CROWDSOURCE: Poverty Perspectives

This week let’s use the crowdsource to discuss Goldsmith and Blakely’s (2010) chapter, “Top-down Economics and Bottom-up Policites” in their book, Separate Societies: Poverty and Inequality. We will use this crowdsource as a way to being making sense of this chapter together.

Specifically, the chapter presents three perspectives on the question, ‘Why does poverty exist?’.  What are the various perspectives?  Can you give examples to help explain these perspectives?  Which perspective presents the most compelling argument for explaining poverty?  How do these perspectives mesh with you own understandings of poverty?

Also consider: What other points in the chapter did you find interesting, intriguing, complicated or confusing?  What do you have questions about?

Remember, this is a collective/group project, so you don’t need to respond to each of the prompts listed above – together we should respond to these questions.  In that regard, you should read others comments and add to the conversation (not repeat a point someone already made).  This may be responding to someone’s comment, or answering/trying to answer a question posed by another student, or questioning a point made by another student.

REMINDER: You are not posting to the blog for this assignment.  You will include your thoughts and responses in the comments section of this post.

Comments due by 12noon, Sunday 9/11/16

For more general information on the weekly crowdsource, click here.


Weekly Crowdsource


  1. In their analysis of why poverty exists, Goldsmith and Blakely blame the political and economic forces for generating it rather than combating it. It is caused by a force of events, such as the promotion of competition in our globalized economy, that impose separation among the people based on their class status by isolating them geographically, economically, and socially. This then leads to discrimination in housing, neighborhood quality, public services, and employment. While they do try to help stimulate more interest in the problems of the urban poor, scholars could also be worsening the situation by assigning them labels of “persistent” poverty, the “underclass,” or the “new” poor, and its portrayal all over the media just doesn’t ameliorate anything either. While some social scientists hold that poverty is caused by flawed values and attitudes being passed down in the family, others put the blame on the social structure and lack of opportunity. Either way, however, these lower-class individuals might sometimes behave in self-destructive ways due to feelings of worthlessness since that is how they’re treated. I think it’s about time for this society to wake up and start making more equitable changes that will give a sense of promise to all its members. We really need to be careful how we act with everyone because not only do our actions affect them but they could also bounce back at us in terms of violence and crime.

  2. One of the key points brought up in this chapter is that although poverty has been classified and acknowledged to be an issue in our nation, for the many years it has tried to rectify the issue, we see that our economic and political influences no longer help reduce the poverty; instead advance it’s further growth. Another interesting and relatable point brought up is how those living in poverty are only separated further from non poor individuals because of preconceived notions towards them. If the separation wasn’t bad enough, competition in our nation only further widens the gap. The use of race, gender, status, social background, etc. to decide who is fit for the job encourages poverty and discrimination in many communities. Three concepts of poverty mentioned are behavior of the poor, liberal public policy, and economic structure. These concepts helped develop an observers point of view towards the way poverty has been created in many communities and how many policies and ideas have further tried to remedy it but have failed to do so. Finally the first chapter ends with what Goldsmith, and Blakely believe are the steps to help change poverty but are aware that political influence plays a huge role in how we see poverty. Step by step can we gradually make change to poverty but we must first act on it locally and then globally.

  3. The three perspectives of poverty in this chapter are poverty as pathology, poverty as incident or accident, and poverty as structure. The poverty as pathology argument made the most sense to me because the idea that poverty is increasing because a permissive welfare state has generated a large group of bums. The authors made it clear that this claims have been refuted by research and that these ideas sow racism, and sexism more than anything. For me I’ve always thought that if you born into poverty its not your fault, but when you die if your in the same spot forever than its definitely your fault. But i guess after reading all this stuff about poverty you see that maybe theres not an even playing field.

