Economic Standing

Topics: Poverty, Poverty in the United States, Hurricane Katrina Pages: 2 (644 words) Published: November 28, 2007
The broad economic standing of the citizens of the United States today, has been analyzed and broken down for years. Why are the poor in a helpless sinkhole? John Galbraith and Robert Reich both look into the economic cycle and both express an intriguing response. While Galbraith focuses on how people are stuck in poverty by separating his work into five clear sections, Reich focuses on the main three economic standings by using a constant boat metaphor and speaking on each economic standing one by one.

The cause of poverty becomes a question of whether it's from pure individualistic character flaws, from people's surroundings, or due to a quickly sinking job field. Galbraith brings up two major reasons for poverty. Case poverty is based on the fact of personal flaws and it turns blame around from politicians and people not living in poverty, to the actual people stuck living in it. It seems like case poverty is more of a scapegoat approach to poverty. Then there is insular poverty, which is a theory that people's surroundings cause them to become poor and stay poor. "Ihe most important characteristic of insular poverty is forces…race…poor educational facilities" (Galbraith, p. 419). How do you succeed and move upwards from being poor when you aren't going to a good enough school to help you do that? Reich develops an understanding for the poor through his use of a strong constant metaphor of a sinking boat. "All Americans used to be in roughly the same economic boat…We are now in different boats, one sinking rapidly, one sinking more slowly, and the third rising steadily" (Reich, p. 420). He bases poverty on outsourcing, jobs quickly being lost to machinery and new technology, and the disappearance of the middleman. Both seem accurate in their arguments and they may both contribute to reasons for poverty in America.

By using a numerical separation and tackling each element of the subject one by one, Galbraith's writing has a sense of order and...
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