Introduction providing free education.GlobalCause and Effect PovertyIntroduction providing free education.GlobalCause and Effect Poverty

Introduction Poverty is a major global problem, with 767 million people living below the international poverty line of $1.90 every day. (“Poverty – United Nations Sustainable Development.”). The United Nations have two definitions of poverty: not having enough money to meet basic needs, or having less money than other members of society (“Poverty”). I have chosen this topic due to the countless debates I have witnessed on whether it is possible to eradicate poverty completely or not. To eradicate it completely would be extremely difficult, as the cause lies in the national income not being equally distributed among citizens, causing poorer communities to become poorer. Complete eradication will only be possible by breaking the poverty cycle, which could be done by providing free education.GlobalCause and Effect Poverty is an intricate social circumstance, thus discovering the true cause has posed difficulty for all researchers. The stereotypical explanation given is that the poor cause their own poverty. Some theorists accuse them of having little concern about their own future, preferring to “live in the moment”, while others accuse them of engaging in self-defeating behaviour. Some also characterise them as fatalists, resigning to a culture of poverty, where nothing can change their economic outcomes. This culture is passed down from one generation to the next, causing negative feelings of inferiority and hopelessness. However, this perspective is inapplicable to all. Some are capable and willing to work hard, and will do so when the opportunity arises. Unfortunately, they are still unable to escape from the poverty cycle due to issues regarding minimum wage and lack of access to the necessary amount of education required to acquire a job that provides more. (“Causes and Effects of Poverty”) UN believes that poverty occurs due to extreme unemployment, social exclusion, and high vulnerability in some populations, leading to disasters, diseases and other events which keeps them from being productive. All in all, they regard poverty as resolvable. (“No Poverty: Why it Matters?”) Future Scenario (Rehorn)Poverty increases the chances of people developing major problems, such as achieving lower academic grades, poor child development, engaging in violent behaviours. On top of that, they generally have low social mobility, causing extra social spending, which could have a large impact globally. If poverty continuously grows, countries globally will have to waste a large amount of money every year. This results in less money left for the government to spend on resolving other issues, such as the aftermath of war. This is extremely severe, both psychologically and physically. In order to help the victims and create peace, money is necessary.Course of Action (Asmus and Grudem)In order to resolve the issue of poverty, it is necessary for each nation to be independent and produce its own prosperity. Throughout history, there has not been a single nation which escaped poverty through foreign aid, proving that foreign aid generally causes more harm than good. In order to ensure the prosperity of a country, the government must be committed to using their power for the benefit of the people as a whole, protect the citizens against crime and safeguard important human freedom. It is crucial for the government to be hardworking, having the right beliefs and values in order to act as a role model and motivate citizens to be more productive. If all citizens work hard together, the country can increase its economic productivity, allowing it to prosper.Personal ResponsePoverty is an exceptionally serious problem, affecting countless people across the globe. Many people often donate essential items to charity, helping people living in poverty. While this action does greatly benefit the recipients, it does not address the cause of the issue and does not solve this problem. The cause lies in the mindset of the individuals, and this global issue can only be resolved if each and every one of them change their way of thinking.National (China)Cause and Effect (Levitt) While China is the richest country by GDP (Workman), it is also among the top five poorest countries globally; approximately ten percent of the Chinese population is poor (Prellwitz). The reason for this huge wealth gap is income inequality, which is caused mainly by rural-urban migration. In 2012, China became urbanised, meaning that the percentage of population which are urban is 52 percent, which is larger than that of rural. As a result, people move into urban centers in search of high-paying jobs. While this creates a considerable amount of poverty due to people taking underpaying jobs and increasing their cost of living significantly, the most severely affected by poverty is the rural area. Men are mostly the ones going to urban centers, leaving women, children and elderly behind to struggle daily by themselves to survive. This then creates access to healthcare and agriculture lifestyle complications for the people left in rural areas and education gap complications for children. For healthcare and education, there is disparity between rural and urban. Healthcare and education both are considered a basic right under the Chinese constitution and are fully paid by the government. However, there is a vast difference in quality of resources. “Rural students stand virtually no chance when competing academically with their urban counterparts,” an independent filmmaker who made a documentary on rural students, Jiang Nengjie, explained (Gao). This shows that in the future, rural students will not be able to get high-paying jobs, due to the best ones going to urban students. As a result, the next generation will continue having inferior education, forming a poverty cycle.Expert Opinion (“UN expert on extreme poverty and human rights to visit China”)Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, went to China for nine days to assess how effective the efforts made by the Chinese government to eradicate poverty is and how such efforts are attached to its international human rights obligations. In Alston’s report, he stated that China has made significant progress in eradicating poverty in the