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The satire “A modest proposal” by Jonathan Swift is relevant to our current time in several ways. It shows how a corrupted or a ruling class without empathy, is not for the betterment of their people but their gain. One cannot just blame those in power if the less powerful need financial betterment to have a better life, for example, take care of children and spouses. We as people need to do better at taking care of our own and ourselves as many factors led to the condition that results in mass poverty and starvation.
I am not going to go to natural disasters like drought and crop failure. In the world today farming is done by the few especially in places like Europe and North America. With less induvial owning or least working the land to survive, it has turned how much a person is worth financially new standard on how we base poverty at least in western countries. This leads to a corruptible system that lets a few power hungry and greedy people destroy whole communities and the people who live in them for their own gain.
There are still people in a position of power and influence to make money or personal gain off the poor. During the time a modern proposal was written the landed gentry did not care what happens to the workers on their land, only about profit their labor gave them, which led to the mass migration to the new world. Looking at modern day America where will you go if you do not think you are getting a fair deal in America.
There are some of the same problems Fathers and mothers having too many children that can’t support properly no matter how much they love and care for them. Now it’s more about money and how they can get it. Either thru money Taken by the government to supply housing or to use credit schemes by lenders that are legal to take their money and keep them in debt.
One example of how business takes advantage of the people who are not financially secure out there like payday loan companies, which will charge ridiculous fees and interest rates to the most financially vulnerable. How can they do this kind of lending, they have a lobbyist who does their job and gets the politicians to make laws that work for them. Here is what the CEO of Cash America had to say. “In a state with a $15 [fee] per $100 [loan] rate, an operator · will need a new customer to take out 4 to 5 loans before that customer becomes profitable. Indeed, Dan Feehan, C.E.O. of Cash America, remarked at a Jeffries Financial Services Conference in 2007, “[T]he theory in the business is [that] you’ve got to get that customer in, work to turn him into a repetitive customer, long-term customer, because that’s really where the profitability is.” Lender marketing materials offer incentives to promote frequent loan usage, such as discounts to promote repeat borrowing.” (Edsall) How does this compare to Jonathan Swift satirical story about eating the young of the poor? By allowing lenders a free hand to lend money to people at these high rates, Is the same as a Landowner in Ireland taking food from the poor and not caring about the people at all.
In this writer’s opinion, there is much work to be done in leveling the playing field between the haves and have-nots. One way is thru education start teaching financially responsibility starting in grade school along with revamping the curriculum into a more modern for example what people need to know to survive and thrive in the modern workplace. There needs to be more emphasis on the educators themselves instead of administrators justifying their jobs. And through education people will be able to lead a better life, here is an article from the United Nations on education “So through education, people can get better jobs and have better lives? Yes, education reduces inequality. Using data for 114 countries in the the1985-2005 period, one extra year of education is associated with a reduction of Gini coefficient by 1.4 percentage points.” (QUALITY EDUCATION: WHY IT MATTERS) I am not just talking about academic education; not everyone is capable of being a Doctor or engineer; there needs to be more focus on what people can do than what they dream of doing. No matter how advanced our technology gets, there will always be a need for people to be able to fix it.
With that in mind, there must be some personal responsibility at the people taking these types of loans. There are times be where these types of loans are necessary. If they are not for a repair or putting food on your kid’s table, then they shouldn’t do it. It seems to this author that must be an absolute gain either financially or other, for people to do the right thing. And that shouldn’t be in this day in age there are many ways to be responsible if you are not financially able to take care of children maybe wait till you are, that goes for men and women. It can’t always be the rich and powerful at fault we elect them and keep them in power some robber baron or landowner cause, not all poverty. There must be some personal accountability too. I like this passage on poverty” It is a melancholy object to those who walk through this great town. Or travel in the country, when they see the streets, the roads. And cabin doors crowded with beggars of the female sex followed by three, four, or six children, all in rags, and importuning every passenger for an alms” (Swift) During Swifts time the Catholic church had a stranglehold over the Irish people and that is why they had some many children. In a Modern day the United States there is no reason to have that many kids unless you want too. If people do want to have a lot of children, they should be able to financially afford it without aid.
If you take all this information and think about it there has been a loss of community values neighbor helping neighbor behaviors. That is lacking in modern day society, or maybe they haven’t ever been there. And it all starts with a family unit which is the smallest unit in the country. There has been a breakdown from parents not wanting to be parents, where the child learns to be good people in order to build a charitable society but also one that fosters self-reliance in its people. There must be pride in oneself, and the community that the person lives. If the local populace can help out there neighbor they should, that neighbor should also want to be self-sufficient and not just want to live off the work others. Now with that being said, the Federal government has way more resources than almost any municipality, when it comes to money and infrastructure. If a person can see someone they know helps them and others it won’t be a faceless government organization. It could give a person down on their luck to want to do better.
Now some communities do have the financial resources to render monetary aid. And there are ways local officials to include community leaders and groups such as churches, and other nongovernment agencies that can work together to come up with a plan of action to help those less fortunate, While asking for assistance in education and training programs from the state or federal agencies. There needs to be a real education on money management starting early in a person schooling. Training for jobs that people can do, not everyone can be Bill Gates or doctor or an engineer. A decent job has its reward in building one up, with the proper tools anyone can succeed in life. Maybe not to the top but comfortable and not hungry should be a start.
Another point to ponder is that if a state devours its resources and the labor of its people. Just to be sent to an offshore bank. It is not helping the people who helped build and support and even buy the products and services they provide. With just a little loyalty to their fellow countryman, the rich and powerful could help a great deal more. By fixing the loopholes in the law that allows people to seek and gain profit from our most vulnerable and when they are at their weakest. If we could come together as people and fix our education system, this would be an excellent first step in trying to fix the generational poverty in the United States.
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