually on the news or a charitable advertisement and these individuals are usually fleeing from war or some natural disaster or famine and drought, normally these people look very tired and sickly. These images are an example of absolute poverty, people who have nothing but the shirts on their back and whose only worry is survival (Seabrook, 2007, p.35). Their main aim is to find food and water and flee from danger.
There are several types of poverty, the most appalling form of poverty is absolute poverty; this type of poverty can be defined as the inability to secure the basic necessities for physical survival (Richmond and Saloojee, 2005, p.35).This is usually measured by comparing income to expenses used to buy goods and services. Organizations usually define absolute poverty in terms of people who live on less than $1.25 a day, international organizations such as the World Bank use these types of monetary figures to measure poverty (Murray, 2011, p.245). Other organizations and economists, politicians and humanitarians think that living on less...

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