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Politics and Poverty - The Liberal Position • Liberals...

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Politics and Poverty The Conservative Position • A conservative view points out that almost all poverty in the U.S. is relative poverty (i.e., the poor have less than what government officials claim people living in our rich society ought to have) rather than absolute poverty (i.e., poverty where day-to-day survival is the issue). • Conservatives argue that our system is doing a pretty good job of providing for the U.S. population. Half of today’s poor own their own homes, most have at least one car, and almost all have a television set and other household conveniences. • Conservatives point to the importance of personal responsibility and self-reliance for their own well-being. They argue that there are plenty of opportunities available to anyone who is willing to take advantage of them.
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Unformatted text preview: The Liberal Position • Liberals argue that poverty is more of a structural problem than an individual problem. Most people become poor not because they are irresponsible, but because of the way our society operates. • Most unemployment is caused by economic recession or corporate mergers and downsizing that reduce the number of available jobs. Also, some people are disadvantaged because of racism and other forms of discrimination that prevent them from obtaining good jobs. • Liberals seek to have the laws that ban discrimination in education and the workplace actively enforced. Also, they support government assistance programs that offer some financial security to everyone. They support higher taxes— especially on the rich—to pay for such programs....
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