Causes of Poverty

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Jiasi Liu
04/25/2012
Kelly Ruble
Ling 100
Causes of Poverty
Poverty usually means one lacks the necessary for basic lives such as clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. Nowadays, it is not only a challenge for poor countries. American, the world's richest country, also has poverty problems. It is a huge issue for the whole world. To solve this problem, people should figure out the reasons behind poverty first. Poverty is very complex social problem. Causes of poverty can be multifarious, because it can be affected by the variety of factors, for instance, poor people themselves, the policies from the government and the state of the economy. Three authors talk about this problem and explain their opinions about the causes of poverty in their articles. Angela Locke is a writer, poet and creative writing tutor. She writes for the feminist news journal "Off Our Backs". She argues about causes for poverty in her article "Born Poor and Smart". As a member of the lower class, Locke tells us her mother's story and her own experience in college. Her mother did what the poor usually would not do. She read and asked her children read, so two of her children could go to college. However, Locke's experience in college was not that great. She felt that people put class tag on her all the time. Everything is about class. In her opinion, success is not a personal feeling; instead, it has to be recognized by society.

Also, Herbert J. Gans, an American sociologist talks about poverty in his article, "The War Against the Poor Instead of Programs to End Poverty". Gans is a professor of sociology at Columbia University. Many of his books and articles are related to poverty such as "The Urban Villagers", "The Levittowners, People and Plans", "More Equality" and "Middle American Individualism". In his article, Gans talks about the attitudes from American society especially the higher level class and government toward the poor. Firstly, he explains several reasons why poverty persists in America. Secondly, he clears up some misunderstandings that common Americans have of the poor. Finally, he lists the solutions to end poverty Another article named "Middle of the Class". from The Economist discusses poverty and class as well. The Economist is a weekly magazine published in England by The Economist Group. This magazine is famous for its international perspective on links between economic issues, current affairs, business, finance, science, technology and the arts. In this article, it mainly focuses on social mobility and poverty. The author believes that the ;;American Dream", which used to inspire all Americans. is not because social mobility in American is not good. The equality of opportunity is facing a huge challenge. He uses plenty of statistics to show us that it is hard to move to a higher class. Then he gives his explanation on why move to a higher level becomes so difficult. Locke, Gans and The Economist all interpret the state of poverty and explain causes for it in order to let readers see the complete issue clearly. However, three of them shares some common ideas and focuses on different points at the same time. First of all, both Gans and The Economist list the economy as a very important factor that contributes to poverty. Gans points out that the world economy is creating huge number of jobless non-professional and semi-professional workers. Also, the outsourcing of labor by many big private companies lessens job opportunities (Gans, 2008, pp.505). He is trying to explain that poor people lack opportunities to get trained so it is hard for them to have skills to find a well-paid job. Therefore, they become poorer. Poverty will continue. Their children will repeat what they used to do. The Economist shares the similar point of view. The Economist claims in the article that when facing the globalized market economy, intellectual skills play a significant...
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