October 29, 2012
Position of Povery
Thesis: The Position of Poverty by John Kenneth Galbraith
1. The Position of Poverty is a physical matter that has fallen in and out of focus for years. A. “In part, it is a physical matter; those afflicted have such limited and insufficient food, such poor clothing, such crowded, cold, and dirty shelter that life is painful as well as comparatively brief.” (409) B. “The poor get jobs more easily when the economy is expanding. Thus poverty survives in economic discourse partly as a buttress to the conventional economic wisdom.” (408) C. “They are degraded for, in the literal sense, they live outside the grades or categories which the community regards as acceptable.” (409) 2. Politicians and the wealthy claim to sympathize with the poverty stricken, however they do nothing to aid the poor. A. “Now any politician who speaks for the very poor is speaking for a small generally inarticulate minority. As a result, the modern liberal politician regularly aligns himself not with the poverty-ridden members of the community...” (411) B. “Politicians have found it possible to be indifferent where they could not be derisory. And very few have been under a strong compulsion to support these efforts. (412) C. “It did not survive as a decisive political issue in a time when the many had much even though others had much more.” (412) 3. The wealthy should make a greater investment into the public lifestyle in order to lower the poverty levels in America. A. “The corrupting effect on the human spirit of unearned revenue has unquestionably been exaggerated as, indeed, have the character-building values of hunger and privation. To secure to each family a minimum income, as a normal function of the society, would help ensure that the misfortunes of parents, deserved or otherwise, we not visited on their children.” (412) B. “A poor society, as this essay has...