Another explanation of poverty is the poverty cycle. The poverty cycle means that poverty is passed on through generations. In the poverty cycle, children who are born into poverty have a deprived childhood - they experience material and cultural deprivation, and as a result of this they are less likely to do well at school, gain qualifications and stay in education beyond the minimum school leaving age. This means that their future opportunities are limited because their lack of qualifications means that the jobs available to them are mostly unskilled and low-paid. Consequently, they are likely to live in poverty as adults.
So what is this reality of life called poverty? Poverty is defined by Merriam-Webster as the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions. When people hear of poverty, most people think of the people who don’t have anything; the last, the lost and the least. But contrary to what most people believe, there are actually two types of poverty. These are the income and non-income poverty.
Payments to the poor are generally levied from the working classes. They claim that a policy of "containment" is effectively pursued - the labour movement has been contained within the system. Kincaid believes "that some are rich because some are poor". Marxists claim that the capitalist system creates poverty. Herbert J. Gans has identified a number of functions that make poverty "useful" to capitalists.
According to Townsend (1979) individuals or families can be said to be in poverty when they lack the resources to obtain the type of diet, participation in the activities that are at least widely encouraged in society. This is termed relative poverty. Absolute poverty occurs when a person’s life falls below a fixed standard, experiences complete destitution and can not meet minimum needs of food and shelter (Townsend, 1979). Gender difference is a significant factor that has caused social exclusion and it could be argued that this exclusion is socially constructed. Firstly although much has improved there still is discrimination and inequalities in the labour market.
Of these, one in particular is overly abused and tends to drag the United States’ economy down even further. Government funded food stamps, which are one of many leading factors of the debt crisis, were implemented as a plan to indirectly stimulate the economy by giving disadvantaged families a chance to get on their feet. This would eventually lead to them returning what money they were given to the system via taxes and facilitate the trickling-down of money, which would in turn help others in similar situations. Despite such a brilliant plan, this program quickly went awry and has caused economic turbulence since its implementation. The United States has racked up an astronomical amount of debt over the years.
In social science poverty is defined in two ways; absolute poverty concept based on lack of fulfilment of basic human needs such as food shelter, clothing and other things redeemed essential Giddens(2006, p342); and relative poverty describes inequality or a gap in people’s incomes and accepted standard of living. Peter Townsend(1979) defined poverty as individuals, families, and groups which lack resources to obtain the types of diet, participation in activities , living conditions and amenities which are customary, or at least commonly encouraged or approved in the societies to which they belong (Blackburn,1991 p9). Social developments centring on the structural origins of poverty date back to the revolutionary study of Webbs in the Minority Report on Poor Law 1909.The era of anti-poverty policies have since then exterminated destitution in the British society, regardless persistence periods of economic growth and established welfare state, poverty, deficiency and high levels of income inequality still exist (Coats, Johnson &Hackett (2012, p9). Assessments of anti-poverty policies have been deemed to be controversial and argumentative regarding the definition and the measurement of poverty, and the general public misunderstandings about the causes of poverty. Some of today’s politicians say the “deserving and undeserving” poor is significant to the Victorian era hence this undermines the effort
Lack of resources is a direct cause of child poverty and a lack of parental employment, low paid suitable jobs, educational qualifications, high living costs, family structure, housing, ethnicity, play a very significant role in causes of high-level child poverty (www.cpag.org.uk). Unemployment is one of the key causes of child poverty; people have to rely on government benefits to meet their basic needs. In 2009/10, 42% of
WHY DOES POVERTY PERSIST IN CONTEMPORARY UK SOCIETY There are two different ways of defining poverty. The two different approaches have been favoured by many sociologists and researchers. The two different ones are; Absolute poverty and Relative Poverty (Giddens 2006). Absolute poverty is where people are lacking things for example; sufficient food shelter and clothing. These people are known to live in poverty.
Women were another vulnerable group because they were always paid at a lower rate than men. There was no safety net for people who fell into poverty other than resorting to the ‘workhouse’ which had been established to deal with cases of extreme poverty in Trade unions had little power as the Taff Vale Incident of 1901 showed and Friendly Societies could only provide a limited amount of help. Attitudes to poverty in the early 20th century were quite unsympathetic many politicians from both the Liberal and Conservative party felt that poverty came from personal laziness. Both parties had an attitude of “laissez-faire” i.e. non interference from the government.
The high price of cheap foods was the main topic of the Americans’ conversation. Pollan said, “For 50 or 60 years, we have let ourselves believe that as long as we have money we will have food. This is a mistake. If we continue our offenses against the land and the labor by which we are fed, the food supply will decline, and we will have a problem far more complex than the failure of our paper economy. The government will bring forth no food by providing hundreds of billions of dollars to the agribusiness corporations.” He mentioned the phrase “paper economy”.