Poverty - A Government's enemy number one

Jaya Mayadas By Jaya Mayadas, 20th Aug 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/vv6acgei/
Posted in Wikinut>News>World

When the world's populace races ahead with the lure of amassing large economic gains, the government unfortunately has to carry the burden of the poor. Poverty alleviation has become the bane of nations worldwide, especially in the southern nations.

Poverty's best friends.

Poverty is not a stand alone. When a person suffers from poverty they, are not just due a meager income but, because of many underlying factors. Poor health, poor education and rising prices make it difficult for the poor to rise above their stations. When an individual's health is bad neither can they work efficiently nor can they reduce expenditure due to rising health costs. The Multidimensional Poverty Index adopted by the United Nations in 2010 in collaboration with Oxford University takes into account health, education, rising prices and availability of state help but, it does not use income as one of its indicators.

Methods of poverty alleavition.

The Government of a state has two ways by which it can reduce the poor in its nation. The first and the 'easy way out' is by reducing the poverty line. A poverty line is the minimum wage that an individual should earn in order to purchase the basic requirements and necessities of life. For instance the poverty line in India currently is rupees 32 for rural inhabitants and rupees 47 for urban inhabitants. When I say reduce the poverty line it means that the Indian Government can drop the poverty line to rupees 32 for urban and 22 for rural. By doing so the total number of poor are reduced arbitrarily. Now these people cannot avail of any poverty alleviation programs. The moral behind this is to represent a positive fiscal deficit and to reduce the social overhead costs- money spent on non-productive yet indispensable expenditures.
Now the second and more honest method of poverty reduction is through targeted programs. In India we have the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005. This ensures that the farmers have 100 days of work during the off seasons so that they have a steady flow of income. The Midday Meal Policy of India brings education and food to children. The children are given food in government run school in the afternoon, this ensures that at least they see the inside of a classroom and can get educated up to secondary level. These were just to name a few.

Equality for all - there is still a long way to go.

When we look at the world scenario it is noticed that wide disparities exist between the countries of the North and South. According to me one of the primary factors is due to the unstable political and economic state that these countries were left in. Why I say this is because nearly all the Southern countries were once colonies and by the time they were 'freed' they were striped of their economic and natural wealth. Unfortunately 3 billion people live on less than $2.50 a day. According to UNICEF 22,000 children die each day due to malnutrition and hunger as the mother or father has no money to feed them. 33% of the poor live in India though it has reduced its poor from 429 million in 1981 to 400 million in 2010. Africa's poor are steadily increasing and China has reduced its poor from 84% in 1981 to 12% in 2010. Parallel forms of government have come up due to acute poverty and deprivation. For instance Afghanistan is one of the poorest country of the Southern Nations and has a Low HDI status given to it by the United Nations.

"Make this a place , for you and for me and the entire human race....", Michael Jackson

I think its time for educated people like us to raise our voices in favor of someone who cant, someone who has thought that his or her existence was a mistake, their existence a cruel joke played by Destiny and Fate. Lets start with the poor we interact with in our daily lives and lowly extend this circle. The task is operose and exacting but, in the words of Michael Jackson ,
"Heal the world
make it a better place
for you and for me and the
entire human race.
There are people dying
if you care enough for the living
make a better place for
you and for me."

Tags

Governments Role, Health, Income, Poverty, United Nations

Meet the author

author avatar Jaya Mayadas
I enjoy wrting on current issues, I am an avid trekker and a choirist. I write about life experiences,recipies, short stories and travel-places i have see across the world.

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Comments

author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
20th Aug 2014 (#)

Great article.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
21st Aug 2014 (#)

Good take, written with feeling and empathy, thanks Jaya. From each according to ability and to each as per need will make our lives sublime. Greed of few plays spoilsport in our ride to equality and fairness. The poor is easily satisfied but not the rich - the Gini Coefficient, that measures wealth disparity, is sadly widening simply because the rich have their own ways to add to their wealth (loot?). Gandhi said there is everything to meet our needs, but not the greed. Let us move towards an inclusive society - yes, Heal the World like Jackson sang - siva

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author avatar Jaya Mayadas
21st Aug 2014 (#)

thank u Nancy for read this article.

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author avatar Jaya Mayadas
21st Aug 2014 (#)

Siva thank u for your detailed comment. The Gini Coefficient is quite an interesting concept.

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author avatar Joyce Singha
22nd Aug 2014 (#)

Poverty is a very complicated and tricky issue. Unfortunately it is the politics of it that exacerbates the situation. Massive government spending is not the answer because most of these are useless and wasteful. Nonetheless I'm glad you touched on this subject.

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author avatar David LeFever
22nd Aug 2014 (#)

Poverty can be handed down to generations so those born at the bottom have no escape. If those young persons who are desperately poor can somehow receive and education can be the first step out of a life of misery.

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author avatar Jaya Mayadas
22nd Aug 2014 (#)

@joycesingha I agree but, unfortunately if there is no government spending no one else is going to reach out or spend money on them. However wasteful, government spending is the only way out for them.

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author avatar Jaya Mayadas
22nd Aug 2014 (#)

@davidlefever
yes, education is the only way out for them. other different forms of education such as vocational training or miscellaneous skills development can also be very helpful. the government's role here is again crucial.

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author avatar parvez andrews
24th Aug 2014 (#)

A very well written and thoughtprovoking article

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author avatar Jaya Mayadas
25th Aug 2014 (#)

Thank you Parvez.

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