  4. In the article “Top-Down Economics and Bottom-up Politics” by Goldsmith and Blakely: The authors attempted to highlight three main causes of poverty, even shedding their opinion on a few. For example, in the article one “reason” that can lead to poverty was stated as the “Family values [being] persistent because wrong attitudes and values were passed on by parents and communities.” This was one of the reasons that they attempted to refute. However, I agree with that reason being one large reason as to why some people are poor. Obviously not every poor person is poor due to the fact that they are lazy, but I do believe that some people are comfortably uncomfortable. While stating that the “family values” statement was racist and pertaining mainly to blacks that is not the case. Maybe he debunked this reason due to his attempt to be politically correct. However even though he assumed that this was aimed at blacks it’s really not, many whites are poor and lazy. Many poor neighborhoods have a higher high school dropout rate (I believe that that is mostly due to laziness). How does he explain that? Another statement that really bothered me when I read it was that the only programs that are really benefiting the poor are the disability and unemployment benefits. The only programs that help the poor are the ones that blatantly hand out money? There aren’t any programs that give the unemployed jobs? And if there are, those don’t work? While disability and unemployment benefits are important they shouldn’t be the only two programs that benefit the poor. Poverty exists for many reasons, not just one, and the presence of a poor class is inevitable, our job is to minimize its influence and size.

  5. In Chapter 1 of Goldsmith and Blakely’s Separate Societies: Poverty and Inequality, entitled “Top-Down Economics and Bottom-Up Politics,” three theories/perspectives are presented on the question of “Why does poverty exist?” These theories/perspectives take into consideration how a steady increase in poverty over the years could be perceived as a pathological event, an incidental/accidental event, or a structural event; I believe that both the pathology and structural theories both present more compelling arguments for explaining poverty. Under the pathology perspective, Goldsmith and Blakely discuss how various notions were tossed around that “the poor are irrational (and therefore to blame for their own problems)” and that “family poverty was persistent because wrong values and attitudes were passed on by parents and communities to new generations” (5). Despite how these two notions were refuted, they still seem to be constantly applied upon today’s society; for instance, because black people are often labeled as irrational and are “given [a] limited range of accessible options” to succeed in life (6), some of them may turn to a delinquent subculture to create their own criteria of achievement and in turn pass on their personal principles of success onto their future children. Under the structural perspective, Goldsmith and Blakely discuss how the “globalization of the American economy has forced massive changes in the industrial structure of U.S. cities,” and as a result, “minority populations in central cities are now more than ever victims of poverty, marginalized and exploited, pushed aside or employed at low wages” (9). In addition, the possibility that a person could be laid off from their job or have their job outsourced could demonstrate how “an uneven and undependable labor demand has always threatened the poor” (9). With this in mind, we can see how the structural perspective pertains to Goldsmith and Blakely’s highly intriguing idea that society “make[s] the poor the victims and dependents of public charity rather than participants in generating resources for themselves or their families” (10).

  6. You’re definitely right that for certain people it could be their own fault, like when whites drop out of school or something like that but when a minority group is affected I think that it’s because of the racism and discrimination they face in society. And yes, there really needs to be better programs implemented that actually provide growth for the poor, like enhancing their educational opportunities so they could eventually find jobs, rather than just letting them off the hook with free money.

  7. In Goldsmith and Blakely’s chapter, “Top-down Economics and Bottom-up Politics”, they discuss three different perspectives on why poverty exists. I believe that the theory poverty as pathology is more present in our society and is commonly used to explain why poverty exists in this country. Although I feel like it’s more present in our society, I don’t think it’s the biggest cause of our poverty problem. A point made in the chapter that I agree with said, “family poverty was persistent because wrong values and attitudes were passed on by parents and communities to new generations.” This is completely true mainly because we learn from our parents and from the surroundings we grow up in, and old generations may not be as educated as they should be and are unable to pass on valuable knowledge to their children. I also think it’s very true that people are a product of the society they grow up, so if a person grows up poor and feels like they don’t have a lot of opportunities to succeed then I feel like they are most likely to give up and they remain in the same poverty cycle that they grew up in. The theory of poverty as pathology makes a lot of good arguments as to how poor people suffer from their own activity, but I do believe that a lot of poor people try and work their hardest to get out of poverty. I think poverty as incident or accident is a big cause in why poverty still exists today. There aren’t enough opportunities for everyone, especially equal opportunities. I strongly believe that there is a lot of discrimination when it comes to who is given more opportunities and resources. Instead of public programs providing short term relief, they need to work on programs that provide long term relief. Poverty will continue to get worse and increase if we’re not giving everyone the same opportunities to succeed or create a better life. I didn’t understand the theory of poverty as structure, it seemed like a more complicated theory than the other two. I don’t understand what is meant by “structure” and what the theory is actually describing. Other than that, the chapter makes very compelling arguments that collided with my understanding of what poverty is and it also helped expand my mind with understand the different perspectives.