last few decades given its size of its population, and this progress has had an important and beneficial impact on global poverty levels. However, along with the rest of the world, China still faces many challenges in tackling poverty. Alston also stressed that the elimination of extreme poverty cannot be achieved if states treat economic and social rights as mere aspirational or development goals rather than as human rights. (Alston)Future Scenario (“China’s New Approach to Beating Poverty”)Two years ago, the president of China, Mr Xi, set the eradication of poverty as one of his main jobs. However, the final stage of poverty reduction is the most demanding. Thus far, China’s success has been based largely economic growth, which has generated jobs for the able-bodied. The last stage will be expensive and complex due to many of the remaining people living in poverty not being able to hold down jobs due to physical or mental disabilities. A recent government survey proved that 46% of Chinese people living in poverty was a result of their health. Course of Action (“China’s New Approach to Beating Poverty”)The government should target individuals to help. This is an effective method for helping the poverty issue and is possible since the government has compiled a “poverty-household registry” of every person and household below the poverty line. Philippines and Mexico also have such registries as these help with monitoring the status of the poor, identifying their needs and preventing waste and corruption. Currently, there are signs that China is trying to improve its main form of poor relief, called “subsidence guarantee” or dibao. However, this system has been shown to be notoriously inefficient. The government should switch to using the poverty-household registry as the main system of resolving poverty. Instead of spending their money and time into improving a system that has already been shown to be inefficient, it would be more beneficial to try out different approaches and using the one that is best.Personal ResponseMost people are aware of China being the richest country in world, however, not as many also know that it is also one of the five top poorest countries. Poverty is a difficult cycle to break out of, however if the government changes China’s method of eradicating poverty, it would be possible for China to reduce poverty by a significant amount.Personal (Local)Cause and EffectPoverty has also affected my family in the past. While we were living in Singapore, my parents have been struggling to earn enough money to support both my brother and I. This was due to technological advances, causing my father to switch between unstable jobs and facing a drop in salary. Although we escaped from this issue after relocating to Hong Kong, I have noticed countless other people here who struggle, resorting to sleeping on the streets and begging for money. This is mainly due to the high pricing of houses, resulting in an increasing number of people who rely on subsidised housing, live in coffins, cages, rooftops, or streets. Currently, it is estimated that 40% of the population live in subsidised housing, 100,000 live in “coffins”, “cages” or rooftops, and 1400 are homeless (“Global Homelessness Statistics”). Majority of the homeless people in Hong Kong are ethnic minorities since they lack opportunities for upward mobility and the language barrier. Therefore, they are often only limited to ‘3D jobs’ ? occupations that are dirty, dangerous and demeaning. They can be easily trapped in the vicious cycle of intergenerational poverty.Expert Opinion (Chiu)Dr Law Chi-kwong, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare in Hong Kong, acknowledged on a radio programme that the current efforts to alleviate poverty are not enough. However, he stresses that the poverty line is derived from income. He states that the increase in poverty gap is due to a rise in income which is faster than increase in inflation. He also expressed his disagreement with accusations that the government worsened the poverty situation, stating that the current situation is simply not enough to close the poverty gap.Future Scenario (Cheung)According to Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung, there has been a trend of smaller households, leading to an increasing number of senior citizens living on their own. This contributes to the growth of poverty rate, and it is predicted to continue growing unless something is done. However, Cheung also mentioned the “correlation between the economic situation and improvement in the employment situation” was reflected in the continuous decline in both unemployment and low-earning caseload.Course of ActionIn order to improve this situation, Cheung states that the government will provide the younger senior citizens with the opportunity to work. This opportunity is not asking the elderly not to apply for social welfare, but rather to provide assistance they will require if they wish to work (Cheung). In 2018, there will be an introduction of new government initiatives, such as the introduction of a life annuity scheme and a revamp of the low-income working family allowance scheme. Cheung was shown to be confident and optimistic about this plan, believing the poverty rate among elderly residents would improve (Lam).ConclusionPoverty is a challenging issue that will be extremely hard to be eradicate completely. Changing the mindset people have already adopted is difficult. We should focus on taking action to make the alleviating the situation as much as possible. This is a major problem, which is also the number one cause for countless health matters in poor nations (Shah). By reducing poverty, we are essentially making the general population lead a better life and saving lives in poor countries. Therefore, I believe it is absolutely essential for us all to work together, aiming to alleviate poverty as much as possible.EvaluationWhile writing this essay, I have used many resources to ensure that the information I gathered was reliable and objective. I ensured that each point was backed up with reliable evidence. However, if I had more time I would like to visit the cage homes in Hong Kong to confirm the situation and interview the people living there. If possible, I would also like to travel to other countries to see for myself the situation there.