One of the key aspects of human efficiency is making decisions based on facts, data, and nonideological logic. This is a critical aspect of having an efficient government and political system. In this post, we will look at the causes of poverty in the U.S. and the world.
As mentioned in the last post, it is difficult to measure whether poverty in the U.S. has not changed much since the War on Poverty began in the 1960’s. This is because there are questions about the metrics being used and because of the fact that the U.S. has such a high standard of living, which skews the definition of what the appropriate level for poverty actually is.
However, according to the World Bank, globally the poverty rate in the developing world has decreased from half in 1981 to 21 percent in 2010. But this still leaves about 1.2 Billion people living in extreme poverty.
So, what are the causes of poverty? Based on a number of sources, there are many reasons. Some sources divide the reasons into two categories, individual causes and societal causes. Individual causes include:
- Having children outside of marriage
- High divorce rate
- High childbearing rate
- Lack of education
- Mental and physical handicaps
Societal causes include:
- Economic opportunity
- Droughts or flooding, natural causes, climate change
- Epidemic diseases such as AIDS or malaria
There are some cases where factors in one category cause factors in another. In other words, the root cause of the problems stated above is often not the problem indicated but goes back to some other factor. In any case, it is a complicated story with many potential solutions.
Another issue which often comes up is whether to blame the individuals for their predicament and what the responsibility is for government, society, and the rest of the world to change things. The answer to this is probably a combination of the two.
In order for a society to be efficient the government must first of all be efficient. Many of the problems which fall under the category of economic opportunity are due to corrupt governments lead by people who are more concerned with their own welfare than that of the people that they lead. Examples of this are worldwide and are evident every time you read the news. Of course, governments are to a certain extent a function of the people themselves.
But people need to be strategic in how they manage their own lives. In many cases, they do what they see others around them doing, but this not always a good excuse. People need to be responsible for themselves. These issues will be discussed further in upcoming posts.
The goal of these posts is to provide the true story behind issues that we are facing in this country. We can no longer allow ideology to make decisions for us when facts and data prove that we should be doing things differently.
Next: The next post will be during the week of May 22nd.