The Luck of the Poor
A person in poverty, we tend to imagine is someone who is poor and cannot afford a roof over his head. However, poverty can be a relative term that can include more than just the destitute and homeless. The definition of poverty depends on who we ask the question, how it is understood and who responds. For example, for the average middleclass person, not being able to afford a first class ticket makes him feel poor and on the other hand being able to afford a meal may make the homeless man feel like a million dollars. The broad point here is that poverty can depends on what the person’s idea of subsistence is; his basic needs and what he feels deprived of.
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They can afford the niceties in life such as good education, better health care, which leads to better opportunities. Short of saying that the rich never fall on hard times, they do, they are far more likely to keep their wealth, especially the very rich.
As a consequence, I don’t think the U.S. economic system is fair. Not everyone has an equal access to opportunity and it is very hard for the poor, with the limited opportunities, to raise themselves out of poverty. 65 percent of Americans born poor stay poor, sixty-two percent of those born rich stay rich. Your chances of rising from poverty are better if you are from Canada, Norway, Finland or Denmark (Shin). In a capitalistic society you advance is based on merit, and the very poor simply cannot afford the required educational skills that would allow them access to opportunities. A person without a college degree earns a fraction of what a college graduate earns. Not to mention that the very poor are usually plagued by other problems such as crime, violence, and dysfunctional families that can impede their progress.
Capitalism does not work towards helping the disadvantaged. Capitalism is a dog eat dog world. As such, capitalism creates a culture of materialism, where people are obsessed with getting more and more and tend to hoard all the wealth. A free market with no regulations does not always lead to economic growth and prosperity for all. If it were so then we would not have this persistent poverty in the face of overwhelming material wealth.
To level the playing field, I believe that the government has to should take steps to try to alleviate poverty, because no one should live their lives in poverty. It is the government’s responsibility to ease the suffering of its people. It also decreases crime and boosts the economy the country as a whole.
According to a recent report by Oxfam, the richest 85 people own the same about as the bottom half of the world’s population. The same report also states that the wealth of the richest one percent amounts to $110 trillion, which is 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world’s population. So, I do believe that the rich have too much money. Wealth equals power and when a few control the majority of the wealth it creates imbalance and tension in the economic and political systems. What inevitably tends to happens is that the rich bend the rules in their favor. This throws out the idea of equal opportunity and the rich get richer while the poor poorer.
For many individuals, amassing wealth is an insatiable desire, and too much is never enough. People are entitled to the fruits of their labor, and do what he wishes with it. However, in this regard I believe that there should be such a thing as a maximum wage. In November 2013, Switzerland voted on a referendum that would limit a CEO’s pay to a maximum of 12 times that of the company’s lowest earner, called the “1:12...