Poverty Essay

3495 WordsOct 22, 201114 Pages
"Poverty in an age of affluence is being unable to write and having others write for you" (Godinot, 2006, p. 34). In making this comment, Godonit argues that in an age of economic advancement, the poor are at a disadvantage in having decisions made for them. The emphasis is placed on the top-down approach to understanding poverty. This reinforces the underling assumption that the poor need the non-poor to make decisions for them. As many would argue, we live in a world where the power remains in the hands of those that have the ability to make decisions based on one's position in society. Those that are poor and live in poverty are having decisions made for them because it seems as though the poor are unable to address their own problems. It is those that are poor that struggle over the years to gain an active voice in sufficient policy making decisions, where policies are handed down to them by those with greater power. The problem lies in the direct relationship between the poor and the non-poor in terms of understanding the root causes of poverty. This approach to studying poverty places the non-poor above the poor because of their economic position which in the end creates many problems. Canada is performing better economically than it has been in decades, yet the gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow as suggested by Yalnizyan (2008). Although Yalnizyan does not say so directly, he apparently assumes that something must be wrong in terms of addressing possible solutions to the problem if the gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow. Although many social government services and agencies, along with voluntary sectors of support have attempted to serve the needs of the poor, the problem in reducing poverty still remains an issue. To address the issue of poverty, we need to move away from top-down approaches as a way of understanding it.

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