  8. The three perspectives presented in this chapter were, poverty as pathology, poverty as incident or accident, and poverty as structure. Poverty as pathology, for example, is when you’re living in an environment were the wrong attitudes and mindsets are constantly being brought into view, you are more likely to grow up and live in poverty as well, because you start to mimic these wrong attitudes you grew up around. Poverty as incident or accident, for example, programs such as unemployment benefits help people living in poverty tremendously, and when these programs get cut from the budget these people that rely on the help from these programs suffer. For me I found poverty as structure to be a hard concept to understand. My views toward poverty point mostly in the direction of the perspective, poverty as pathology. I think it is true that if you grow up around unmotivated and negative attitudes, you are likely to inherit the same attitudes.

  9. Goldsmith and Blakely address the question ‘Why does poverty exist?’ in the first chapter, “Top-down Economics and Bottom-up Politics” in their book, Separate Societies: Poverty and Inequality. The three perspectives of poverty in this chapter are poverty as pathology, poverty as incident or accident, and poverty as structure. I believe the poverty as pathology perspective is the most compelling argument for explaining poverty. I also believe this perspective is the most common when it comes to thinking about poverty in our modern day society. The authors state “Social scientist claimed that family poverty was persistent because wrong values and attitudes were passed on by parents and communities to new generations.” Although this statement is not always true, a lot of the time it can be supported. For example, a child born in a lower class household and area can be prone to follow in the footsteps of his or her surroundings. “These stereotypes…will sometimes behave in ways that appear to be self-destructive because they have no other choice.” I feel poverty as pathology is the most common thought of form of poverty, although it may not be the only form. After reading this article it allowed me to expand my understandings for different perspectives pertaining to the causes of poverty.

  10. In Chapter 1, Goldsmith and Blakely break down many of the causes and effects of poverty. Although they begin to break down the dimensions of poverty, they chose the word “separation” to bring them together (2). This separation is continuing to grow, as the poor separate from those who are not. The poor are having a hard time getting a job to support their families due to the globalizing economy, and the demand of a higher level of credentials. This is hard for the poor to obtain because in the neighborhoods and they grow up in or where they came from. They don’t have equal opportunities as others with different backgrounds and upbringings would. This cycle is hard to stop because their children are likely to grow into the same kind of environment. Common stereotypes about the poor suggest that they are worthless and to blame for their own problems. But Goldsmith and Blakely argue that they engage in reasonable behavior, considering their limitations in options, backgrounds and skills, and the difficulty in seeking new and distant jobs (6).

  11. In Goldsmith’s chapter “Top-down Economics and Bottom-up Politics”, Poverty seems to be the main Idea of this chapter. He explains the case of poverty to be mostly separation and inequality of the poor and the non-poor. As poor people they do not receive the attention and are not focused as a main concern which is why poverty is spread throughout the population. Goldsmith says “New separation and political use of differences in race, social background, and place become the unavoidable consequences of new competition. In turn, these practices then build upon discrimination against the poor and minority persons in offers of employment, the assignment of status, and the distribution of income. ” This statement informs us that due to competition and differences in race and social background, not everyone is able to get the same freedom and distribution of status or income. This then causes the outcome of inequality and judgment towards the poor and anyone who is of lower class. Personally, I believe that because of a certain race some may be neglected and avoided which causes them to be separated from those who are privileged with more rights. The three perspectives are Poverty of Pathology, Poverty of incident or accident, and Poverty of Structure. Poverty of pathology is mainly about how the outer world and others affect a person and they are soon the ones to blame for their own problems. That usually deals with todays society and I believe it is one of the biggest reasons for why poverty exists today.

  12. In the chapter 1, “Separate Status: Top-Down Economics and Bottom-Up Politics” by William W. Goldsmith and Edward J. Blakely, they talk about three different perspectives of poverty. The three perspectives are poverty as pathology, poverty as incident or accident, and poverty as structure. On the perspective, poverty as incident or accident, there are programs for the poor to rely on like the medicare benefits and the social security pensions. Just like an example from the chapter, the “New York State’s Work Incentive program (WIN), aimed at welfare mothers, has helped very few women move into stable employment.” (7-8) It wasn’t all the women, only a few but the WIN program was trying to support as much as they can. According from the broader perspective of poverty, they described poverty as separation and I agree with that. People are treated not equally and how they are isolated from the rich especially they don’t get the same opportunities. How they live are completely different especially their lifestyle, the poverty would work hard labor while the rich wouldn’t do hard labor and the rich earns more money than the poor. It isn’t fair for them especially when they are trying to survive and make their lifestyle better for themselves and their family. Every person should be treated equally and fairly,

