Poverty Position Paper

“You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me. ” (John 12:8 from the New Living Translation). Even Jesus Christ said that the poor will always live among us, and that poverty will always be an issue in our society.

One of the stated goals of the Canadian Government was to end child poverty in Canada by the year 2000. It is now 2010 and this goal has still not been met. From my limited research on poverty I have come to believe that this social change will not be possible in the near future.Expenses in our society, behaviour problems and welfare all keep the ones that are in poverty, in poverty. Firstly, I believe that expenses are too high in our society. The poor struggle to survive in this economy when food and clothing expenses are too high. There are not enough places to shop that are affordable for people with a low income.

If one wants to buy nice clothes for a funeral or wedding one has to pay almost a hundred dollars for a whole outfit. These prices do not need to be so high.It does not cost nearly that much to make the clothing, stores are only increasing the prices to fit the economy. Meanwhile, there are hardly any jobs paying more than minimum wage, which a single mother with six kids needs. A single parent cannot support his or her family with a job that pays only minimum wage, especially when housing and food and clothing are so expense. It is very hard for a single parent to find suitable and affordable housing when they usually have many kids. Low income housing needs to be more affordable and have more than two rooms for bigger families.

Furniture expenses are also too high; families in poverty sometimes cannot even afford more than one bed (if even one) because they are so expensive. I think that our needy economy is one of the main problems that cause poverty and sustain it. I believe that in order for child poverty to end in Canada, our society has to lower expenses to make them more affordable for everyone. Secondly, I believe that behavioural and mental problems keep people in poverty. From a psychologist’s point of view, the pattern of poverty in a family is like the circle of life.It starts when generations after generations in a family are poor. Abuse, drugs and alcohol lead the next generations in having the same behaviours creating the cycle to continue.

When a child is abused and grows up around drugs and alcohol, they grow up to either believe that it is alright to behave in those ways or just exert those behaviours because that’s what they were shown and are used to. If a child grows up in one of these homes they often do not feel loved or have self-worth therefore they need some other kind of satisfaction like drugs or alcohol.They may also need to spend money on those foolish things, or even simply splurge on clothes and food because they need a feeling of self-worth and satisfaction. In the psychological mind set of poverty, behaviours and mental problems keep families in poverty, and these behavioural problems are one of the main reasons why I believe that child poverty will not end anytime soon. Lastly, I believe that going on welfare will not end poverty. Simply giving people money will not solve the problem of poverty. Firstly, the money is not enough.

The money people receive from welfare is not enough to be out of poverty, it only covers ones basic needs. Once someone gets a job and there income increases a little, that money is deducted from their welfare check and they do not get as much. This makes it very hard for someone to get ahead and save money when it is only enough to survive and then you do not get as much when you get a job. Secondly, some people spend the welfare money on other things like drugs, alcohol or other bad or unimportant things.Therefore the money is not useful for them anyways and does not bring them out of poverty because they use the money in a bad way. Some people are big spenders and use the money for electronics, or unneeded clothes so the money is not really benefitting them in bringing them out of poverty. The welfare money from the government is not really eliminating poverty; therefore I believe it is another reason why child poverty will not end in the near future.

Poverty is a huge issue in our society. The Canadian Government stated that their goal was to end child poverty by the year 2000, however it is still an issue today.I feel that poverty will continue to be an issue and this social change will not happen because of high expenses, behaviour problems, and welfare concerns. These are the main reasons why this change will not happen in my opinion, but I also believe it is because we as a society are not helping the poor out enough. We should be supporting them with money, food, and shelter, and creating more services to help them. We also need to raise awareness about poverty in Canada, as many people do not even realize it is happening in our own backyard. -Amy Cuppage

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