Poverty, Social Welfare & Social Policy
This paper focuses on the causes, impact of poverty as well as reviews of social welfare and different policies that can be employed to reduce poverty amongst individuals. The paper also takes a closer look at policy strategies from the United States for a comparative point of view with countries with high poverty levels. Additionally, the topic includes a wide range of research studies from economic, sociology, psychology, public health and political science (O’Connor 25-80). Lastly the paper addresses a number of questions including
- What is poverty
- Why is poverty persistent
- Why are poverty rates among the minority high
- What is the causal impact of poverty on adults and children and
- What is the effect of social welfare and policies on poverty
Additionally, the topic defines poverty as lack of shelter and minimum food among other necessities for maintaining good life. Extreme lack of essential needs including food and clothing is known as absolute poverty. For example, a high number of up to 35million people live in poverty in the United States of America.
There are many causes of poverty across the globe. While some of the causes can be completely eliminated by employing certain measures, getting rid of underlying and major causes remain a highly critical challenge across the globe. Changing economic trends, lack of access to education, epidemic diseases, corruption, overpopulation, environmental issues and culture of poverty are leading and root causes of poverty. There are also a wide range of social implications in relevance with this topic (90-102).
The effects of poverty as well as its sociological implications are widespread and quite adverse on the populations of many countries across the globe. Those who grow up in poverty experience severe, persistent and regular health issues compared to those who grow up in areas with low poverty levels. Additionally, many children born in poor environments tend to have physical, mental and low birth weight related problems.
Many infants also die before they are born and for those who are born, they end up being severely affected by high poverty levels. Similarly, children born in poor backgrounds miss school frequently because of illness related issues. Moreover, people from poor families are known to have high accident rates compared to those from rich backgrounds (105-110).
Social welfare on the other hand can be defined as prosperity, health and general wellbeing of the people of a country. It represents crucial values that the society can be built on. It also aims at ensuring awareness amongst the people on the most ideal ways of enhancing the quality of life. Social welfare programs aim at enhancing goals and values that support the way of living in the society.
The implications of such programs are to enhance and facilitate the quality of life by initiating the programs directed at uplifting individuals as well as providing quality education and health programs. Social welfare programs are also made probable through application of social policies aimed at achieving set goals and objectives for enhanced quality of life amongst the citizens of a given country.
Social policy denotes activities, guidelines, legislation and principles that affect and influence the lifestyle or living conditions favorable to welfare of humans. It also analyzes the response of the society to social needs of the people. Additionally, it is primarily focused on issues affecting the society, policy and economy among such factors that are very critical to human living and ways in which they can be made available.
The policies shape access and distribution processes of goods as well as resources in a given country with at aim of promoting equality for all (Whitman 28-100).
Observations and analyses
In Canada, poverty remains high and common. Its rate of poverty is high amongst the world’s richest nations. Canada experiences declining poverty levels in the recent past and some of the programs employed in the country to help citizens are designed by the government based on what the country’s market can provide.
Canada also has a high rate of government transfer payments to the citizens and it amounts to more than $176.6billion shillings. What’s more, the government has taken the initiative to fund public education and Medicare for its people as a policy measure to help reduce poverty levels and to enhance the quality of life (World Development Indicators 58).
All provinces in Canada provide publicly funded and universal healthcare services to its citizens. The services are medically essential especially for citizens who cannot afford high Medicare costs. There are also other social programs that have been subsidized by federal authority in Canada. Provinces in the country are also responsible for ensuring that children going to school access quality education.
Education in Canada is a must up to the age of sixteen. Both high school and elementary education in the country is available at a normal cost to ensure that many citizens afford. Similarly, federal government in the country provides safety nets and funds to students and the elderly. All these steps are aimed at reducing poverty levels in the country (108-1588).
Another good example of poverty, social welfare and social policy is Bangladesh. It is the most densely populated country in the world with more than 150million people. Bangladesh also has more than 20 percent of its total population living under the poverty line of 2 US Dollar a day.
Bangladesh also has child malnutrition rate of 48 percent. The country is also characterized with high corruption levels, overpopulation, insufficient electricity, poor roads, overpopulation and political instability. Economic growth in Bangladesh is also low, between 5 and 6 percent per annum. The country similarly, remains overpopulated, poorly governed and poor (198).
The population in Bangladesh is also predominantly rural with high rural poverty levels. More than 45 percent of the people of Bangladesh rely on agriculture for their livelihood. Additionally, it lacks enough working welfare programs that can help enhance the lives of its citizens. The government of Bangladesh also has limited social policies that can be pursued to ensure equal sharing of resources amongst its people (200-289).
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O’Connor, Alice. Poverty Knowledge: Social Science, Social Policy, and the Poor in Twentieth-Century U.S. History. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 2001. Print.
Whitman, Sylvia. World Poverty. New York, NY: Facts on File, Inc, 2008. Print.
World Development Indicators, 2005. Washington, D.C: World Bank, 2005. Print.