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Essay on Poverty

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Integrated Humanities - Essay "Poverty is the result of individual complacency and bad governance." Do you agree? The statement addresses two issues as causes of poverty, namely: individual complacency, which is the contented self satisfaction of an individual and the absence of motivation to improve oneself; and bad governance, which refers to problems within or concerning the organization exercising authority in a political unit. I agree to the statement to a certain extent. In my essay, I shall address the reasons and evidence of my agreement with the hypothesis, and provide other factors which work in tandem to these two factors to give rise to poverty. Firstly, individual complacency is a cause of poverty. Individual complacency is defined as a singular person feeling contentment or self-satisfaction, and is unaware of danger, trouble, or controversy. This will lead to poverty as with self satisfaction setting in the mindset of an individual, the cancer of remaining status quo in terms of ability will spread within the society. Hence, there will be no progress in the political unit as there is an unwillingness to improve and keep up globally, and eventually lose out to competition on the global scale. A society that believes that status quo will hold will not be prepared for economic upheavals that could cost them their jobs, and should such a situation occur, the political unit may self destruct as with influx of competition; the citizens will be unable to keep up and lose jobs, even going bankrupt. ...read more.


This situated could be further exacerbated by the limited education the breadwinner has and therefore little advance in wages or the death of said breadwinner. Hence, poverty may not only be caused by individual complacency as it is only one plausible reason, but there are other personal factors which contribute to impoverishment. Secondly, complacency and other personal factors cannot by themselves account for the extreme poverty in many developing countries. Bad governance is also a crucial cause of poverty at the level of a country. Bad governance can be due to many reasons, like corruption for one. A government administered by corrupted officials interested only in lining their pockets will be incapable of formulating effective policies. Also, as the leaders of the country are too preoccupied immersing themselves in the wealth siphoned from the treasury, less or even no money is channeled to the poor, and so, the poor will most likely remain in the vicious cycle of impoverishment. Take Africa for example. Though the continent is abundant in human and natural resources, even leading in amount of farmable land, sub-Saharan Africa has the highest proportion of people: nearly half of the population, who fall below the poverty line. The lost in potential revenue is due to greedy and visionless leaders, which is evident as statistics show that at least $140 billion has been extracted from Africa's wealth since its independence. ...read more.


Therefore, it can be seen from India's caste system that inequality in a country and lack of effort on the government's part is detrimental to the poverty situation within the country. However, bad governance is not the only factor that causes poverty at the level of a country. A poor country, even with a government which aspires to improve the poverty state of the country, maybe too handicapped by a lack of means to develop its people. Furthermore, the country might already be hampered by its poor economic performance and has to service debts to other countries or international organizations. The World Bank for one, though loaning money at a low interest rate of 1%, still poses as a huge problem for poor countries as 1% of the loan may be in terms of millions as poor countries usually needs a huge amount of money to develop in order to alleviate poverty in the country. Hence, the deep entrenchment of poverty in the country and heavy debt servicing within the country are also other factors which causes poverty at the country level. Therefore, to conclude, I agree to the statement as I feel that personal complacency and bad governance play a major role in causing poverty. However, other factors like heavy financial commitments on one individual and the toil of debt servicing also work in tandem to cause poverty. Hence, I agree to the statement to a certain extent. ...read more.

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