View Single Post
Old 02-20-2007, 06:01 PM   #3
An uglier Lamar Doom
boozehound's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 23,692
Default Re: OT : Are the Poor responsible for their own poverty?

Originally Posted by Heilige
In American politics, the Left and the Right are continuously at odds on many social issues regarding how to help the public and to what degree the public should be helped.

In my personal experience, the conservatives are generally less sympathetic and empathetic in regards to helping others, including the lower class. The general argument of the conservatives is that America provides free public education through grade 12, and in most areas affordable college education is avalible from anyone who can pay, and therfore anyone who is living in poverty is responsible for their own poverty BECAUSE the facilities to improve the quality of life is there for the taking.

The liberals, on the other hand, bring up other interesting and equally valid points. Research illustrates a strange concept: people who are born into poverty usually stay in poverty because:

1) They cannot afford to quit working to leave for school, because doing so would mean the inability to buy food or pay for tuition.

2) The mind set of many who are in poverty is one where they find it to be impossible to move up the social latter, or they do not consider enrolling in higher education and improving as a viable option. The reasoning for this mindset is still somewhat unknown, but some attribute this fact to the idea that the poor are looked down upon as inferior beings.

3) The poor are institutionalized into a life where saving, schooling, and generally "improving" (the conventional definition) have a very small roll.

4) Some jobs that do require higher education, such as teaching at public schools, simply do not provide enough money for people to at or above the poverty line ("The Working Poor").

The idea of the poor being responsible for their own poverty presents a convinent argument for conservatives, and the idea that the poor and not responsible for their poverty presents a convinent argument for liberals. This begs the question:

Are the poor responsible for their own poverty?
politicians can talk rhetoric all they want and it doesnt do a lick of good. Any oerson who studies poverty (here or in the developing world) will tell you that it is a very hard trend to buck. Poor people do hav eless advantages and are less likely to succeed in removing themselves from poverty. The idea of the American dream self made man is a statistical improbability and is really just a rhetorical myth. SOme of the hardest workers I know struggle below the poverty line because they have never had the opportunity to establish the skill sets needed to get out of the cycle.
boozehound is offline   Reply With Quote