Poverty is dynamic in nature: even as some people move out of poverty, other people simultaneously fall into poverty. The poverty pool is being simultaneously both depleted and refilled. Anirudh Krishna argues that efforts for poverty reduction tend to focus exclusively on raising people out of poverty, and therefore will not be very successful unless poverty creation is also addressed. Ill health and high healthcare expenses are the principal reasons associated with falling into poverty; therefore, reducing poverty requires investing in better healthcare.
There has always been a disconnect between the have and the have-nots in society. Wealth and poverty has been perhaps the single biggest dividing issue since the introduction of money thousands of years ago. It was the Wu-Tang Clan that so famously said that cash ruled everything ‘around me” in their hit single “C.R.E.A.M” and that statement is just as true today as it was in 1994. Money is the equation for freedom in our society, and if we approach it this way then there are thousands of people still enslaved in America today.
Wealthy people often seem like they have the world laid out at their feet, especially the ones who are born with a silver spoon in their mouths, so to speak. It often seems very unfair that some people can buy any luxury that their hearts desire while others of us struggle to put food on the table for our families and crawl from paycheck to paycheck like a desert traveler dying of thirst. This discontent is expressed in the recent “Occupy Wall Street movements” who coined the phrase “the 99 percent” to describe how most of society languishes and struggles while a select one percent enjoy unimaginable wealth. While it is true that many of these people worked very hard for their fortunes and in some cases, came up from the very poverty that they are now so far above, it is also true that both poverty and wealth are a cycle. Someone that is born into a poor family will have a harder time pulling themselves out of that situation, not least because they will be unable to access some of the things that wealthy people take for granted, such as access to the best schools and healthcare, connections to other rich and powerful people, freedom from having to worry about daily necessities in life, etc. Conversely, people born into rich families tend to stay rich themselves, whether through support from their parents or by using connections forged to generate their own wealth.
Poverty is a condition afflicting about 1 in 6 Americans at some point in their lifetimes. For many people, it is not a temporary condition but rather an ongoing state of being. They must struggle for their next bite to eat or their next night of shelter and warmth, in stark contrast to those rich Americans who choose from among many houses to rest their heads and have personal chefs preparing meals to their every whim. Of course, most people fall somewhere between these two extremes. The average American may not be penniless and struggling. They may have more than one car in their garage and be able to afford recreational items, but the fact is very few people are able to satisfy the almost bottomless wanting that is characteristic of the human condition. So although it may seem that the rich have it all and are therefore happy and the poor have nothing and are therefore miserable, the fact is that anyone can be happy or miserable, depending on how much they appreciate the little or much that they do have
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