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'As Society Has Become More Prosperous, Poverty Has Effectively Disappeared' Discuss

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Introduction

Student number: Essay Title: Total word count: plagiarism declaration: I certify that I have read and understood the rules and regulations of the LSE regarding assessment procedures and formally declare that all work contained within this document, with the exception of attributed references, is my own. Signature: ................................................. Date: ........................ ESSAY FOR NISRINE MANSOUR-SA101 200301327 'AS SOCIETY HAS BECOME MORE PROSPEROUS, POVERTY HAS EFFECTIVELY DISAPPEARED' DISCUSS In recent years growth of the UK economy has been dramatic as even minute increases in a country's growth rate can result in remarkable changes in living standards over just one generation. The average family can now expect, cars, technologically advanced entertainment, further education for its children and a longer life than ever. Has the less fortunate been left behind as the rest of society has prospered. Recent economic research has found both positive and negative relationships between growth and inequality not just in the UK but also throughout the world. There is no questioning that the UK as a whole has become more prosperous. The British economy has experienced 9 years of economic growth since the last recession ended in 1992. Since 1996 the level of real national output has grown in excess of 2% per year leading to a rise in total GDP and average living standards (Begg 2003). Growth in the 4th quarter of 2004 increased by 0.7% and the level of GDP was 2.9% higher than the same quarter for 20031. ...read more.

Middle

There was little evidence to show that these high rates of poverty had been declining during the 1980's and poverty in the UK is much less of a novelty than in contrast to countries such as Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands as social insurance benefits in the UK have during the post-war period been set at a relatively low level. In consequence, a significant proportion of the population has been dependent on social assistance, the nearest thing that exists to an 'official' definition of poverty. This has helped to ensure that poverty has remained an issue in public debate for most of this period. However it should be noted that after the completion of the Single Market, with increased employment and free trade the UK managed to keep its poverty rates below the average of the 12 countries. Yet this is not to say that poverty does not exist. Far from diminishing, a position of polarisation in the UK has continued to develop throughout the 80's and 90's. According to Townsend, between 1979-1990 there was a loss of purchasing power, which particularly affected the poorest 20% of the population. As the poor become poorer, according to Townsend, the rich are becoming richer at a rapid rate.2 In many different ways, the quality of the forms of citizenship available to the least prosperous sections of society was determined by their capacity to participate in the relevant structures of activity.3 Charles Murray spoke of the underclass and in doing this he focused on 3 symptoms: crime; illegitimacy, and economic activity among working-aged men. ...read more.

Conclusion

conditions experienced by the poorest in their own countries in the belief that they have food enough and access enough to a variety of modern facilities. At the same time they respond sympathetically to reports and pictures of Sub-Saharan Africa etc. People who react in this way ignore common international causes of impoverished conditions in the two places. I have proved that although the UK has become more prosperous, Poverty still effectively exists. The key difference is the shift from Absolute Poverty to Relative Poverty and the fact that the gap in income inequality between the rich and the poor is ever growing. Although the UK was used as a basis for my paper, it is important to realise that absolute poverty still exists on the world scale. In 3rd world countries many millions are still living at standards, which can only be described as those of utter destitution. Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region in the world where the proportion of people living in extreme poverty has continued to grow for 20 years. (United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)). The rate of absolute poverty - people living on one dollar a day or less - in Sub-Saharan Africa is nearing 50 percent. "While between 1981 and 2001 the number of people living in absolute poverty fell worldwide from 40 percent to 21 percent of the total population, in Sub-Saharan Africa it increased from 42 percent to 47 percent," (UNIDO Director-General Carlos Magarinos). ...read more.

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