Poor are poor because they are unfit poverty is

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Poor are poor because they are unfit. Poverty is natures way of “excreting ….unhealthy, imbecile, slow, vacillating, faithless members of a society in order to make room for the fit who are entitled to the rewards of wealth. (Spencer 1892) Spencer argues that the poor should not be helped through state or private charity, because such acts would interfere with nature’s way of getting rid of the weak. -Contemporary versions of this theory often incorporate intelligence into the argument as evidence for earlier claims. -followers argue that 1) intelligence is hereditary and 2) success depends on mental ability. Deficiency Theory II – Cultural Inferiority Culture of poverty – cultural differences explain poverty Poor are more permissive in raising their children Less verbal More fatalistic – all things are predetermined and humans are powerless to change them. Less likely to defer gratification Less likely to be interested in formal education Problem – blaming the victim. Structural Theories Institutional discrimination Definition - When the customary way of doing things, prevailing attitudes and expectations, and acceptable structural arrangements work to the disadvantage of the poor. Examples –
Most jobs require a college degree but the poor can rarely afford college. Because the poor have limited access to healthcare they are more likely to get sick and not go to work. those who live in poor communities often have the poorest quality education. Political Economy of Society Capitalism promotes poverty. To maximize profits, employers pay the least amount possible. Only a small portion of the profits go to labor the rest is kept by owners or shareholders. Wages are kept low when surplus labor is high Employers make investment decisions without regard for employees. Automation, downsizing, outsourcing. Tepperman Chapter 2, Eitzen Section 2 Lecture 3: Income Inequality Greece has a 25% unemployment rate and a 50% youth unemployment rate! The riches 80 people on the planet have as much wealth as the bottom 50% of the population of the planet combined (3.2 Billion people). The top 1% have as much wealth as the other 99% combined (projected in 2016). About 90% of the world makes less than 10,000 a year. GINI Index – income disparity since world war II Brazil has the highest inequality (60%) Canada has around 30%. Average after-tax income Bottom 20% people earn less than 20000 Middle 60% earn 50000 Top 20% earn over 100000 to 140000 Wage growth by education level Graduate School has the highest full-time wages – college graduate – some college – high school Top 1% earned $300k, a 68% increase from 1982 to 2012 Where bottom 50% earn 14k, a 13% increase Top 1% makes 8.4% share of national income (260k member have Bentley) Top 1-10% make 22.8% share of national income (2.4 million have BMW) – professional classes senior manager Top 10-50% make 49.3% share of national income (10.5 M have buick) – middle class Bottom 50% make 19.5% share of national income (13.1 M take bus) Income inequality : the concentration of income in the hands of a small group of people. Or, disparities in the distribution of income (or wealth).

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