While thinking about poverty, it is not unusual for a sense of melancholic disappointment to overcome me. When I look at my sometimes designer labeled clothing my deep existential differences surface and I ponder on the deeper roots of everything in this world. Poverty is a human affliction and a human creation, thus it can only be viewed assomething intrinsically linked with what human creation entails. It would be foolish, although commonplace, to think about poverty as a completely material thing. It exists in the material world as we all do, but its underlying characteristics have been exploited in the modern world to create an image that has been hammered into our minds. One must venture deeper into the sociological, ontological,and etiological aspects of poverty to understand the web of distortion that clouds so many people’s understanding today. Those who victimize and those who become indisposed victims suffer equally as our societies spiral downwards. Hence, in our times I attest that the Third World exists in an unwilling double meaning; the projected sense would be to believe that the poverty stricken masses existingin it are victims of the system that puts them in that position, and the real aspect being that of the poor existing as a duality, woven into our milieu, that is extremely concomitant with the other end (the rich) – hence a simple power struggle between the haves and the have-nots.
First and foremost we must venture into a brief explanation of the material definitions of poverty and thestark examples we find around the world, in this case Latin America. Poverty, in the tangible aspect, is the inability to satisfy basic needs such as food, water, shelter, etc. In Latin America, many farmers, orphans, and immigrants (case specific) tend to be categorized as poor. Harrison, quoted by Lakshman Yapa a notable Penn State Professor, presents some horrifying statistic:
InBrazil the largest country in South America, an important exporter of meat, soybeans, citrus fruits, and other agricultural commodities one third of its population is malnourished. Large numbers of children suffer from vitamin C and protein deficiencies, and in 1990 the infant mortality rate exceeded 60 per thousand. Yet that year Brazil grew sugar-cane on over 4.26 million hectares of arable land,mainly for producing alcohol fuel for its large fleet of motor cars. A survey in northeast Brazil reported that the poorest fifth of urban households received less than 1,500 calories of food energy per capita, while the richest 10 and 1 percent were getting 3,300 and 4,290 calories, respectively. According to the World Bank the share of Brazilian household income in 1989 of the poorest 20 percentof families was 2.1 and for the top 20 percent, 67.5 percent. (714)
In this pessimistic information we find poverty almost taking the form of a societal truism. These horrid statistics but continue to demarcate the incisive separations that exist between the rich and the poor. They serve, moreover, as a statement of the poor man’s plight while illustrating that there simply is enough to goaround, yet for some unresolved reason it is not so. We can also find a complete counter argument to Malthusian theories, which claim that overpopulation is the direct cause of poverty, that so many lauded as correct in the past. A stark inequality of distribution, not overpopulation, is what plagues this specific nation and forms itself as poverty. In Trouble in Paradise, Thanos and Timmons mentionthat a contracted farmer will only receive 1 cent of every dollar paid for a cantaloupe. In both examples there exists a disintegration of ties between a product and its reaper to quell the moral qualms of consumers towards farmers, a disassociation like no other of economic capacities to feed capitalism. Those in charge are stolid in their maneuvering and those affected are obfuscated in...