Causes of Poverty


“Most people have an idea of what it means to be poor. Many think of conditions such as hunger, homelessness, preventable diseases, unemployment, and illiteracy as elements of poverty ”(pg1;Alters). In my eyes poverty is the condition of having little or no money, goods, or means of support. Usually people living in poverty lack the essentials; for instants water, food, and shelter. .There are many causes of poverty, all though not all are accepted universally. Poverty is said to be cause by climate, Environment ,Geographic factor, lack of natural resources, Disease, lacking rule of law and also lack of democracy, infrastructure, health car, education, Government corruption, free trade, racial discrimination and overpopulation. I personally feel and agree that it is caused by all these factors. I think that the main reason for poverty is Government corruption and lack of education. As you may notice many countries living in poverty do not have an organized or democratic government. Many scholars have named Capitalism, Socialism, Communism, Monarchy, Fascism and Totalitarianism as causes of poverty.

There are many causes of poverty and how it can be measured.“Poverty researchers refer to two types of poverty: absolute poverty and relative poverty. Absolute poverty means that a person's income is not sufficient to afford basic goods and services. Relative poverty compares a person's income to the median (average) household income in that country. Thus, it measures the gap between an income able to afford typical goods and services and incomes below that level”(page75.Alters). Absolute poverty is also considered when a percentage of a population is eating less food than is required to sustain the human body which is 1200-1700 calories for women and 2000-2500 calories for men. Extreme poverty is when one is living on less then one US$ per day. Relative poverty measures the extent to which a household's financial resources falls below an average income for the economy. Many criticize these measurements since in parts of the world as East and South Asia have decreased in the population of extreme poverty from 28 percent to 21 percent from 1990 to 2001. On the other hand other regions as Sub- Saharan Africa have had an increase of extreme poverty from 41 percent to 48 percent from 1990 to 2001.

“Many people throughout the world are in poverty because they are unemployed or underemployed and live in areas where economic opportunities are severely limited”(page13.Alters). I feel that the reason many people are unemployment and living in poverty is due to the lack of education and government structure.

“When world leaders meet in New York in September they will laud the progress that has been made on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), note somberly that much more needs to be done and then promise to do more before 2015 to get them 'on track'.With 1.4 billion living below the $1.25-a-day global poverty line, the number of hungry or undernourished people rising above one billion as food prices have risen, many countries a long way from the human development goals, and rich countries focused on 'austerity', these leaders will find it hard to be upbeat.” (Journel.David Hulme)

I get the sense that the government is realizing that they have been at fault and that their actions need to to speak louder then their words. I feel if education was imposed upon the youth in developing countries and in general countries around the world the people and government would support each in economical growth and people would be able to excel and come out of poverty.

I feel that poverty should be considered as not being able to live a comfortably, not having a place to live, and not being able to provide the basic needs for your self and family like food, water, medical attention, and an education. I have known many people that are living in poverty and don’t attend school so that they could work to help their family survive in America. America is not a poor country ;I could imagine how the people from countries like Africa, and Dominican Republic live. I am Dominican and Puerto Rican. When I go to Dominican Republic I see how these children are on the streets asking for money. I see that if it weren’t for there corrupt government which doesn’t provide their people with home and shelter the children would be living in these conditions. On the other hand I was in Puerto Rico is a common wealth, you can see the difference between Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. I did not see any children on the streets asking for money in Puerto Rico. Other indications show that the poverty rate is improving due to increase of Life expectancy since WW2.

On the other hand poverty has its effects; Two of many effects are starvation and hunger and human trafficking. Hunger is the painful sensation or state of weakness caused by the need of food and starvation is a state of extreme hunger resulting from lack of essential nutrients over a prolonged period. When a person is hunger they experience stomach contractions. In my case of experience mild pain in my stomach called hunger pangs. A single hunger contraction lasts about 30 seconds. It is said that Hunger pangs usually do not begin until 12 to 24 hours after the last ingestion of food, in starvation. In 2003 more than 25,000 people died of starvation according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. When a person starves they lose large amounts of fat and muscle mass as the body breaks down these tissues for energy. This process is called Catabolysis which is the body breaking down muscles and other tissues in order to keep very important systems working in the body such as the nervous system and heart muscle. Another reason for starvation is the lack of vitamins which leads to the development of anemia, beriberi, pellagra, and scurvy these diseases then lead to diarrhea, skin rashes, edema, and heart failure.

Another effect of poverty is Human trafficking. Women are taken against their will and used as sex slaves for money . Some women are tricked into scams since the men who take them captive tell them they are going to bring them to a country like America and will provide them with a job where they could make money and help their families. Not only women are trafficked but children also. Newborn are stolen to be given to a rich couples who are infertile and want to adopting a child.

In conclusion we see how there are different measurements of poverty and the different effects poverty have on men, women, and children. Poverty is the condition of having little or no money, goods, or means of support. Usually people living in poverty lack the essential as water, food, and shelter. Poverty is said to be cause by climate, Environment ,Geographic factor, lack of natural resources, Disease, lacking rule of law and also lack of democracy, infrastructure, health car, education, Government corruption, free trade, racial discrimination and overpopulation.

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