Sunday, March 21, 2010


Poverty. There is so much that can be said about this topic. With the health care bill being voted on probably as I type, it will be hard to avoid that aspect of the discussion but I wish not to start out there. I will start by first just talking about poverty in America. Not around the whole world but just in our own "perfect" country.
Poverty or living in poverty is determined by how much income one person or family receives. To live in a state of poverty means that one lives in an undesirable environment to the middle and upper classes. Poverty could also be called the poor class. Most people would agree that poverty is a bad thing. It is bad to have people living in boxes when others live in mansions. In America we want to believe that since we are a world power that poverty is not AS an issue than in other countries( these countries are often called third world). So in our country poverty exists but it is not as prevalent. In America poverty will always exist because of our capitalism economy. There must be a dumbest. There must be the poorest. Someone must clean the toilets. The problem with poverty is that it is very hard to work out of. What for sure needs to change is how poverty can entrap people into poverty based upon their birth. An African American child is born in the ghetto of Detroit. That child most likely trapped at birth based on its race and the income of its parents( also affected by his race). That aspect of poverty needs to be changed; but the fact is those types of changes are long term changes that take place over generations.
What is not the worry of the more privileged is the fact that this same child might join a gang because he accepts his place as being poor. That part of poverty is something that the individual must decide for themselves.
So what about philanthropy? What is the role of the privileged to help the poor? Some may say that it is the role as human beings to help other humans. We feel a connection to the needs of other humans and it hurts us to hear about the pain others experience. But we do not all feel the same for all causes. America is the most generous country in the world. For any natural disaster in our country or outside our borders we are always give the most and the longest. But in America we believe in working for your wealth. We look down on people that do not work and people that cause their own problems( this is how the AIDS charity was looked at when the disease was mainly restricted to homosexuals). Also Americans do not like to be told that they have to give to a cause. Essentially that is what the Health Care Bill would do. Since people believe that the government should be responsible for the well being of their citizens then the government should fight poverty through providing health care. The problem lies in that the government does not make any money outside of taking a portion of its citizens. So then the Government is now telling all of its citizens that they must pick up the tab for someone else. This is why a portion of Americans disapprove of the health care bill. Pass this time or not, it is obvious that something should be done. But whatever is done will be under heavy scrutiny. And whatever failure will rest solely on the shoulders of Obama in the eyes of the people.


  1. Davis talks about what poverty is by stating, “Poverty or living in poverty is determined by how much income one person or family receives.” So what I want to ask is how poor do you have t be to be considered living in poverty? Is it simply not having a home or not having a certain amount of money? He later answers this by stating poverty is living in a way undesirable by the upper classes. By stating this, he is saying only upper class citizens can tell you if you are living n poverty or not. Is this rightfully so in America or is there a certain thing or aspect in a persons life or for instance something that is lacking from his or her life that makes them being in poverty?

    An interesting comment is when he states that there will always be poverty in America due to our capitalist economy. America is naturally competitive and there will always be a loser and a winner. What this statement brings up why are we fighting poverty when it cannot be taken out of our society due to our way of life? This new health care bill being passed could be a change to help the poor have a easier life but will it actually help end poverty? I think not.

    Davis talks about people being trapped into poverty because of who they are born with and where. If people live in a horrible area couldn’t they move to somewhere better. No a place necessarily richer to say but somewhere safer and where the child could go to school to become successful. Another question that comes up is if the child was born in a poor area, does that really mean he or she HAS to live in poverty after high school? He or she could still work hard in the areas public schools and get a dissent job somewhere.

    The final statements about philanthropy is confusing because he states that the government is telling its rich citizens to “take up the tab” for the poor. IS the government really doing this? The Health Care Bill might be an example of this but is the government telling the common worker to help a homeless person no matter what?

  2. I agree with Davis on the point that poverty will always exsist because I think that is self-explanatory. I also agree that we as Americans look down on people thinking that everyone in this situation brought it upon themselves, which is not the right attitude.I like how he points out that what the individual does with his or her impoverished state depends on them. They can try to make the best or worst of it, while there aren't many "best" aspects of poverty. Davis did a good job at looking at many aspects of poverty and not blaming it on certain people because it's not only one person's fault.