Poverty seems to be recognized by many people nowadays from various kinds of mass media. However, do we really understand what poverty is, why it appears and how it affects one’s life? There are much bigger problems than we could imagine from just seeing the surface of poverty on daily news. Eli Khamarov, a social theorist, says, “Poverty is like punishment for a crime you didn’t commit” (Raphael 7). People in poverty are not always poor because of themselves. The reasons are more likely to be in society we live in and political policy we accept.
Poverty is not only a matter of finance. Financial problem is the direct cause of poverty, but the effects come from that are unfortunately much more problematic. It is one of the biggest problems that the modern society has to deal with, because it is strongly related with social exclusion, poor bashing and blaming victims, and social determinants of health. Those are sometimes seen as more obvious, problematic phenomena than poverty itself.
First of all, it is known that poverty causes social exclusion to the poor.
Percy-Smith says, “This analysis of social exclusion is primarily concerned with the societal processes that lead to groups systematically being denied the opportunity to participate in commonly accepted activities of societal membership” (Raphael 90) Social exclusion in employment situations against the poor, who are eager to work, often comes from language problems, lack of knowledge and skills, health problems, domestic problems, disabilities, being aboriginal, being women, being colored, and being recent immigrants.
Many of them are not changeable, nor optional. People with those factors tend to have problems of being employed much more than those who are not with any of them. It seems very unfair and wrong that bourgeoisies, who have power, take advantages of proletariats, who do not have. However, in modern capitalism society, even if it is unfair and wrong, as Karl Marx claims, “capitalism exists because it creates patterns of unequal relations between these two classes,” (Raphael 92) it is how capitalism is supposed to be.
It could be said that it is only natural that there is inequality, because both capitalism and inequality are always designed to be together. People are made to struggle with something that they should not worry. What we need is a new, solid policy that will give a well-considered, positive impact on this capitalism society. Second of all, poor bashing and blaming victims are often on people’s minds when they think about poverty and it is also problematic in order to solve poverty problem, because it is necessary for the poor to be widely understood what factors make them poor by others in order to solve poverty.
In addition, there is no need of attacking the poor more when they have been in very harsh situations and struggling to get out of there. According to Jean Swanson, who is anti-poverty activist, poor bashing is “when people who are poor are stereotyped, ignored, blamed, patronized, pitied, falsely accused of being drunk and having large families and not looking for work” (Raphael 319). It might be true that even those poor themselves start accepting to be poor-bashed and blame themselves as they stay in poverty and bashing, blaming situations too long.
It sadly symbolizes that they submit to unfair treatment they receive. It could come from liberalism society that gives us options and allows us to choose in many occasions, but not necessarily fully for everyone. Those poor bashing and blaming victims ideas are very dangerous, because these ideas have never solved and also will never solve poverty. People, both wealthy and poor, need to unite in order to change the way it is. The one which really need to be bashed, or blamed are the society and political policy that creating poverty.
Third of all, social determinants of health caused by poverty are very serious, physical issues of being poor. Poverty and Health are sometimes sorted two very unrelated phenomena, but actually it is strongly connected. Many of the poor barely manage their daily lives, in other words, they cannot take care of their health such as exercise and weight. They also try to deal with stress and depression that come from poverty by smoking and drinking. These factors can cause death from diseases.
In addition, health is not only considered as nutrition matters, it is also the environment they live in such as daily necessities, working environment and housing situation. As long as their next day is not promised, they cannot fully pay attention to their health. However, it is still extremely important for them, especially children and pregnant women living in poverty. It is a cycle of poverty that poverty produced sickly children, then they cannot get out of poverty easily because of their health conditions and they create the ame situation to their children because they are still poor. There is nothing really they could control. What they need is good health care that allows them to recover from diseases and poverty eventually. In the end, there is absolutely no rationality in poverty from the social point of view. We never create anything from social exclusion, so we need to find a reliable policy that protects the poor and is adapted to modern society. We also have get rid of the ideas, poor bashing and blaming victims, which will not lead us to better way nor create single good solution.
We have to cooperate and help each other to lead ourselves to a better society. It is needless to say that for creating a better society, we do not want avoidable death of children who are full of possibilities and adults who have a lot of life experience. Better health care can make this happen. We have to face the truth that many causes of poverty are not people’s fault. Those causes are actually visible problems of our modern society. It is just not right that some people have to deal with them while others take advantages of them in the same society.