Preventing Poverty Traps

Why there is still increasing poverty

Some causes of poverty are stupid

Money spent on waste, such as arms, could provide jobs and decent living for all.

Instead of the rich getting richer, as they are, the poor could be getting less poor. Instead of money concentrating in ever fewer hands, it could be spread out more. This also would make more jobs, as more people had more to spend on what they needed.

Depression and malnutrition are the main reasons why poor people cannot 'pull themselves up by their bootstraps'. They have no bootstraps. These could be prevented.

Psychological poverty (qv) is encouraged by our culture, and affects all income levels, but especially the poor. This cultural problem too could be tackled.

Psychological child abuse (qv) damages the spirit and stunts the abilities of millions of children, making a new generation of poor adults. This too could be tackled.

A greed culture from the rich influences the poor, making them less oriented to help themselves, and more vulnerable to ruin themselves by gambling and get-rich-quick crime.

and see Gerry Danaher's website for links between poverty and population.

It is stupid that now there are
fewer good ways to get out of poverty

When there are good hopes of getting out of the poverty trap, poor people can have motivation and confidence to try. But our greedy short-sighted society has been making the escape through hard work more difficult .

Structural unemployment - when only jobs that make profit are available, not jobs that are actually needed.

Poor health is both a cause and an outcome of poverty.

Low incomes for the working poor so that they benefit little from their toil. The rich then suggest that governments give charity supplements to boost their incomes, which is demeaning - they deserve full reward. Nobody should work a full working week for less than a tenth of directors' incomes at the top. Helpful strategies include reducing the enormity of top incomes by higher taxes, and by death duties for legacies over $ x.

Taxation that favours the rich and overcharges the poor. Taxes on necessities. Payroll tax which discourages providing more jobs and encourages exploitation of workers. A War Against Poverty would remove taxes that increase poverty, and inflict taxes on whatever increases poverty and misery - eg high taxes on high legal charges (to encourage top lawyers to lower their rates and on low-cost' housing that does not include conservation features, advertising for antisocial products.

What is done with taxes. Not just health, social welfare, education, humiliating handouts. Taxes must pay somehow for whatever a society needs that private enterprise cannot make profit out of. Taxes can pay for jobs to provide those needs, which private enterprise cannot pay for.

Banks that favour the rich. In the past, people could save their way out of poverty, and avoid getting into debt by saving for what they needed. Now no more. The less you have, the more charges on your bank account, and interest minimal or none. Charges on number of transactions harm the poor more than the rich. A Common Wealth Bank is needed to replace the so-called commonwealth bank that legally exists only for its directors and shareholders.

Encouragement of waste affects rich and poor alike. Poor people can feel aggrieved if encouraged to be thrifty, because it has a demeaning connotation today, not a proud one.

Insecurity of work, makes it is difficult to build anything up, or even stay in one place.

Housing with nowhere to store anything, so that baby gear for example has to be re-purchased each time, and goods cannot be bought in discount quantities

Charity when it funds too many jobs for middle-class counsellors, administrators, PR and researchers, with more 'ambulances at the bottom' than fences at the top.

Blows of fortune. The young receive no training in how to withstand the blows of fortune - instead, the emphasis is on 'seeking counselling' when they strike, undermining self-worth, confidence and initiative.

Induced to buy cheap and non-durable, in the long run the poor pay more.

Rents and the cost of properties, which are racked up by speculative investment.

Variable interest rates harm the poorly-off more than the rich.

Children who cannot be cared for. In many places abortion is the only way to prevent more children than can be cared. Cultural pressures induce teenage pregnancies and broken homes.

Educational practices can make it hard for the poor to become literate (qv 'Barriers')

English spelling is a great social oppression that helps to ensure that the least privileged are kept off the ladder. A clean up could facilitate literacy for all.(See English spelling improvement)

Destructive ways to get out of poverty

Drug-dealing, crime and gambling often appear the only ways to get out of economic poverty. Drugs including alcohol are psychological escapes from the realities of poverty.

Poverty itself encourages self-destructive and anti-social responses, including depression, self-hate, anger, violence, dishonesty, fatalistic sloth, and all the defence mechanisms, especially projection and denial, which result in vandalism, squalor, crime, destructive relationships and self-destructive behaviour. And so poverty at the bottom corrupts the whole of society.

Global poverty needs separate but related discussion of solutions, particularly related to exploitation of undeveloped countries and their labor, the explosions of population and consumption, health and water problems, and the degradation of the earth.

Ways out of the poverty trap

Most of these are obvious, from the account above. For example: -

Change the culture and advertising that delude the poor more than the fortunate. able to look after themselves.

Alternatives to gambling. Temptation should not be wantonly set. 80% of poor people become poorer when they gamble, but when 'wining Tatts' seems the only hope, many poor people are prepared to take that risk, dazzled by the opulence of the rich. See Alternatives to gambling.

Capping wealth accumulation. Poverty is increased when money-wealth is accumulated by means that do not increase national prosperity, and 'to them that have shall be given.'

Culture shift to distinguish between Honorable and Filthy Riches according to source and amount of wealth.

Increases in land values directed to benefit the whole public, not speculators.

Justice - low cost and ready access.

Decent housing and rental conditions.

Health and energy is needed to get out of poverty. Preventive health care free and available for all. Alternatives for drugs for escape, consolation, thrills.

Australia could gain the SocioOlympics Gold Medal
for Poverty Prevention.

Relevant web-pages about population and poverty on ozideas: