Our [US] economic system is condemning at least 48.5 million people [In the USA] to high rates of un- or underemployment, poor performance in school and at work (when it is available), poor nutrition and eating habits, high instances of drug abuse, high crime rates, homelessness, high rates of preventable diseases, shorter life-spans, and all the other vicissitudes typically associated with a life of poverty.[1]

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Poverty means not having enough money or enough things for a decent life. In the Third World poor people starve and die sometimes because they can't get enough to eat. In rich countries, poor people are more often sick and malnourished and live less long than people with more money. When people are poor others tend to look down on them and it's hard to hold onto self respect.


Most of the poverty in the United States is artificially manufactured. It is poverty created in the pursuit of “free market ideals,” expressed in recent times by the imposition of neoliberal economic policies - the sort of policies that cut taxes on the wealthy, do away with fiscal and other business regulations, shred the social safety net, and erode middle-class stability - all while singing the praises of self-reliance and individual responsibility. As a result we have done very well in making the rich richer and the poor both poorer and more numerous. [2]

Child poverty

One in five American children is now living in poverty, giving the United States the highest child poverty rate of any developed nation except for Romania.[3]

Child death rates in the UK are higher than in many other European nations because of poverty in the UK. [4]


Poor people can't easily afford to give their children an expensive education, in the Third World, some poor children don’t get to school at all while in Rich countries like the United States and the United Kingdom poor kids wind up in run down schools and many don’t get a proper education. Then, the children of poor parents stay uneducated and poor. Selfish Conservatives try and imagine the poor people are at fault; conservatives claim anyone can become wealthy through a capitalist system, but, clearly not everyone can succeed through capitalism. Even in Liberal nations bright kids from poor backgrounds are a year behind bright rich kids.

The USA is more Conservative and there poor kids lag three years behind behind bright rich kids. The UK is in between and in the UK bright poor kids are two years behind the brighter rich kids. [5] Research is being done to find out why. [6]

In the UK in 2015 poor bright Boys get worse examination results than better off boys and are less likely to get to a good University. Some schools don't take enough care to give them a good education. [7] In the UK a great deal has been done to imrove the education of poot kids from ethnic minorities but poor white kids were overlooked. [8] This probably wasn't intentional Racism, it's too much ingrained that White = Privilege. People who take the decisions and who want to be Liberal (probably white themselves) overlooked that poor white kids aren't privileged. In 2021 UK white kids elligible for free school meals due to poverty do less well than kids from ethnic minorities who are elligible for free school meals. [9] What about UK kids who get to University. Even then privately educated kids are more likely to succeed and earn more. A few privately educated graduates don't manage to keep their prestige jobs, perhaps they just got the jobs because of their expensive private education and aren't up to those jobs. [10]

If you are poor and at a run-down school you can improve your life, it’s just very much more difficult than it is for Rich kids in private schools, you can try and learn well at school or go to Community College when you leave school as Wendy Davis did. It's good if you aim to get qualifications that are right for your talents, whether that’s University study or a skilled manual work.



Sometimes poor people get sick because they can't afford proper housing. Poor people often have to live in run down districts where they risk infection from other poor people and can get attacked. Sometimes poor people get sick because they can't afford healthy food, or are exposed to dangerous substances. The United States of America is proud to be the richest nation in the world but it hasn't yet got round to getting proper medical care for its poorer citizens and is increasingly challenged in limiting childhood exposure to dangerous substances in the environment. Obama changed part of that.


Getting enough to eat is a struggle for many people in the [[Third World. Economic troubles are forcing prices to rise, thus, food is harder to obtain. Several countries are suffering from severe drought causing agricultural land to be degraded. This seriously contributes to starvation.

Even in some Developed countries there are poor people who need food banks. [11] [12] In the USA some cities fine people for giving food to the homeless. [13]

Energy prices

Energy prices have been rising in many nations and this helps reduce Global warming since higher prices discourage use of Fossil fuel.

  1. For rich people high energy prices are no problem, they can still afford to heat the living rooms in their mansions, the hallways, the bedrooms, the rooms they don't use.
  2. Middle income people complain about high energy prices. Either middle income people must cut down on fuel used heating rooms they don't really need to heat like hallways and bedrooms or they must cut down in other areas to pay higher fuel bills.
  3. Poor people can face crisis when fuel prices rise. People near the breadline must choose between keeping warm and eating properly because sometimes there isn't enough money for both. Hypothermia kills scandalous numbers of elderly people every year in the UK with deaths rising. Some can pay to heat themselves OR can pay to heat their food but can't do both. [14][15] Hypothermia is a major cause of preventable deaths worldwide. [16] Many governments aren't doing enough to provide fuel grants for poor people when energy prices rise. "The proportion of (UK) households in fuel poverty has risen significantly in the last few years. Almost all households in the bottom tenth by income are in fuel poverty, as are half of households in the second bottom tenth." [17] Fuel suppliers have been unfairly targetting poor people for years but there is pressure on them to improve. [18]


Dangerous substances and heavy metals are present in many older homes, and increasingly in the environment and important foods available to poor people. Wealthy people have the ability to choose safer homes foods and water sources. Poorer people are far more limited in their ability to escape the effects of these substances.

The media

News outlets tend to be controlled by wealthy media magnates like, Rupert Murdoch or, in the case of public broadcasting well paid salaried officials. Those who criticise poor people and those who try to defend poor people often have no direct experience of poverty themselves. Websites like Poor Magazine (USA) and A Girl Called Jack (UK) give valuable direct experience of poverty.

See also


External links