Economic poverty refers to the financial incapacity of various people to afford their various needs due to insufficient finances. Poverty-stricken people can either have relative or absolute poverty. Relative poverty means these people make a particular percentage of the average per capita income while absolute poverty means these people live on less than $1.90 a day (Perez, 2016). Economic poverty is a grave issue that has existed since time immemorial and continues to plague the globe. This essay aims to demystify the issue further and suggest some of the proven solutions aimed at eradicating this dire situation.
Views on Poverty
Economic poverty has been a topic of discussion as far as human civilizations go and various schools of thought present different solutions to the scourge. Some scholars believe that poverty is unchanging and will always maintain an average extent. Others including David Ricardo believed that poverty would always be an increasing phenomenon with more people being unable to meet their needs every passing day (World Poverty, 2022). This is due to the limited nature of resources such as land and other means of production. This increases food prices and the cost of other goods hence an amount previously capable of meeting all needs will only be able to meet a few requirements in the future. Adam Smith and other economists of similar thoughts believed that world poverty would always be on a decrease (World Poverty, 2022). This assertion was based on the progress gradually attained in technology and productivity. They believed that human beings would be continually capable of solving most of their problems in the long run, gradually eliminating poverty.
Causes of Poverty
Economic poverty is caused by both personal conditions and situational conditions outside of individual control. A person’s educational status contributes to their ability to gain employment opportunities hence causing poverty when this background is diminished. Poor health makes it impossible for individuals to indulge in income-generating activities that are likely to alleviate their poverty (Perez, 2016). The social conditions a person suffers from such as early parenthood or single parenthood make it difficult for them to achieve maximum productivity. This is because both scenarios require the person to offer undivided attention to their child hence minimal time to focus on their economic activities (Perez, 2016). Systemic issues that cause economic poverty include poor government policies in crucial fields such as healthcare. When the healthcare system in a nation is poor, citizens spend a lot of money seeking quality care. This means that they remain with minimal amounts hence economic poverty.
Recent State of Poverty
For the last three years now, the globe has been ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic which has caused massive loss of life. In addition to the deaths witnessed, the disease has also disrupted economic activities in all sectors including manufacturing and service delivery. The eventual consequence of this has been the loss of livelihoods and the propagation of economic poverty. Macartney et al., (2022) indicate that the pandemic worsened the condition in the United States and increased the number of economically poor people. The research also indicates that despite the efforts by the federal government poverty is projected to be on the rise. Efforts made include the provision of economic stimulus packages to struggling families to enable them to afford their basic needs (Macartney et al., 2022). The decrease in the spread of COVID-infections was hoped to become an alleviating factor to the condition and decrease the number of poor people. This has not been the case as the numbers have either increased or remained constant in some areas of the country.
Solutions to Poverty
Several remedies have been recommended to solve economic poverty in the last few decades. Prinsen, (2014) recommended that the creation of jobs is a great method of improving livelihoods. This is due to the role played by underemployment and unemployment in propagating poverty. The education of women is key to eliminating poverty as it improves the number of people with access to skills and opportunities to make a living (Prinsen, 2014). Additionally, raising wages could increase the amounts people earn and enable them to evade poverty. Microfinancing is an empowerment strategy geared towards increasing the number of people with access to capital and investment means. In addition to the mitigation measures suggested, poverty can be eliminated through the limitation of population and modernization as illustrated in China’s case (Wilmot, 2019). These strategies are based on the assertion that population control enhances responsibility and reduces the number of unplanned pregnancies hence fewer poor people. Modernization is reliant on technological growth and innovation within these fields increases employment opportunities.
In conclusion, poverty is a state that affects life massively making it difficult for some people to pursue a satisfying life. Poverty is damaging, and degrading, and has been on the rise recently, with the number of casualties increasing. Poverty is understood differently by people and the projections made vary with some thinking it will increase, others decrease, and some remain the same. Poverty can be reduced with the adoption of positive measures that are focused on job creation and effective planning.
Macartney, S., Ghertner, R., Giannarelli, L., & Wheaton, L. (2022). Federal Economic stimulus projected to cut poverty in 2021, Though poverty may rise as benefits expire. ASPE. Web.
Perez, E. (2016). The principles of economics and poverty | The Borgen Project. The Borgen Project. Web.
Prinsen, T. (2014). 10 solutions to poverty. BORGEN. Web.
Wilmot, V. (2019). World Poverty causes and possible solutions. Web.
World Poverty. (2022). Economic poverty. World-Poverty.org. Web.