Free «The Issue of Poverty» Essay Sample

Common sense suggests that the growing interdependence of national economies is a sign of progress and a promise of economic prosperity for every participant of the international commerce. However, the outcomes of the economic globalization possess a distributive nature. Along with the overall economic thriving in developing countries, only the wealthiest people fully enjoy the benefits of social and financial security. The globalization leads to the formation of the class-based society. Meanwhile the socioeconomic status is a main determinant of success. The representatives of low-income families do not have a full access to the high-quality education and endure the lack of self-confidence.

Poverty is largely being a result of the unequal distribution of social goods. In the utopian society, the representatives of every class may enjoy the outcomes of the economic globalization, i.e. the well-paid jobs, affordable education, high life standards, and vast opportunities for development and thriving. However, Matt Yglesias (2011) strongly argues that the growth of the global economy significantly contributes to the increasing disparities among different classes of the U S population (p. 464). While such developing countries as China, Brazil, and India enjoy an enormous improvement of living standards, the USA seems to witness the relative economic stagnation (Yglesias, 2011, p. 464). Yglesias (2011) attributes that the lack of the economic progress leads to the existence of the full access to benefits of the globalized economy only for a small and wealthy part of the population (p. 464-465). In this case, the low-income families cannot hope to receive the high-quality education and find a well-paid job. The lack of access to higher education seems to be the most important concern. The obvious reasons for the mentioned issue, according to Brink Lindsey (2011), are the ever-growing prices of college education and the lower wages of high school graduators (p. 453). Since the estimated difference in wages may reach 85 percent, the children from the low-income families are unlikely to afford a college degree (Lindsey, 2011, p. 453). The current state of matters seems to have created a certain pattern. As parents cannot cover the college tuition of their children, the next generation will most likely fill the ranks of the low-income population.

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Breaking this pattern may require extensive efforts and time. A personal account of a journalist Angela Locke (2011) is both an example of necessity to address the needs of under-advantaged individuals and the power of strong determination as well as patience (p. 451). The working families often find themselves in the financial scrutiny. They are quite aware of obscure perspectives of improving their living conditions. While the US government struggles to smooth the class differences, based on the socioeconomic status of an individual, by imposing the balanced system of taxation, any mentioning of the tax increase provokes a rather hostile reaction from the representatives of every social class (Yglesias, 2011, p. 465). Other antipoverty efforts, such as social and medical programs, are too broad for solving the specific issues of financially insecure layers of the population (Yglesias, 2011, p. 465). Thus, the obvious financial gap and subsequent inability of underpaid workers to enjoy social benefits in the economically developed country largely contribute to the formation of the class-based society. It takes years to get a college degree for working-class students, if not to mention a huge investment of efforts.

The class differences deprive children from working families of their access to the high-quality education. According to Matt Yglesias (2011), an overall well-being of the nation directly correlates with upholding the high standards of education (p. 466). The researcher (2011) specifically emphasizes the importance of meeting the students’ needs in the times of the economic crisis, especially in regards to the preschool education (p. 466). Ideally, the high-quality education should be accessible to the whole population. The reason is that it is a basic for the future prosperity and financial independence of students. Brink Lindsey (2011), however, outlines two main reasons of low rates of entering college among the children from low-income families (p. 454). Firstly, the underpaid parents often fail to invest enough money in their kids, sending them to the underfunded schools, spending money on tutors, travels and extracurricular activities (Lindsey, 2011, p. 454). Secondly, the financial scrutiny deeply influences the parents’ ability to provide the necessary support for their children by simply helping with homework and attending school events (Lindsey, 2011, p. 454). The family support plays a crucial role in preparing kids for college by providing the necessary means and investing a great amount of time for studying at home. The personal experience of Angela Locke (2011) clearly indicates that parental attention may significantly influence the formation of important skills and acquiring the sufficient amount of knowledge by teaching children themselves (p. 450-451). This approach may at least partially solve the issue of the insufficient level of education and lack of money for private tuition. Unfortunately, the college degree remains a long-cherished dream for the majority of children from low-income families, while parents struggle to meet their basic material needs.

