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Poverty in India vs Poverty in the United States Essay

According to the general description of poverty, a person is considered poor if he or she finds it difficult to meet the minimum requirement of adequate living standards (Economy Watch). At present, inequality and poverty have been undoubtedly existent for the largest part of the world’s nations and people. Poverty has diverse characteristics, varying across time and from place to place. Unfortunately, the more global and profound causes of poverty are time and again less examined.

With this concern, this paper examines and summarily compares the causes of poverty between two diverse nations, the United States and India. Poverty in India Since India’s independence, the problem of poverty in the country has remained a prevailing concern. In 2007, government estimates revealed that there were almost 220. 1 million residents in India living below the poverty line or unable to meet the basic standards of living (Economy Watch).

Nearly 15 percent of the urban population and 21. 1 percent of the entire rural population of India lives in this difficult financial and physical dilemma, and this condition is aggravated by few job opportunities in the urban areas and low wages, which are usually paid in grains (Economy Watch). Several factors are to be blamed for India’s poverty problem. For instance, the Indian family unit is on average tremendously large, which further intensifies the effects of poverty. Moreover, rural populations are mostly dependent on agriculture, and have a high level of reliance on primitive techniques of agriculture, such as the monsoon season and rain patterns.

Accordingly, improper irrigation facilities and inadequate rain can evidently cause no, or in a few fortunate cases, low production of crops. In addition, the caste system still prevails in India and this significantly causes poverty in the country’s rural areas. Like the movie “Slumdog Millionaire,” when the 18 old Jamal Malik was having an answering streak on the game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” those associated with the show as well as the public, questioned how some boy who grew up in the slums of Mumbai is performing extremely well than others who are wealthier and more educated than him.

Apparently, people from the lower castes are normally discriminated and deprived of several opportunities, causing inequalities and ultimately growing poverty to the enormous population. Poverty in the United States In 2005, the United States Census Bureau confirmed that there are about 37 million “poor” Americans. Apparently, some of these impoverished communities in the country have been the result of deindustrialization; as various blue-collar jobs that necessitate little education but paid well have been outsourced.

Moreover, low-income Americans generally believe that too many immigrants, too many single-parent families, as well as excessively few jobs, medical bills, and drug abuse are the common causes of poverty in the country. However, on a closer look on the millions of people classified as “poor” by the Bureau reveal, only few of them fit the global description of poverty. Although material destitution does occur in the country, yet it is limited in severity and scope, as most of them survive in material conditions that would be considered as well-off or comfortable just a few generations ago.

Taken as a whole, the common poor American has a microwave, a clothes washer and dryer, a stove, a refrigerator, air conditioning, and a car. Moreover, America’s poor can afford medical care, and an adequate house that is not overcrowded. Conclusion/Recommendation The term poverty is a multifaceted concept seeing that it is exceptionally complicated to draw a demarcation line between poverty and affluence. However, with a few apparent distinctions, poverty as a whole in India and the United States is principally a consequence of unemployment and low productivity.

Then again, while poor Americans’ life is considered impoverished, yet it is far from the popular images of the dreadful poverty in India as conveyed in the movie “Slumdog Millionaire. ” Nevertheless, in order to truly eradicate the problem of worldwide poverty, greater private and public organizations partnership along with efficient and committed bureaucratic machinery is required to take on the alarming problem. Reference Economy Watch. (n. d. ). Poverty in India. Retrieved June 8, 2009, from http://www. economywatch. com/indianeconomy/poverty-in-india. html


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