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Facts that lead to poverty: th
Poverty occurs in most parts of the world. Nevertheless, the more serious and problematical poverty takes part in the third world and the southern parts of the globe. First of all, we have to clearly define the word “poverty”. In a broad sense, it means that people within this “poverty” region are poor or have a lower average income per capita than other regions. To a deeper approach, we refer “poverty” as people have low educational backgrounds, lack of food supplies, or people with lower standard of livings, etc. According to the Webster’s New World Dictionary, the word “poverty” can be defined as: 1) the condition or quality of being poor 2) deficiency; inadequacy 3) scarcity (Webster’s p.461). Generally in this essay, we will examine the facts that lead to the poverty of these third world and southern countries.
The first and the most serious problem that causes by poverty are hunger, or preciously, malnutrition. We can find these kinds of problems almost all over Africa and some other underdeveloped countries. These were witnessed by thousands of people through TV, radio, newspaper, journals, etc. “In the early 1980s, the mass media dramatically brought us the picture of hunger from Africa – starving children, skin and bone, with their bloated bellies, too weak to even stand up.” (Warnock p.1) At the same time, people living in more developed countries or wealthy states are enjoying different kinds of delicious meals and dumping whatever they don’t like. Why would this happen? Can we refer this to the government or economical policies that rise the problems? To further explore the problem of hunger in Africa, we can easily relate this to poverty. In fact, there may be some other problems that cause the hunger. For example, local drought in the African Sahel that damages the cropping; which in turn shorten the local food supplies. The other factor is the rapid population growth in Africa. Increasing capita means an increase demand of food. People in Africa are rarely taught the knowledge of birth-control. “If you have money you eat well, no matter how fast the population around you is growing and no matter how short the supplies of energy or land or fertilizer.” (Kent p.77) According to Kent’s view, we shall see that money can buy off the problem of hunger easily. But why Africa is still facing a lot of famine problems within its region? This can be explained by the “chain-effect” of poverty and hunger. If people are poor, they won’t have enough to produce in order to exchange for money. Without money, they will suffer from hunger and famine and not be able to produce efficiently due to their lack of energy. Now that we can see the problem is magnetized.
The other issues that rise poverty in Africa is the irrational economical policies and huge amount of financial debts. “According to U.N. Economic Commission for Africa, the debt-service obligations within African countries dedicating an estimated 34 percent of the income generated by the export of goods and services to interest payments.” (Reeves p.115) We can see that many of the incomes generated by the working forces are obligating for the foreign debt payments. One of the irrational policies that spread hunger in Africa is the structural adjustment program (SAPs):
…promoted by the World Bank and other donors. Central to adjustment programs, cuts in government food subsidies have triggered riots in many African capitals during the last several years and have meant that many families are unable to purchase sufficient amounts of bread, sugar, or other basic commodities… Throughout the continent, SAPs have called for the reduction of the often-bloated civil service sector, triggering widespread urban unemployment, and have also prescribed repeated currency devaluation, thus reducing the purchasing power of consumers. (Reeves p.124)
The third factor that triggers hunger is the militarization Africa. Throughout the years, in wars were fought inside and outside the lands of Africa. These wars had negatively weakened the production of the people. “War turns farmlands into battle zones, removes able-bodied producers from the agricultural sector, disrupts transport and marketing, and directs the bulk of foreign exchange earnings to the military.” (Reeves p.111) As ... more
Find essay on Authoritarian Power
While the isle of Cuba was initially discovered on October 27, 1492 during one
of Columbus first voyages, it wasnt actually claimed by Spain until the
sixteenth century. However, its tumultuous beginnings as a Spanish sugar
colony provides an insightful backdrop into the very essence of the countrys
political and economic unrest. From its early revolutionary days to the
insurrectional challenge of the Marxist-Leninist theories emerged the
totalitarian regime under Fidel Castro in present day Cuba. Cuban colonial
society was distinguished by the characteristics of colonial societies in
general, namely a stratified, inegalitarian class system; a poorly
differentiated agricultural economy; a dominant political class made up of
colonial officers, the clergy, and the military; an exclusionary and elitist
education system controlled by the clergy; and a pervasive religious system.1
Cubas agrarian monocultural character, economically dependant upon sugar
cultivation, production and export severely restricted its potential for growth
as a nation, thereby firmly implanting its newly sprouted roots firmly in the
trenches of poverty from the very beginning of the countrys existence. In
1868, Cuba entered in to The Ten Years War against Spain in a struggle for
independence, but to no avail. Ten years of bitter and destructive conflict
ensued, but the goal of independence was not achieved. Political divisions among
patriot forces, personal quarrels among rebel military leaders, and the failure
of the rebels to gain the backing of the United States, coupled with stiff
resistance from Spain and the Cubans inability to carry the war in earnest to
the western provinces, produced a military stalemate in the final stages.2 The
war had a devastating effect on an already weak economic and political
infrastructure. The defeat, however, did not hinder the resolution of the Cuban
proletariat for an independent nation. In the words of one author, The Cubans
ability to wage a costly, protracted struggle against Spain demonstrated that
proindependence sentiment was strong and could be manifested militarily. On the
other hand, before any effort to terminate Spanish control could succeed,
differences over slavery, political organization, leadership, and military
strategy had to be resolved. In short, the very inconclusiveness of the war left
a feeling that the Cubans could and would resume their struggle until their
legitimate political objectives of independence and sovereignty were attained.3
The years following the Ten Years War were harsh and austere. The
countryside, ravaged and desolate, bankrupted Spanish sugar interests in Cuba,
virtually destroying the industry. The Spanish owners sold out to North American
interests, a process accelerated by the final abolition of slavery in Cuba in
1886.4 The end of slavery, naturally, meant the end of free labor. The sugar
growers, therefore, began to import machinery from the United States.
Essentially, Cuba deferred its economic dependence from Spain directly to the
U.S. What became known as the American Sugar Refining Company supplied from
seventy to ninety percent of all sugar consumed by the United States, thus
mandating the direction of the Cuban agricultural industry and thereby
controlling its economy. Moreover, the United States interventionism in the
Cuban-Spanish war in 1898, motivated primarily by interests in the Cuban market,
led the surrender of the Spanish army directly to the United States, not Cuba.
This war later became known as the Spanish-American War. The leader and
organizer of the Cuban Revolutionary Party, Jose Martis, goal of true
independence was buried without honor in 1898.5 In the years from 1902 to 1959,
following the institution of the Platt Amendment, which was an amendment to the
Cuban constitution, that stated that the United States had the right to
intervene in Cuba at any time, a period which came to be termed the Pseudo
Republic ensued. In the words of General Wood: Of course, Cuba has been left
with little or no independence by the Platt Amendment...The Cuban Government
cannot enter into certain treaties without our consent, nor secure loans above
certain limits, and it must maintain the sanitary conditions that have been
indicated. With the control that we have over Cuba, a control which, without
doubt, will soon turn her into our possession, soon we will practically control
the sugar market in the world. I believe that it is a very desirable acquisition
for the United States. The island will gradually be Americanized, and in
the due course we will have one of the most rich and desirable possessions
existing in the entire world...6 The Great Depression however, had a immense
impact on United States holdings of the Cuban sugar industry. In the summer
and fall of 1920 when the price of sugar fell from twenty-two cents a pound to
three ... more
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