All posts tagged: Poverty

From the Millennium to Sustainable Development Goals: A New Paradigm

Approaches to development rely on a particular world view. Understanding development in terms of wealth can lead to different practices and different results as understanding development in terms of freedom. The UN has taken the ‘alternative’ view on development, focusing on human development, rather than focusing on national wealth. However, even within this one organisation, changes in their ‘world view’ can be seen, affecting their development programmes.

Evaluating different measurements of poverty.

In attempting to assess the policies, namely the neoliberal policies of the last thirty years on the poor, three different ways of measuring poverty have been put forward, all with their own merits and disadvantages The first way of measuring it is the absolute income approach. The World Bank currently measures poverty in terms of people living on less than $1.90 a day. This approach has shown poverty to decrease from 50% of the world’s population in 1980 to 10% today. Peter Edwards criticizes the $1.90 figure for being too low, himself proposing $7.60. That to shows poverty to have gone down from 73% in 1980 to 60% today (as a % of world population). These absolute income approaches all show poverty to have gone in % of people down since 1980, and so are deemed inadequate by critical theorists who insist poverty is more than just how much someone is making. The next way of measuring poverty is the relative approach. Those advocating this approach insist that poverty is relative- Adam Smith himself saying …

Government attempts at reducing poverty in the UK

The conservative party traditionally considers the poor as a natural aspect of the economy. They believe high benefits are a disincentive to hard work for the poor that develop a culture of dependency on the state and the rich who are taxed highly on their incomes. The labour party however believe there are too many people stuck in the poverty trap. They therefore oppose particularly low wages and are willing to intervene in order to prevent them. Additionally, unlike the conservative party, new labour think benefits can be used as a carrot and not a stick in order to incentivise work. The somewhat ‘pro-poverty’ ideological stance of the conservative party under Thatcher meant that they wanted a social security system that was a mere very low safety. They therefore reformed the system in order to make benefits much harder to obtain -having a very little, if not non-existent effect on the reduction of poverty within the UK. New Labour however, when they came to power in 1997 pledged to challenge child and pensioner poverty through …