Causes of poverty can be multifarious, because it can be affected by the variety of factors, for instance, poor people themselves, the policies from the government and the state of the economy. Three authors talk about this problem and explain their opinions about the causes of poverty in their articles. Angela Locke is a writer, poet and creative writing tutor. She writes for the feminist news journal “Off Our Backs”. She argues about causes for poverty in her article “Born Poor and Smart”. As a member of the lower class, Locke tells us her mother’s story and her own experience in college.
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Her mother did what the poor usually would not do. She read and asked her children read, so two of her children could go to college. However, Locke’s experience in college was not that great. She felt that people put class tag on her all the time. Everything is about class. In her opinion, success is not a personal feeling; instead, it has to be recognized by society. Also, Herbert J. Gans, an American sociologist talks about poverty in his article, “The War Against the Poor Instead of Programs to End Poverty”. Gans is a professor of sociology at Columbia University.
Many of his books and articles are related to poverty such as “The Urban Villagers”, “The Levittowners, People and Plans”, “More Equality” and “Middle American Individualism”. In his article, Gans talks about the attitudes from American society especially the higher level class and government toward the poor. Firstly, he explains several reasons why poverty persists in America. Secondly, he clears up some misunderstandings that common Americans have of the poor. Finally, he lists the solutions to end poverty Another article named “Middle of the Class”. from The Economist discusses poverty and class as well.
The Economist is a weekly magazine published in England by The Economist Group. This magazine is famous for its international perspective on links between economic issues, current affairs, business, finance, science, technology and the arts. In this article, it mainly focuses on social mobility and poverty. The authorbelieves that the ;;American Dream”, which used to inspire all Americans. is not because social mobility in American is not good. The equality of opportunity is facing a huge challenge. He uses plenty of statistics to show us that it is hard to move to a higher class.
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Thenhe gives his explanation on why move to a higher level becomes so difficult. Locke, Gans and The Economist all interpret the state of poverty and explain causes for it in order to let readers see the complete issue clearly. However, three of them shares some common ideas and focuses on different points at the same time. First of all, both Gans and The Economist list the economy as a very important factor that contributes to poverty. Gans points out that the world economy is creating huge number of jobless non-professional and semi-professional workers.
Also, the outsourcing of labor by many big private companies lessens job opportunities (Gans, 2008, pp. 505). He is trying to explain that poor people lack opportunities to get trained so it is hard for them to have skills to find a well-paid job. Therefore, they become poorer. Poverty will continue. Their children will repeat what they used to do. The Economist shares the similar point of view. The Economist claims in the article that when facing the globalized market economy, intellectual skills play a significant role in a job. This situation pushes people to go to college and get trained (The Economist. 008, pp. 527). Unfortunately, that is what the poor find difficult for them to afford. His idea is touches on education. Locke also has her opinions about education. The Economist mentions that the value of the degree is necessary. Moreover, he emphasizes the importance of a good education. In The Economist’s view, family will decide if one can go to college or not (The Economist, 2008, pp. 528). As we know, the poor seldom go to college. In contrast the rich people have a different choice. To go to college for them is not only about enough money but also about their habit f the education. In addition, Locke, as someone who comes from the working class, has the same opinion with The Economist. She is an example of someone from the lower class changing her life through education. Her mother studied and let her study. Locke thinks that her mother’s reading made her family different from other poor families. However, Gans does not mention something about education in his article. As a sociologist, he pays more attention to government and their policies. In Gans’s point of view, the government passes the wrong policies on ending poverty.
He highlights that the government gives welfare to middle class instead of the poor, which is wrong, has made some working-class disappeared. (Gans, 2008, pp. 505). Therefore, the government can be counted as one reason for poverty. Even though Locke and the The Economist failed to outline the influence of government, there are still some points talked about by three of them. Stereotypes are the other main reason for poverty, which is agreed upon all of them. However, they express them from views of different classes. Locke and The Economist all talk about it from the poor people’s views.
Locke points out that the poor believe that they are not smart and are only good for low-end jobs. They believe that it is not necessary for them to study and get the higher education (Locke, 2008, pp. 502). That means the poor do not realize how essential education is, so they will not change their lives through education. On the other hand, The Economist gives a totally different story. The author believes that class has stopped lower level people’s hard working on improving their social status. The hard working and The American Dream is not true.
He thinks that it is hard for you to change your social class even though you might work hard. Meanwhile. Gans show us stereotypes of the rich. The higher level classes believe that the poor are criminals and poverty means moral failure. In addition, welfare and income grant programs will hurt the economy (Gans, 2008, pp. 505-506). Gans thinks that these Stereotypes will make the rich feel afraid of the poor and refuse to help them. That makes the situation worse In conclusion, three authors share similar ideas. They talk about the causes of poverty being tied to the economy, education, the government and stereotypes.
Locke thinks that the poor are misled by the stereotypes so they do not work hard and get educated. Gans believes that the Government is wrong about policies, the economy makes the poor lose job and get low paid and stereotypes lead common Americans to feel afraid of the poor. The Economist points out the value of the degree and the fake American Dream. Locke focuses more on the poor themselves while Gans and The Economist talk more about poverty as a society. All of them discuss the cause of poverty in a way that allows the readers to find out what cause troubles and what should we do to solve problem.
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