✍️✍️✍️ Reducing Poverty

Friday, June 04, 2021 7:57:47 AM

Reducing Poverty

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Paul Pholeros: How to reduce poverty? Fix homes

Population trends and dynamics can have an enormous effect on prospects for poverty reduction and sustainable development. Poverty is influenced by — and influences — population dynamics, including population growth , age structure, and rural-urban distribution. Access to sexual and reproductive health, including family planning , can affect population dynamics through voluntary fertility reduction and reductions in infant and maternal mortality. Improved reproductive health also helps individuals, particularly young women, break out of intergenerational cycles of poverty. This strengthens their economic security and well-being and that of their families. Cumulatively, this contributes to development progress and poverty reduction.

In addition to improving general health and well-being, analysis shows that meeting the reproductive health and contraceptive needs of all women in the developing world more than pays for itself. The lifetime opportunity cost related to adolescent pregnancy — a measure of the annual income a young mother misses out on over her lifetime — ranges from 1 per cent of annual gross domestic product in a large country such as China to 30 per cent of annual gross domestic product in a small economy such as Uganda. Family planning is important an important part of this process because many countries have large youth populations that will almost ensure continued rapid poulation growth unless fertility declines, which is what offers the possibility of the demographic dividend.

Where rapid population growth far outpaces economic development, countries will have a difficult time investing in the human capital needed to secure the well-being of its people and to stimulate further economic growth. This issue is especially acute for the least developed countries, many of which are facing a doubling, or even a tripling of their populations by A doubling of the population in the least developed countries means that between now and the working-age population will increase by about 15 million persons per year, on average, and that the labor force will increase by 33 thousand persons per day.

Every day over this period about 33, young men and women will enter the labor force and will be looking for productive and remunerative employment that allows them to escape poverty, stay out of poverty, or simply live a better life than their parents did. Brady, D. Rich democracies, poor people: How politics explain poverty. Double standard: Social policy in Europe and the United States 2nd ed. Soss, J. Remaking America: Democracy and public policy in an age of inequality. Another major reason is that changes in the national economy during the past few decades have meant that well-paying manufacturing jobs have been replaced by low-paying service jobs with fewer benefits Wilson, Wilson, W.

More than just race: Being black and poor in the inner city. New York, NY: W. Yet this has also happened in other democracies, and their poverty rates remain lower than the US rate because, unlike the United States, they have continued to try to help their poor rather than neglect them. Why does the United States neglect its poor? Many scholars attribute this neglect to the fact that many citizens and politicians think the poor are poor because of their own failings.

As summarized by sociologist Mark R. Rank , p. Rethinking American poverty. Contexts, 10 Spring , 16— We have seen that the facts do not support the myth that the poor lack motivation to work, but that does not lessen the blame given the poor for being poor. To renew the US effort to help the poor, it is essential that the actual facts about poverty become better known so that a fundamental shift in thinking about poverty and the poor can occur. A second aspect of this shift in thinking, adds Rank, is the recognition following a blaming-the-system approach that poverty stems much more from the lack of opportunity, lack of jobs, declining government help for the poor, and other structural failings of American society than from individual failings of the poor themselves.

Rank, , p. Rank, M. Sociologist Joe Soss , p. The poverty fight. Contexts, 10 2 , What is needed, he says, is political protest and other political activity by the poor and on behalf of the poor. If a renewed antipoverty effort does occur for whatever reason, what types of programs and policies show promise for effectively reducing poverty? Here a sociological vision is essential. It is easy to understand why the hungry schoolchildren described in the news story that began this chapter might be going without food during a very faltering national economy.

Yet a sociological understanding of poverty emphasizes its structural basis in bad times and good times alike. Poverty is rooted in social and economic problems of the larger society rather than in the lack of willpower, laziness, or other moral failings of poor individuals themselves. Individuals born into poverty suffer from a lack of opportunity from their first months up through adulthood, and poverty becomes a self-perpetuating, vicious cycle. To the extent a culture of poverty might exist, it is best seen as a logical and perhaps even inevitable outcome of, and adaptation to, the problem of being poor and not the primary force driving poverty itself.

This sort of understanding suggests that efforts to reduce poverty must address first and foremost the structural basis for poverty while not ignoring certain beliefs and practices of the poor that also make a difference. Cancian, M. Changing poverty, changing policies. From poverty to prosperity: A national strategy to cut poverty in half. Poverty in America: A handbook. Children in poverty: Trends, consequences, and policy options. Washington, DC: Child Trends. One nation, underprivileged: Why American poverty affects us all.

If these were fully adopted, funded, and implemented, as they are in many other democracies, they would offer great promise for reducing poverty. Danziger, , p. Although a full discussion of these policies is beyond the scope of this chapter, the following measures are commonly cited as holding strong potential for reducing poverty, and they are found in varying degrees in other Western democracies:. Years of international aid to poor nations have helped them somewhat, but, as this chapter has shown, their situation remains dire.

Cohen, J.

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