  13. In this article by Goldsmith and Blakely, the main theme is “separation”. I really enjoyed the example used of “a melting pot in reverse”. We have all heard of the term “melting pot” but I think that it is more accurate to use the term how it was used in the article. We’d love to say that America is all united as one but as the years progress I feel that sadly this becomes less true. Although the United states developed tremendously in the past decades, we are nowhere near where we need to be. I feel like the more connected we are to each other, in every sense possible, the stronger we’ll become as a country. This separation doesn’t stay in one field. It follows us throughout our lives. In work, housing, schools and everything else imaginable.

  14. I agree with you about how the poor is having a hard time getting a job, not having equal opportunities, and how hard it is for them. I also agree how the separation is growing. Hopefully the programs to help the poor will try to make their lives a bit more comfortable and a bit of their burdens to be lifted.

  15. In the article “Top-Down Economics and Bottom-up Politics” by Goldsmith and Blakely: author mention the point that we are all acknowledged and classified of poverty in America. For past to present, it has tried to fix the issue, yet our economic and political influence no longer help to reduce this poverty. The author points out three different theories of poverties. Poverty as pathology, Poverty as incident or accident, poverty as structure. All three theories have their point, however I agree the most with poverty as structure. In this view ,We are blaming the system, which we subscribe, certain patterns of large – scale socio economic arrangements, as well as change,create poverty and prevent its alleviation(8). Article states that patterns of international migration and labor markets changed due to the globalization of the American economy(8). With few exception minority populations in central cities are now more than ever victims of poverty, marginalized and exploited, pushed aside or employed at low wages(8). An uneven and undependable labor demand has always threatened the poor(8). Just like how it stated, minority populations are victimized. How can we expect them to be get out of poverty when they are marginalized and exploited, pushed aside or employed at low wages? How can we say they suffer from poverty because the defects of their own activities? When It’s so clear that the socioeconomic, our system is effecting the minority and not being equitable for them. I don’t think it is fair to say poverty is individual’s fault , and we should think about how our arrangement of socioeconomic is effecting the minority.

    Top-Down Economics and Bottom-Up Politics. (pp. 1-14). In Goldsmith, W., & Blakely, E. (2010). Separate societies: Poverty and inequality in US cities. Temple University Press.

  16. I agree with your statement and believe that the most important point made in this chapter was Goldsmith and Blakely’s blame on the political and economic forces for generating poverty. Page 2 states, “New separation and political use of differences in race, social background, and place become the unavoidable consequences of new competition. In turn, these practices then build upon discrimination against the poor and minority person in offers of employment, the assignment of status, and the distribution of income.” The disproportionate power distribution within the political system is the biggest factor leading to poverty. Political stability and security is essential for the growth of an affluent society. A political system lacking these qualities acts as a huge barrier for economic prosperity. As mentioned in your response, a government that is designed like this isolates individuals geographically, economically, and socially. A political system that is focusing on only one geographic region at a time will ultimately lead to developmental problems and unequal distribution of wealth, therefore creating poverty. However, I believe this can be counteracted through a political system composed of a network of representatives that are equally spread throughout society. I agree with you and believe that each member of society deserves that sense of “promise” and equal treatment within our social structure.

  17. In the article, author pointed out three main ideas. Poverty as pathology, poverty as incident or accident, poverty as structure. America is an immigrant country. it is a melting pot for people from all over the world, especially the people from the developing countries. Part of them are illegal immigrants and cross the border between America and Mexico. The illegal immigrants are poverty as pathology and poverty as structure. They want to have a better lives in America than in their own countries but they remain the same life styles here. They do not go working and earn money for food and clothing. Some of them are begging on the street. The unemployment rate is increasing again. They make the society more poverty. This is main reason why president candidate Donald Trump wants to built the wall between America and Mexico. The illegal immigrants drag down the poverty line again after the great recession for the main society.

