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Poverty in the United States and in India Essay

Poverty is the inability to meet basic needs of life and to some extent the inability to meet essential material needs that ensure a safe and secure livelihood. The United States measures poverty using government’s set poverty line. In rough estimate around 12% to 16% in the United States live below the poverty line. When statistics were done in the year 2006, people under the 18 were the ones highly affected by poverty. A research that was done recently by Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire, the rate of children who are poor is relatively higher in the rural parts than in the suburban areas.

The US government and other nongovernmental organizations have been trying to reduce the level of poverty in the country. They have tried to educate as well as initiating campaigns that focus on poverty eradication. With this they place their focus especially on the homeless, people faced by atrocities like earthquakes, immigrants and others. The government has tried to build up charity programs and social workings based on improving the nature of the impoverished people.

Faced with the heated up issue on poverty the Government has come up with 2017 poverty eradication plan, that is based on lowering or bringing to an end the poverty that faces some parts in the country. The Government embarks on raising the low- income workers’ minimum wage to 50 percent unlike the 30 percent that they earn. The Government also in tends to raise the Earned Income tax Credit and Child Tax Credit; the former enables people to invest on assets and the latter provides the child with a tax credit of $1000 per child.

The Government wants to establish a policy that looks after the rights of employees, leading to better jobs and good salaries. It will also embark on child care help to those families that have got a low income and promote education for all. It will also create be able to place youths that are disadvantaged to schools and work so they are able to earn a living. They also want to make sure that they make it possible for higher education to be available in every state. These among many other solutions are being looked at by the US government in order to reduce the rate of poverty.

Factors that result to poverty in the US include; parents not being married and raising children out of wedlock, Great amounts of taxes imposed even to the low income earning people, Public schools are run poorly, in addition to being funded heavily such that some people do not afford them. , children score very low in marks. Diseases like mental disabilities, abuse of drugs, domestic abuse and also natural disasters are other causes of poverty in the United States. INDIA India is one of the poorest countries in the world, unlike the US which is a world class country.

Its most people live below the poverty line that is one third of the population. According to World Bank; 2005, “India has 456 million people, 46% of its population lives below the poverty line, it also has 828 million people, or 75. 6% living below $2 a day” Some of the causes of India’s poverty are the meager daily wages that employees receive. Most people in India live in rural India. They get very low of what they earn which is basically not possible to live a comfortable life with.

There is also unequal distribution of wealth with very less people earning 33% of the income while most people in the country earn less than what is expected by the Government and that is $0. 40 per day. Others of those people work in informal job sectors that have got no job or social security hence leading them to extreme poverty. As a result of the income inequality, most children in India are affected by food, surviving rarely on very little. A high percentage of those children are suffering from malnutrition, than has been witnessed in other countries. The major causes of poverty in India are derived from two schools of thought.

The first being the Developmental view which states, that India’s economy was completely deindustrialized. This resulted to all goods and services turning out to be very expensive and the India man could barely afford. As a result of the tremendous increase in prices and a decline in terms of trade, a massive hunger struck and resulted to many Indians dying. The land where the people grew food crops was all destroyed and cash crops such as cotton, opium, tea and grain for export and more so for animal feeds were planted. With this, it is evident that the colonial governments were part to blame for the impoverished country.

The other school of thought; Neoliberal view states that both unemployment and underemployment were also a cause towards poor India. Farmers in India too over rely much on Agriculture products without looking for other investment areas. In other words the people of India have got great food security but low economic growth. Agriculture, unfortunately contributes to economy growth only 18% whereas 60% of the population depend on it. India too has got a high population growth that has immensely led to poverty since agriculture is their main source of income and the people are too many to be assisted by agriculture only.

The “caste system” in India has also been blamed as a cause of poverty, since most people were left out in employment opportunities, education and other essentials. In conclusion, both India and the US have been faced with poverty issues; however, we cannot equate poverty in US to that in India. India’s economic growth is very low, the US are a bit privileged, since they are one of the most powerful countries economically. India might take a long time to recover but US is able to make sure that their goals towards curbing poverty are initiated and bring forth fruits.


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