Thequestion of ending poverty has been raised over decades by governmentpolicy formulating bodies. But, how does this problem even begin?Over time, it has been noted that there are some areas or states thathave been in abject poverty for long despite various programs orinitiatives to end the cycle. One thing that is clear is that povertyperpetuates itself through structural disadvantages and as a resultof individuals’ fault(Herring & Henderson, 2016).Structural poverty results out of forces of nature or formulation ofpolicies. On the other hand, poverty from personal input results outof carelessness, mismanagement, and poor living habits (Herring& Henderson, 2016).To begin with, structural poverty is by far the greatest cause ofinequality among people.
TakingBritish as an example, we learn that they were superior and went outthrough the world colonizing other nations and expanding theirterritories. As a result, they shifted the balance of wealthdistribution in those nations they set their foot on(Pettit, 2015).One nation that its indigenous people have suffered due to Britishcolonization is Australia. When the British occupied Australia, theydid that under the doctrine of terranullius (Pettit,2015).This is to render a land unoccupied thus the British claimed thatthey were the first occupants and its indigenous people were justroaming over it with no intent to have any attachment (Pettit,2015).
Thisdoctrine has not been scrapped from the judicial system of Australia.As a result, the Aboriginals have remained poor as their source ofincome, which is land, was taken from them (Pettit,2015).Also, the British introduced structural racism, which greatlydisadvantaged the Aboriginals as it was passed to othernon-indigenous people (Pettit,2015).For instance, according to Indigenous and Torres Strait IslandersSocial Justice Commissioner, these people have continued to suffer interms of employment and health as a consequence of systematicdiscrimination. As of 1967 they were not allowed to vote as they wereseen incapable to make a sound decision concerning their life, thusthey were marginalized (Pettit,2015).Hence, in Australia, it is difficult to mention about poverty withoutthe term Aboriginals popping out.
Furthermore,here in States the Black Americans and other people of color havecontinued to suffer discrimination, which has denied them better jobsas a result of structural racism. African Americans were onceconsidered property and did not have legal rights under the U.SConstitution (Herring& Henderson, 2016).Even after the civil war, they continued to suffer structuraldiscrimination and did not have voting rights until they were able tosuccessfully go through various examinations in various states.Economically and politically they were poor as wealth wasconcentrated in whites (Herring& Henderson, 2016).
Furthermore,many young, energetic men from this society were incarcerated leavingyoung mothers who were uneducated to provide for themselves and theirfamilies(Herring & Henderson, 2016).Structural poverty has also been witnessed in Africa. When theBritish occupied the fertile lands, the indigenous people weredisplaced to live in settlement quarters as they worked as farmlaborers(Binswanger & Landell-Mills, 2016).Soon after independence, the people who came in power possessed thoselands, and the original owners continued to live as laborersreceiving peanut pay. To date, in various African countries, theyhave squatters living in settlements that were left by the British,yet their grandparents have told them that this is our land, as aconsequence their families have lived in a cycle of poverty(Binswanger& Landell-Mills, 2016).Therefore, structural poverty is a recipe for other forms of poverty.
Onthe other hand, poverty can continue to prevail in people lives as aresult of their input or out of one’s creation. It is important tonote that there are three social classes of people, the rich, themiddle and the poor(Royce, 2015).These people behave differently in managing their incomes and meetingtheir daily needs. For instance, the rich might not even be wise, butdue to their status, they will be able to access good education andadopt their parent’s management behaviors such as appointinglawyers, accountants, and managers who govern their resources ontheir behalf (Royce,2015).On the other hand, the poor daily live is a recipe for continualpoverty. They work so hard and receive little compensation, whichthey end up paying the rent and other bills, and little or nothing isleft for saving (Royce,2015).Secondly, the neighborhoods that they live in also encourage idling(Royce,2015).
Furthermore,the children are also taught particular norms and certain liferesponse behaviors such as “you can never be like them,” and“always appreciate what you have,” among others (Royce,2015).As a result, they grow up without the desire to be more and thecircle of poverty continues. Furthermore, parents might live inneighborhoods that are socially unfit where the level of crime andyouth idling is high. Such situations will be an impediment tosomeone’s growth as they will be susceptible to drop out of schooland join their colleagues who are not even questioned, despite theirbehavior being retrogressive (Royce,2015).
But,history has proved otherwise, people like Obama and Bill Clinton camefrom a poor background and made it. This proves that though there canbe social impediments, the last call to remain poor lies with you. Hence, though there are social factors that are to be blamed for thecontinual presence of poverty in some families and communities, theindividual`s play are a major part in perpetuating poverty.Therefore, to avoid perpetuating poverty, the government should doanything in their power to control and reduce the rate of structuraldiscrimination, which disadvantages other communities while thepeople on the other hand, work hard not to be comfortable in theirzones as poverty perpetuates itself through these avenues.
Binswanger,H. P., & Landell-Mills, P. (2016). TheWorld Bank`s strategy for reducing poverty and hunger: a report tothe development community.Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10919/65983
Herring, C.,& Henderson, L. (2016). Wealth Inequality in Black andWhite: Cultural and Structural Sources of the Racial Wealth Gap. RaceSoc Probl,8(1),4-17. doi:10.1007/s12552-016-9159-8
Indigenousand Torres Strait Islanders Social Justice Commissioner. (2015).SocialJustice and Native Title Report 2015.Australian Human Rights Commission, pp. 1-323.
Royce, E.(2015). and Power: The Problem of Structural Inequality.New York, NY: Rowman and Littlefield publishing group Inc.
Pettit,E. J. (2015). Aborigines` dreaming or British`s terra nullius:Perceptions of land use in colonial Australia. IowaHistorical Review,5(1),pp.23-60. Retrieved fromhttp://ir.uiowa.edu/iowa-historical-review/vol5/iss1/3/