  18. I definitely agree with you with the main theme being “separation”. The article spoke to me when it mentioned that the poor and nonpoor become more separated over issues such as rationalizing poverty for those who are poor. Essentially making excuses, or putting blame on others, is deflecting from the real reasons people may be impoverished. Those that aren’t poor tend to ignore that lack of opportunity, based on race, gender, or other characteristics, that may influence those living in poverty. Instead of justifying poverty using these reasons, people should work together to make change and to bring more progression towards ending poverty. Like you said, the United States developed so much, but with its current conditions, some of steps taken towards equality have been sent back to square 1. It’s unfortunate that certain progression has been reversed, but its not too late to change, in terms of ending poverty, increasing equality, and stopping the separate, structured, and institutionalized form that poverty has taken.

  19. When the authors present their theories, specifically poverty as pathology, I felt that they could’ve included more on the psychological aspect of poverty as pathology because it can answer why people act a certain way. It could’ve been a mixture of pathology and institutions. For example, public schools often claim to be diverse and try to prepare students for the real world by teaching them basic skills and allowing them to attend programs that may help them find a secure job or stability. However, there are some outside forces that can squander the potential of a student such as lack of motivation or using facts and jumping to conclusions based on these facts. An example of this would be when a teacher or an authority figure tells this person that his people or race commit the most crime and that there is a high chance that he or somebody he knows will never have the chance to finish high school or get a job. This creates an idea in their head that maybe because of their skin color or where they were born, it becomes okay for them to not be able to finish high school or get a job because they dont have the traits or abilities as somebody else. The goals of these people are low and they dont think they have the same equal chance to succeed as the others. That brings me to the quality of life and the people surrounding the person. Better quality of life usually means that there are resources that are attainable for the community. Of course living in certain places with a low quality of life usually means that these resources are hard to attain and not everybody will have the same outcome because they dont have the same chances or opportunity to achieve their goals. Both Goldsmith and Blakely present solutions that I’ve heard a lot of times but nobody is doing much about it. Maybe it is because there are consequences or new problems that may arise if a country has no sign of poverty or inequality.

  20. The article “Top-down Economics and Bottom-up Politics” by Goldsmith and Blakely, they briefly discuss the three common different perspectives on “why poverty exist in our society” I believe that poverty exist because of wrong mindset and disadvantage of resource and the inability to out source help. A very good point was made in the article and it said, “Family poverty was persistent because wrong values and attitudes were passed on by parents and communities to new generations.” I think this quote from the article speak some truth, because I have friends that come from family that instill different spending habits and different mindset on how they would handle the economy. I also want to believe poverty is just a product of our ego, to justify the glory of having riches. The recurring idea that poverty is a pathology has a lot of points on how poor people suffer from their own disadvantage position, but I do believe these poor people are always trying and working their hardest to get out of “poverty”. Poverty exists, because opportunities and resources aren’t always available; with that discrimination and public be leaguing of their status. I believe that communities should build hard in creating a foundation where the needy can source to their community for help and assistance. Other than trying to make it through the day, I find the article to be informative and challenges your perspective on poverty.

  21. In Chapter 1 of Goldsmith’s chapter “Top-down Economics and Bottom-up Politics”, it is explained that poverty exists for reasons like growing wealth causing poverty to grow as well. As the wealthy get more wealthy, the poor get poorer. The perspectives on poverty discussed were poverty as pathology, poverty as incident or accident and poverty as structure. Poverty as pathology suggests that people in poverty are poverty stricken because of their own doing. Poverty as pathology suggests that people are poor because they did not do all they could to escape poverty and continue to live off things like welfare while never planning to change. Pathology also suggests that some people are in a “poverty culture” because it was passed on to them by their parents. The perspective “Poverty as a an incident or accident”, suggests that poverty is a result of or socio-economic system not being favorable to those in poverty stricken areas because many job opportunities are not fairly distributed due discrimination and segmentation. Poverty as a structure describes poverty as a result of the economic system changing and moving towards a less labor intensive market and therefore less accessible for the working class employees that have a harder time getting other jobs. In my opinion, a changing job market is our biggest cause of poverty here in the United States. The United States job market is not nearly as labor intensive as it once was when we made things like steel and automobiles, but today we make things like computer software and cell phone software. The change in the job market has made it much harder on the working class to find work because manual labor is not nearly as popular or necessary as it used to be.

