Poverty introduction of housing and education acts and

Topic: EconomicsBanking Analysis
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Last updated: August 24, 2019

Poverty is a Global Most Urgent Issue of Our TimeNearly half of the world’s population lives in extreme poverty (United Nations Development Programme, 2014).

In spite of the introduction of housing and education acts and other legislation to improve standards of living, poverty is still a reality. Oxfam (2013), estimated that it would take $60 billion annually to end extreme global poverty, which is less than one fourth the income of the top 100 richest billionaires. There is no specific standardized and acceptable way of defining poverty; however arguments surrounding the definition of poverty centre on two key approaches that give clear understanding of poverty which are absolute and relative poverty. Absolute poverty can be referred to as when an individual is unable to access the fundamental basic needs of life such as food, shelter, clothing and health care. It is the unavailability of resources to maintain human’s life.

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However, the supporters of the relative poverty tends to  dismiss  this, with the view that poverty  is more than  material deprivation rather it is a  form of multiple deprivation  that  can  have  many  facets which prevents individual from participating in important areas of society activities (Holbon et al., 2004). Professor Peter Townsend, a leading authority on UK poverty defined poverty in relation to the standard of society at a time as lack of resources to obtain the type of diet, participate in the activities and have the living conditions  and  amenities  which  are  customary  in the  society  to which  they belong, because society determines people needs  (Townsend , 1979; Holbon et al., 2004).Charles Booth and Seebohm Rowntree who are regarded as the pioneers of modern research in poverty defined absolute poverty as a situation when an individual is not able to meet the basic universal needs due to the lack of money. They also identified the main causes of poverty as illness, unemployment and age, where young and old are at risk of poverty (Booth and Rowntree, 2002). George and Howards (1991), defined relative poverty as the lack of sufficient income to enable an individual or groups in society to live an acceptable standard or acceptable condition of which the society they are in, has set for all individuals.  Lister (2004), sees poverty as state of powerlessness, lack of voice, loss of dignity and respect.

There are many sociological perspectives of poverty in understanding the concept of poverty; three of these sociological theorists will be discussed in this essay, which are Functionalism, Marxism, and the new right.Functionalism consider society to be a human body where all piece of the general public has a capacity to perform which will benefits others on the ground that each piece of society are reliant and society is composed of rich and poor people. In this manner, for society to work adequately, poor people (work drive) must keep on existing to work for the wealthy who are industrialist and benefit centered. Functionalism thinks poverty depends on the notion that neediness serves a constructive capacity for society since functionalism is occupied with huge scale basic clarifications of social life. Along these lines, neediness is respected on a capacity level based on the advantages it accommodates society in general, as opposed to for the people who are in poverty.

The most persuasive essayist on this point of view is Herbert J. Gans (1971) who proposes that neediness benefits the rich and capable, who have a personal stake in looking after poverty. He believes that without the very low paid in society, many industries would be unable to function as they rely upon low paid workers to ensure their profit and survival (Herbert, 1971).However, Marxists reject the functionalist’s views.

They are very negative about the society we live in, they believe there will be a revolution, because of their belief that society is being dominated by the ruling class, therefore because of the working class being exploited they will get rid of the ruling class and capitalism.Marxism believed poverty is inevitable and poverty is a consequence of capitalist society, which they benefited from therefore we must have the poor for the rich to continue to be rich. Because there are some works forces (poor) that always willing to accept low wages work any hour given to them with any wages which make the capitalist who are owners of the companies making the profit they want or more.

Marxism also says poverty is the direct consequence of inequality and until the rich are overthrown, which might not happen, there will always be poverty. This confirms Marxism unbelief in the elimination of poverty.Marsland (1997), argue that in a democratic, capitalist society wealth is created by those who are successful in business.

The New Right view about poverty is that the welfare state and government interference in society is responsible for growth of poverty due to over reliance on government. To resolve this, government support should be cut and spending reduced. This view is of the opinion that the capitalist is capable of providing the stability on wealth for all, as against Marxism who believed that capitalism is the cause of poverty because with government interference that disturbed balance of supply and demand, we can have a society where everyone has enough. Therefore, people are made poor because the government is involved in their matter by giving them benefits. The people that can work stay at home because they receive benefits from government.

To stop this government should cut benefits, so as to enable them work. Privatisation of the welfare state will encourage people to have responsibility for themselves.Margret Thatcher and John Major in their government associated with the idea of the new right, the central plank of their policies was the claim that the welfare state was leading to a culture of dependency. Welfare state refers to a system of benefits and public services where we have social security payments and public services such as police, fire services, hospital, school etc, provided largely by the state which responds to social needs and not private interest of the society.

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