Learning Objectives and Deliverables
James Keeley, PhD
Briefly write an introduction that outlines the causes of regional or local poverty. Use academic resources (no Wikipedia) minimum of ten outside references. In your introduction be sure to define these terms: household income, disposable income, poverty (as regionally).
* Almost half the world — over3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day.
* The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the 41 Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (567 million people) is less than the wealth of the world’s 7 richest people combined.
* Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names.
* Less than one per cent of what the world spent every year on weapons wasneeded to put every child into school by the year 2000 and yet it didn’t happen.
* 1 billion children live in poverty (1 in 2 children in the world). 640 million live without adequate shelter, 400 million have no access to safe water, 270 million have no access to health services. 10.6 million died in 2003 before they reached the age of 5 (or roughly 29,000 children per day).
Poverty is the statefor the majority of the world’s people and nations. Why is this? Is it enough to blame poor people for their own predicament? Have they been lazy, made poor decisions, and been solely responsible for their plight? What about their governments? Have they pursued policies that actually harm successful development? Such causes of poverty and inequality are no doubt real. But deeper and more globalcauses of poverty are often less discussed.
Behind the increasing interconnectedness promised by globalization are global decisions, policies, and practices. These are typically influenced, driven, or formulated by the rich and powerful. These can be leaders of rich countries or other global actors such as multinational corporations, institutions, and influential people.
In the face of suchenormous external influence, the governments of poor nations and their people are often powerless. As a result, in the global context, a few get wealthy while the majority struggle.
Cutbacks in health, education and other vital social services around the world have resulted from structural adjustment policies prescribed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank as conditions for loansand repayment. In addition, developing nation governments are required to open their economies to compete with each other and with more powerful and established industrialized nations. To attract investment, poor countries enter a spiraling race to the bottom to see who can provide lower standards, reduced wages and cheaper resources. This has increased poverty and inequality for most people. Italso forms a backbone to what we today call globalization. As a result, it maintains the historic unequal rules of trade.
round the world, in rich or poor nations, poverty has always been present.
In most nations today, inequality—the gap between the rich and the poor—is quite high and often widening.
The causes are numerous, including a lack of individual responsibility, bad government policy,exploitation by people and businesses with power and influence, or some combination of these and other factors.
Many feel that high levels of inequality will affect social cohesion and lead to problems such as increasing crime and violence.
Inequality is often a measure of relative poverty. Absolute poverty, however, is also a concern. World Bank figures for world poverty reveals a highernumber of people live in poverty than previously thought.
For example, the new poverty line is defined as living on the equivalent of $1.25 a day. With that measure based on latest data available (2005), 1.4 billion people live on or below that line.
Furthermore, almost half the world—over three billion people—live on less than $2.50 a day and at least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day:...