  22. There is a certain way Goldsmith and Blakely describe poverty in “Top-Down Economics and Bottom-up Politics” as if it is something alive in a sense. It’s always moving and changing according to the people in power, but to understand it better, they give us three different theories of poverty and an in depth explanation of them all. The first one, tackles poverty as a result of a lack of motivation. It argues that “a permissive welfare state has generated a large group of nonparticipants, marginal people, bums” (4). There are many people who have this line of thinking, like Trump to name someone, and even the anchors and correspondents on Fox News. They argue about the reality of food stamps and how their tax money is going to feed a bunch of lazy people who refuse to work, when in reality, obtaining a job isn’t as easy for the people in poverty as it would be for them. They fail to see through the perspective of others, and argue that everybody has the same playing field when they can’t grasp the reality. The second states that “the growing problems of the poor are caused largely by cutbacks in national and local resources devoted to the promotion of social equity” (6-7). They see poverty as something that programs that are maintained well and are given enough resources will be able to fix the problem of poverty completely, but this is where it gets a bit difficult, because throughout history, even the programs that have been implemented before have only limited, not completely eliminated. Finally, we are given the poverty is a structure. It tells us that “certain patterns of large-scale socioeconomic arrangements, as well as change, creates poverty and prevents its alleviation” (8). Things like globalization have changed the economy, making it difficult for the government to make use of certain tools they have used in the past to combat poverty, because the relationships with the tools to the economy no longer are as effective as they used to be. This last theory makes the most sense to me, as poverty, as well as the economy, is a moving, breathing thing that changes according to the different situations it is put under. The patterns that take hold of our economy are prone to change the poverty that is an integral part of the economy as well, and there is no use in blaming the lack of programs or the lack of motivation in people because the evidence against that would be lacking in my opinion.

  23. I agree with the part you said that how people in poverty are always trying to get out of it, because it doesn’t make sense for people to want to willingly live in that state. They need help, and they get it in forms of food stamps and food drives but those little things aren’t enough and blaming the pathological side of poverty, saying that they have become bums that mooch of hard-working Americans is absurd in the fact that the majority of the people in poverty are not accepting luxurious gifts and refusing to go to work while hanging around at home.

  24. I also agree with you about what you said about the poor are having a hard time with getting jobs, and that they don’t have equal opportunities. I guess in some circumstances there can be ways in which it’s their own fault for being poor, but overall I don’t think it’s really even solely their fault because they just don’t necessarily have the same opportunities if they are part of a certain minority group. They can’t help being born into it, and for those people who actually are not lazy and are trying to get a job and do well, it might be hard because of how society looks at them.

  25. The chapter “Top-down Economics and Bottom-up Policies” focuses on three main ideas which are poverty as pathology, poverty as incident, and poverty as a structure. Overall these three ideas of how poverty exist are accurate and create a good representation of why certain people are poor and how hard it is to break the cycle of poverty. Poverty as a structure was an interesting concept to me. Many people do not realize that poverty is a social structure that may have strategically been put into place to keep the poor poor and to make the rich stay wealthy. I believe that poverty being a structure is the biggest influence on why poverty has existed for so long. If we eliminate poverty as a structure then everything else will come together. Eliminating poverty as a structure will be extremely difficult because helping people out of poverty involves money and also caring about other peoples well being. A lot of people won’t sacrifice their own comfort to help other people. The article also discusses poverty as an incident, it stated “…the growing problems of poverty are caused largely but cutbacks in national and local resources.” I found this to be very accurate because as I learned in the last assignment; resources in the city and around America are not distributed evenly. Poor people do not have access to many necessary resources such as healthy food and quality education. For example Flint Michigan is still has problems accessing clean water and many people in their community are suffering.

