Around the world, in rich or poor countries, poverty has always been present. In most nations today, inequality--the gap between the rich and the poor--is quite high and often widening. The causes are numerous, including a lack of individual responsibility, bad government policy, exploitation by people, and business with power and influence or some combination of these and other factors. Many feel that high levels of inequality will affect some social cohesion and lead to problems such as increasing crime and violence. Inequality is often a measure of relative poverty. Absolute poverty is also a concern. World Bank figures for world poverty reveals a high number of people live in poverty than previously thought. For example, the new poverty line is defined as living on the equivalent of $1.25 a day. With that measure based on latest data available, 1.4 billion people live on or below that line. Furthermore almost half the world--over three billion people--live on less than $2.50 a day and at least 80 percent of humanity lives on less than $10 a day. When I traveled last fall to Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand), I personally witnessed some extent of poverty as I lived in three separate villages for a week each. In order to put an end to global poverty once and for all, the governments of the 48 least developed countries must establish an efficient policy that's fair, more people must become aware of this current issue, and individual responsibility must be in order.
Last fall, I started my gap year in Southeast Asia in Cambodia. I went with a travel company called Rustic Pathways where I traveled around different countries with other kids my age. I took a gap year because I felt I needed a new perspective on my outlook on the world around me and I wanted a new adventure and experience different cultures. That's exactly what I got in Cambodia; a very different culture. While I was in Cambodia, we ventured to different...
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