¡§We must remember that we still have a great many poor people.¡¨ In the essay ¡§The Position of Poverty¡¨ by John Kenneth Galbraith, his stance on poverty is clearly illustrated and can be compared to the essay on today¡¦s economic status, ¡§Why the Rich Are Getting Richer and the Poor, Poorer¡¨ by Robert Reich. Both essays propose a predicament in which the American society faces today, and through examples and metaphors, there appears to be one primary solution that I feel can aid those in need. To help enhance the life of those individuals who are most severely impacted by poverty and the rapidly sinking boat, the aim for a resolution should be towards the infrastructure of what these two notions are based upon.
The situation of poverty today has not improved significantly since several decades ago. Galbraith stated that ¡§The result was to reduce poverty from the problem of a majority to that of a minority.¡¨ Thus Galbraith argues that though the majority of individuals are not afflicted by these problems, a vast number of the small groups, the minorities of this nation, are severely impacted by this deficiency. There are two cases mentioned in his essay, case poverty and insular poverty. Case poverty represents specific individuals who are experiencing an ¡§inadequacy precluding employment and participation in the general advance.¡¨ A person possessing mental deficiencies, bad health, or perhaps a combination of several of these handicaps has excluded these individuals from actively participating in the general welfare. These types of predicaments can be solved on a personal basis, through charity and the assistance from other members of the community such as church groups, etc.
The more dominant and extreme quandaries exist globally in a category Galbraith called insular poverty. This group is said to ¡§manifest itself as an ¡¥island¡¦ of poverty.¡¨ Instead of limiting poverty to specific cases, ¡§everyone or nearly everyone is poor.¡¨ It is rather difficult to separate this ¡§island¡¨ of people who are living in a deficient surrounding and inhumane life. The thought of characterizing an entire community is improper and insignificant in determining a solution for these islands. The widespread regions of severe poverty in America are not true depictions of poverty when compared to other continents where there are sights indescribable to any people such as many upper-middle class citizens.
Relating this second type of poverty to Reich¡¦s notion of his ¡§first boat¡¨ of producers which is sinking rapidly, they both possess a central solution that is definitely not easily accomplished. In both so-called ¡§boats¡¨, insular poverty is a situation that appears hopeless¡Xa similar scenario to that of the first boat and even possibly Reich¡¦s second boat, the in-person servers. These two distinct circumstances can ideally by resolved by attacking the root of the problem so to speak. The group which possesses the most potential in enhancing the overall life of poverty-stricken communities is the children. Galbraith is clear and concise when he says that ¡§To eliminate poverty efficiently, we must, indeed, invest more than proportionately in the children of the poor community." By making the extra effort in placing children first, it will help make sure they receive high quality teachings, strong health services, and other needs to compensate for the low incomes of each family. These benefits can ensure, or at least give these communities a new and better foundation upon which to grow. This idea also holds true for the first two boats mentioned in Reich¡¦s essay. One possible solution to this situation is emphasizing the importance of children today so that the citizens of tomorrow can positively affect the economy of the future. By educating and properly raising children today, their positive influences can affect the overall outcome of the future. If this fundamental idea can be carried out for the years to come, the ¡§sinking boats¡¨ will no longer be a threat to the employment in this nation. This proposition should result in almost all individuals to strive to be a part of Reich¡¦s third and final boat. Technology will no longer be a hindrance to employees, but rather an aid in furthering the success of corporations and the overall success of the economy.
Our prominent obstacle today is the problem of placing children first, but as Galbraith