  26. Goldsmith and Blakley delve deep into the question of poverty and emerge with several compelling arguments as to where and how this all began. In a span of nearly fifty years our nation has gone from deliberately reducing poverty to, in some senses, deliberately increasing poverty. The first perspective given on the origins of poverty states that poverty is pathological. It is people’s individual fault that they have fallen through the ranks and systems like welfare only further the unemployed’s sense of laziness. Some even go so far as to say that poverty is caused by values passed down by your parents, a theory which has been refuted, but time and time again people use it as a guise to discriminate against minorities. On the flip side some see it as caused our social structure. I found it very interesting that the rationale for homeless being homeless, was not that they are lazy, but rather that society continuously instills in such people that they are worthless that almost like a self fulfilling prophecy they begin to act as though they are worthless too. And it only hurts the matter that job opportunities are hugely less for those off the streets. Mean also poses a valid point by which he says that just because people are homeless does not mean they feel anymore inclined to take a degrading job than someone in the middle or higher class. Another perspective proposes that poverty is caused by accident. In the early 1900s many socio-eco programs and policies were in place to help the poor. At the time they were fairly effective for the elderly, couples, and families. These days though, short fixes are not the solution, what the poor need most are job opportunities but many unfortunately disagree. The next perspective is poverty as a structure. This view says that socio-eco patterns in combination with political chance cause poverty and prevent its fixing. In the 70s capitalism began to boom and as globalization took hold the focus on domestic issues took a backseat. Social inequality now leads to lack of education for certain minorities and this then causes exclusion from labor due to lack of credentials. such patterns pervade our society these days and institution hostility from welfare and penal institutions them comes to turn the poor into dependent victims in the public eye. Lastly goldsmith and Benedict provide their own perspective that the recession targeted lower classes the hardest and thus it is the duty of local politicians and economic systems to reform their practices and bring back small businesses, labor unions, civil rights associations etc. Multi-local coalitions must push for redistribution of federal resources and the political agenda must become more humanitarian to reduce the throes of poverty.

  27. In the chapter from the book, Separate societies: Poverty and inequality in U.S. cities “Top-down Economics and Bottom-up Politics,” by Goldsmith and Blakely, the authors collaborate and discuss three main aspects as to why poverty exists in the world. Poverty as pathology, poverty as incident, and poverty as structure are the three main points they begin to highlight as to why poverty exists. In my opinion, the one perspective that makes most sense would be poverty as pathology. So subtly is poverty as pathology that communities embrace the mindset that short circuits efforts to break the cycle of poverty that corrupts and compromises motivation. Living in an environment where everything is constantly negative, will eventually make you imitate those attitudes and become apathetic to life which will be a downfall to your success and at the end of it may certainly cause poverty. One striking quote from the chapter was, “These stereotypes…will sometimes behave in ways that appear to be self-destructive because they have no other choice.” As stated in the chapter, it would be best to change people’s situations, and their lifestyles rather than their attitudes. For example, someone born in a rough neighborhood in the projects with filthy streets, inadequate public resources, bums on every corner, will most likely follow into the footsteps of their parents and end up growing into the same lifestyle with no improvements. Underlying this one point the bigger picture that the authors are trying to address is the term of separation. We allow the use of segmentation, inequality, and isolation to hide poor people, and judge them and their condition. As this occurs, the non poor get further distant from the poor and separation increases. I believe all social classes should work together to assist each other and improve these conditions, insidiously stop separation, and dramatically lower poverty in our society.

  28. The chapter “Separate Status: Top-Down Economics and Bottom-Up Politics” talks about why poverty exists and how poverty exists. The behavior of the poor is the main attention on the theories of poverty. Goldsmith was based on the researches of some theorists about poverty as pathology to describe how poor people to act when they were suffering it. Poor people also could not get the equality of right and freedom. Then, Goldsmith talked about how poverty as incident or accident existed around us. I did not agree about his idea because I thought everything happened with causes which some of them we could find them out, and some of them we couldn’t. Even though he gave some evidence supporting this view, I also did not agree him. I did not understand his third statement which was poverty as structure. How can poverty as structure exist?

  29. I agree with you with aspect of poverty as pathology. Many people will detour when they meet the dark skin people in the street. They also tell their kids that they also should walk away from the black people. The adults think that the dark skin people will do something bad to them. They are not willing to accept the different race in the society. The dark skin people are not treated as the regular people in this society. They are hard to reach the resources and always be thought as a “bad” people in the world.

  30. Top-down Economics and Bottom-up Policies talks on three main points which include poverty as pathology, poverty as incident, and poverty as a structure. these are the reasons behind why poverty exists. Lets start with poverty as pathology: people argue that Poverty as pathology suggests that people are poor because they did not do all they could to escape poverty and continue to live the life that they were used to if they grew up in poverty. Also that some people are in poverty because they simple don’t work hard or come from a “bad family”. Poverty as a an incident suggests poverty is due to the fact that any job is not obtainable by any person and employers discriminate and give unequal opportunities. Poverty as a structure is the third main reason for poverty. I wasn’t very clear on what this meant but I my understanding is that the economic structure is designed to make it harder for people trying to get out of poverty to do so.

Comments are closed.

Spam prevention powered by Akismet

Skip to toolbar