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Nevertheless, the social environment is vitally important for overcoming the class division by cultivating the necessary skills and self-esteem of kids. Brink Lindsey (2011) explicitly advocates the idea of correlation between parental education and the low level of applying to college among the students from low-income families (p. 454). The financial troubles, according to this scholar (2011), are only the secondary factor, while the cultural differences lay at the core of the problem (p. 454). The 2001year study, conducted by James Heckman from the University of Chicago and Stephen Cameron from Columbia University, contains the analysis of the attendance gap between white, Afro-American and Hispanic students. The research is based on the results of the Armed Forces Qualification Test (Lindsey, 2011, p. 454). The study indicates that the financial well-being did not matter since only few Afro-Americans and Hispanics actually succeeded (Lindsey, 2011, p. 454-455). The data point to the lack of skills and knowledge as an outcome of the poor high school performance. Moreover, some scholars claim that different levels of success in classrooms have nothing to do with school budgets (Lindsey, 2011, p. 454). The real reason for a quite widespread issue of academic failures is the lack of persistence. A great number of researches repeatedly have proved that only hard work allows achieving any tangible progress (Lindsey, 2011, p. 454). The cultivation of ambitions and industry is a primary responsibility of parents.

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The parental encouragement presupposes constant stimulation, manifested in the systematic social interactions. The recent psychological study shows that the active verbal communication between parents and their children promotes the development of the extensive vocabulary at an early childhood (Lindsey, 2011, p. 455). Furthermore, the overall atmosphere in the low-income families is highly discouraging (Lindsey, 2011, p. 455). Angela Locke’s (2011) experience certainly proves the pragmatic usefulness of the family support (p. 451). Her highly intelligent working mother had managed to work at the low-paid jobs and nurture her children’s development (Locke, 2011, p. 451). The efforts of this woman definitely did not pass in vain, since two of her four children entered college (Locke, 2011, p. 451). Locke’s case seems to be a rare history of success. Nevertheless, it demonstrates the vital importance of shaping the necessary skills at the early age and encouraging the academic aspirations during school years.

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The increasing influence of peers at school and college reinforces class stereotypes, established at home, by shaping a certain set of values. According to Brink Lindsey (2011), the social background of students plays a significant role in the choice of friends. Therefore, children from the working-class families tend to interact with their peers of the similar social background (p. 455). As a result, kids from different social groups develop a different attitude to study, plans for future life, and, finally, the vision of the one’s role in society (Lindsey, 2011, p. 455). Ronald Fryer, an economist from Harvard, explains the mentioned tendency as a natural desire of a human being to form social groups and enforce the expressed group solidarity by supporting common beliefs (Lindsey, 2011, p. 455). The worldview, shaped by parents and reinforced by peer groups, strongly affects one’s capability to achieve success in the adult life. Along with the lack of ambitions, the peer discouragement leads to absence of any desire for the personal professional and spiritual development. Due to the lack of required skills, young adults may feel the lack of confidence and discomfort, even if they manage to overcome the class gap. Angela Locke (2011) admits that the college degree does not guarantee acceptance to the ranks of people with the higher social status because of the lack of assurance of the one’s ability to make progress (Locke, 2011, p. 451). The process of breaking social stereotypes appears to be a challenging task, as the well-engraved beliefs are hard to change.

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In the light of the recent economic recession, the issue of poverty seems to cause a great public concern. The global economic integration seems to provide some benefits only for a small group of wealthy individuals. It is depriving the under-advantaged classes of the equal access to social goods and services, including the higher education, and their opportunity to form the determination to succeed in future. The further hesitation to tackle the mentioned issues may result in a significant aggravation of the situation. The question appears what kinds of antipoverty individual or collective actions may solve the problem.

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