Poverty and Classicism

Causes of poverty

Poverty is a condition where by one lacks the means to afford the most basic human need like nutrition, clean water, shelter, health care and clothing. This kind of poverty is known as destitution or absolute poverty, when poverty is compared in terms of world wide averages or where one has less income or fewer resources then this condition is referred to as relative poverty. The major causes of poverty are:

1. Lack of basic needs

Poverty comes about because of the rise in the cost of living; people become unable to afford goods. The poor normally spend a lot of their money on food as compared to richer people. This fact makes such poor households to be vulnerable to a sudden increase in the prices. For instance in 2007, the increase in the prices of foods mainly grains led to riots in poor countries as a result of the increased food prices. According to statistics from the World Bank approximately 100 million people were made vulnerable to increased poverty as a result of this.

Another aspect that can lead to lack of adequate needs is the lack of access to methods of birth control which leads to overpopulation. A large population will be competing for scarce needs and this drive poverty up.(Jennifer, 1998)

2. Lack of opportunities.

Poverty and Classicism

The other major cause of poverty the unwillingness of the elites and government to give property rights and land to the poor and this is what mainly hinders the poor from developing. This obstacle from economic freedom hinders the entrepreneurial ability of the poor. For example the continent of Africa alone looses approximately $4 billion yearly from employing about 150,000 foreign professionals.

Consequences of poverty

Poverty has a lot of consequences; one such consequence is the inability to access proper health care. For instance it is estimated that approximately 11 million children die annually before their fifth birthday as a result of inaccessibility to proper medication as a result of poverty.

The other consequence of poverty is that it makes education in accessible. According to recent research there is a greater risk of under achievement by kids from low income earning homesteads.

Poverty and classism

Classism is the discrimination or prejudice that is usually based on the social class of an individual. It takes into account the individual behaviors and attitudes, systems of practices and policies that are formulated in order to profit the upper class of people at the cost of the lower class people. Classism is one of the major causes of poverty because the rich benefit themselves denying the poor a chance to improve their lives.(Harold, 2006)

Efforts to combat poverty

Poverty and Classicism

Historically speaking the reduction of poverty is associated with economic growth. For instance the industrial revolution is said to have led to have eliminated poverty and led to a high economic growth.

Economic liberalization is another strategy that the government can adopt in fighting poverty. This involves securing the rights of property on land in attempt to promote the poor. For instance in china the government abandoned collective farming in an attempt to reduce poverty.


Harold, Kerbo (2006): Social Stratification and Inequality: Class Conflict in Historical, Comparative, and Global Perspective. 6th Ed. McGraw-Hill, New York.

Poverty and Classicism

Jennifer L., W. & Betson, D., M (1998): Alternative Historical Trends in Poverty.Pg.348-392 American Economic Review.