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Poverty: the Lack of Basic Human Needs

  • Date Submitted: 12/04/2010 02:34 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 26.1 
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Poverty is the lack of basic human needs, such as clean water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter, because of the inability to afford them. This is also referred to as absolute poverty or destitution. Relative poverty is the condition of having fewer resources or less income than others within a society or country, or compared to worldwide averages. About 1.7 billion people live in absolute poverty; before the industrial revolution, poverty had mostly been the norm.
The claim that industrial activity reduces poverty is disputable. Poverty could be defined in terms of quality of life. A child needs no capital if everything they need is in their environment, and the environment is not contaminated. Likewise, if people have a quality of life, a safe, uncontaminated environment, and freedom from being harmed and used by others; then the need for capital is superfluous. Such people need not be considered to be in poverty. Industrial systems can produce a surplus, when the costs of environmental damages are externalized (paid by others). But this surplus is distributed disproportionately, by design. The poverty of today is directly attributable to such activity. When prosperity is defined as prosperity for a small percentage of human beings, and that prosperity is based on exploitation of natural resources and other people; we have a mechanism that creates poverty; especially as resources are exhausted by consumption and the people being used lose their land, their assets, and their livelihoods and are considered homeless, worthless, and shiftless. Statistical analysis that uses the mean (average) instead of the mode (the value that occurs most frequently in a given set of data), is not helpful with respect to understanding what is actually going on.
Poverty reduction has historically been a result of economic growth as increased levels of production, such as modern industrial technology, made more wealth available for those who were otherwise...


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