Poverty has been around as long as we can remember, it has been a global issue for ages and it will continue to be just as bad if we allow it. Poverty has become one of the most urgent issue in the global political economy today. Poverty is viewed under different point of views. Most people can relate to poverty in a relative way. Relative poverty is identifying your economic class or status versus someone else in your class or status. For example Someone could consider themselves poor if they own a Ford Focus and live in a neighbourhood that most people own lamborghinis and Ferraris. This is relative poverty because it relates to their lifestyle. Absolute poverty in the other hand is when people lack the basic needs for survival, like food, water and shelter.
One may argue that one poverty is better that the other or that one is more deserving than the other. So why is it that living in the modern and advanced world that we do today, why do that rich get richer and the poor poorer? This has been a political issue that has been around globally and we continue to let it overtake the majority of the world population. We have came to a crisis where class systems and social status have continually overtaken the power and this will not allow the “poor” to move “up” in the social and class ladder. The Stanford Centre suggest that poverty is everywhere in the world (relative and absolute) and is seen in many rich countries like the United States.
This urgent issue has a few causes, most importantly inequality. Poverty can grow anywhere from social inequality to gender inequality. Though other underlying issues can be conflicts within countries or lack of resources, but in my opinion all of these coincide with one another. “In the face of such enormous external influence, the governments of poor nations and their people are often powerless. As a result, in the global context, a few get wealthy while the majority struggle.” –Globalissues.org. G.I. states that most of the blame of poverty is placed on the poor already, stating that the poor continue to get poor and the rich will continue to be rich. one of the issues mentioned is the fact that some of the poorest countries have to work with the little resources they do have, for example: If a country is poor already and the little profit they do make comes from growing sugarcanes, they would have to sell their exports from sugarcane for a very low rate. They must do this in order to have some sort of movement in their imports/exports in order to keep their economy flowing. this becomes a vicious cycle because at the end they will still be considered poor because they have to continue to exploit their own resources, never allowing them to truly advance. This also comes into play when these countries have to compete against one another in order to sell the most goods. They will compete against one another to see who can sell the most goods for the lowest prices versus the fairest prices.
This leads on to talk about absolute poverty. in a world where we are more than able to feed everyone there are still countries with starving people in it, that need drinking water and shelter. However the whole world is able to provide this to everyone without a problem but exploitation and modern-day slavery will not allow it. Some of the causes are location, economy and bad governance.
Another factor that may play into poverty is education, this is the most important factor. This is urgent because a well educated nation will learn that exploiting and overworking their people will not get them out of poverty, however having a set of skills and knowledge will help a nation immensely. According to eschooltoday.com “People who are educated or had some training or skills are in a better position to apply ideas and knowledge into fixing basic problems and enhancing their livelihoods.” Eschooltoday.com
this would allow working class people to advance in the economic ladder making their families have a better chance of having a “normal” life. Although you cannot help but think that in the given circumstances of absolute poverty this could become very challenging to do.
lastly another issue of inequality related to poverty is trade. Unfair trade causes gaps and poverty in the global political economy, it allows things to be capitalized and become part of a neoliberal system. Free trade is not really a free trade zone and multi million companies begin to profit from countries that are already in poverty. Trade should be equal allowing each person to benefit in equal if not similar ways. For example: If johnny has two apples and wants two bananas he will go and find someone who has two bananas in need of two apples. However we are seeing many companies take all of the bananas for many years not even giving one apple in exchange.
Some of these factors are said that they could have been prevented, but were simply not analysed enough. According to Dani Rodrik, globalization factors could have been prevented, but were never looked into, therefore they happened [Rodrik, D. (2012) The globalization paradox].Poverty will always be there, it is the most urgent issue in our global political economy today, and the inequality that comes from it effects the poor everyday more and more.
“Poverty is like punishment for a crime you didn’t commit.” –Eli Khamarov
Eschooltoday.com, (2015). Causes of poverty in the world. [online] Available at: http://www.eschooltoday.com/poverty-in-the-world/causes-of-poverty.html [Accessed 17 Dec. 2015].
Globalissues.org, (2015). Causes of Poverty — Global Issues. [online] Available at: http://www.globalissues.org/issue/2/causes-of-poverty [Accessed 17 Dec. 2015].
Smith, S. (2013). BOOK REVIEW: “The Globalization Paradox. Democracy and the Future of the World Economy” by Rodrik Dani. Global Journal of Economics, 02(02), p.1380006.
Web.stanford.edu, (2015). The Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality – Issue – Poverty. [online] Available at: http://web.stanford.edu/group/scspi/issue_poverty.html [Accessed 17 Dec. 2015].
picture found: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:India_poverty.jpg