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Essay on Poverty: Main Causes and Effects

In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of. Confucius.

Despite the rapid development of the highly civilized society, poverty remains a major social problem in most countries. According to the 2009 data, about half of the world, which is over three billion people, live on less than $2.5 a day. Being the consequence of imperfect social order, poverty results in a number of other social issues, including the unhealthy addictions, psychological conditions and even crimes. The entire world should combine their effort to find effective solutions to this complex problem affecting the life of society on different levels.

The world’s poverty has various causes, ranging from the global shifts in economy’s structure to the personal circumstances, such as family history and lack of education. The elimination of the most complicated causes is a challenge to both developed and developing countries. Being born in a poor family, an individual has to overcome serious barriers to receive an education and get a chance for a good job. Currently, over one billion of people in all over the world cannot read or sign their name. In a world where even a college degree does not guarantee getting a well paid job, the lack of education in most cases results in unemployment and low or no income. Whereas developed countries offer the unemployment insurance options to its residents, poor people living in developing countries have to rely only on themselves. The unequal distribution of income results in luxury and excess of income in some families (and areas) and low income and extreme poverty in others. Along with natural resources and the historical development of different states, the so-called ‘culture of poverty’ is an important factor influencing the economical situation in the state. Some theories claim that people and countries have subjective reasons for being poor; poverty is rather in their minds than in the surrounding world. Whereas the economists and historians are still trying to explain the main trends of poverty across the globe, the underlying causes still remain doubtful.

The negative phenomenon of poverty can have dramatic effects for the country and its citizens. As a result of extreme poverty, 30000 children die from preventable diseases daily. The epidemics and overall low quality of life result in high rates of morbidity. At the same time, recent studies have revealed that charity organization sending food and medicine to poor areas are making the problem of poverty even worse. For instance, there is evidence that Africans often perceive charity they receive from developed countries as intrusion into their culture. Paradoxically, poor people often lack understanding of the cause and effect relations between their income and their suffering. Shifting the responsibility on someone else, poor people victimize themselves and don’t see the opportunities for improving their situation by finding a job or educating themselves. At the same time, the problem of poverty affects not only poor people who don’t have where to live or what to eat, but also other social groups. Extreme poverty can result in lack of education, spread of epidemics, increased crime rates. Furthermore, countries spend a significant part of their budget on supporting the unprotected groups of population.

The negative phenomenon of global poverty affects all countries and many groups of population. Eliminating the main underlying causes of poverty is a challenge to not only developing, but also developed countries. The culture of poverty and the ongoing changes in the economy’s structure keep the poverty rates continuously growing in many places.

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