The Position of Poverty
In the United States today we are consumed with insular poverty, but you would never know it by reading the newspaper or watching the news on television. There are times, usually around election seasons, when there is
an unemployment issue and it get discussed but it is not a factor in everyday life.
I completely agree with Galbraith’s description of insular poverty. One of the prime examples is 5th ward in Houston, Texas. There are hundreds of illegitimate children that make up that population that also have mothers with substance abase problems. The crime rate in that area is also very high and Houston officials and state legislators do nothing to help the problem. “The result was to reduce poverty from the problem of the majority to that of a minority” (para 3). Since 5th ward is such a small part of the Houston area it is not a real concern for the city and the people that don’t live in that area. It is a community of poor black people, a minority.
Galbraith, in many of his theories, has listed numerous was to remedy some of the impoverished area. They are all ideas that seem like they would be easily implemented in certain areas and 5th ward is one of those areas. If the city of Houston or the state of Texas chose to implement some of Galbraith’s ideas the community would be able to survive better.
One of Galbraith’s ideas is beautification. If you make a community pretty, the residents of the area would be more likely to take care of it, simply because it gave them something to be proud of. If the politicians, or even the citizens of Houston chose to go into 5th ward and make the community attractive that would be a step in the right direction in dealing with the element. They could start by cleaning a park or painting over the graffiti that is on a school and go from there. You begin by taking baby steps and before you know it you have a lovely community before you.
An additional idea that Galbraith has is putting facilities in the community that the people can benefit from. In the 5th ward the residents can benefit from a substance abuse center. It is a known fact that the majority of the citizens of that community suffer from some sort of addition to a controlled substance. Putting an easily assessable substance abuse center in the neighborhood is perfect. It allows those who really want to overcome their habit to do so with help.
That community would also make good use of a Texas Workforce Commission, an unemployment office. It informs the people what establishments are hiring and where they are located. Some of the residents have not been taught how to properly look for a job and having this office in their neighborhood would be extremely helpful to them. That would be their stepping stone to finding permanent employment, something they need.
Both of those examples are just expansions of Galbraith’s principle ideas. In his theories he provided many good solutions to poverty that many communities could benefit from and some have benefitted from.