Is poverty a result of choices or circumstances?


To be in poverty means to be really poor, or where it is hard for someone to fill all of their needs.


There are many people living in poverty. In 2011, almost 16 percent of Americans were living in poverty. Some "groups" have higher poverty rates then others. Governments and social scientists have analyzed poverty classified according to race, gender, age, where they live and other groups. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders make the highest income ($65,129), followed by whites ($55,412), Hispanics ($38,624), and then African Americans. ($32,229). Also, women tend to earn less money than men. Women might have to spend more time taking care of children and their house than male parents do, so they are less eligible for extra work hours, promotions and overtime pay.


There are many causes of poverty. One cause is that poor nations and people are many times powerless, so some get wealthy while many struggle. Cheap food can undercut farmers who can't compete with the prices, so they are driven out of their jobs and into poverty. Also, when governments have bad policies, that can cause people to go into poverty. Others believe the people themselves made decisions that brought them into poverty, like no individual responsibility. Some research shows that bad choices are the cause of poverty, not economic conditions.


The effects of poverty are that very few actually get wealthy while the majority struggle. Poor people are more likely to make bad decisions or mistakes. According to research, being preoccupied with with money problems is a cause of 13 less IQ points. Poor people also people also use less preventive health care and less access to education and other services.


I personally don't think there is a right answer to the question, "Is poverty a result of bad choices or just bad circumstances?" just because there are both. If someone has the opportunity of good education and doesn't try hard, they could end up failing, not getting a good job, and ending up in poverty. However, if someone is born into a really poor family and doesn't have the opportunity for education and stays poor, this is because of their circumstances. Some may argue if they work really hard, they can bring themselves out of poverty, but it isn't that easy, especially if they have absolutely NO opportunities. Another cause of poverty can be if someone has a disability that prevents them from doing something like getting a job or going to school.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I think it is an opinion-based question that doesn't have one right answer. Most of the time, if someone is in poverty they can get out of it if they truly want it and work hard enough for it. Again, this doesn't apply to everyone because not everyone has the chance to try their best.


Works Cited

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Gallup. Percent of Population Living on Less Than $1.25 per Day. Digital image. Gallup. Gallup, Inc., 2014. Web.

National Center for Children in Poverty. Child Poverty Rates by Race/ethnicity, 2008. Digital image. National Center for Children in Poverty. National Center for Children in Poverty, 2014. Web.

Patritio, San. Shining Lights in the Midst of Poverty. Digital image. Amigos Del Peru. N.p., 16 Apr. 2012. Web.

"Poverty in the Philippines: Causes, Constraints and Opportunities." Asian Development Bank. Asian Development Bank, 25 Oct. 2013. Web. 16 Dec. 2014.

"Poverty." Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection. Detroit: Gale, 2014. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 15 Dec. 2014.

Shah, Anup. "Causes of Poverty." - Global Issues. N.p., 28 Sept. 2014. Web. 14 Dec. 2014.

Skees, Suzanne. Poverty. Digital image. Seeds of Hope. Skees Family Foundation, 2014. Web.

A Slum in Manila during Flooding in October 2009. Digital image. Asia Society. Asia Society, 2014. Web.

"What's Intentional Poverty, and Why Are so Many People Choosing It?" MNN. MNN HOLDING COMPANY, LLC., 2014. Web. 15 Dec. 2014.