In order to prevent poverty, it is crucial to recognize and fix the causes that create poverty itself. Causes and factors that create poverty differentiate themselves drastically. People misrepresent factors as the actual causes of poverty, such as the lack of education, lack of opportunities and unemployment. However, the essence in the prevention of poverty lies in the fixing of causes and not in the fixing of factors that create poverty. This can in turn prevent poverty from happening when the root of the problem is addressed, thereby also preventing its factors from occurring within a social and economic context.
Scientists, economists and many professionals that have studied the causes of poverty and its overall prevention agree that population control is the most effective solution toward the prevention of poverty around the world. Sustainable population growth and the control of population growth represent alleviation in the enduring resistance toward the consumption and exploitation of natural resources. The entire world’s population consumes massive quantities of food, water, energy and other resources every single day; the problem lies in the distribution of this consumption where extremely few people consume almost 70% to 80% of these resources while large numbers of people consume just under 20% of the same resources.
Planet Earth has a fixed number of resources for a fixed number of consumers. The principal cause of why poverty exists is because of this simple fact. The Earth, on an environmental and economic standpoint, cannot satisfy every single human being’s wish, desire and demand when it comes to the consumption of goods and services because of scarce natural resources. This harsh reality will always be present within an economically driven society given the exploitation of natural resources and the constant pursuit of economic growth.
The world’s population is currently at 7 billion individuals, where approximately 5.6 billion individuals live with less than $10 per day. This statistic represents an alarming degree of relative poverty in almost all countries around the world, including developing and developed nations. An approximate number of 1.4 billion people in the world live out of poverty, but only an estimated 500 million people worldwide enjoy a comfortable lifestyle with a high degree of financial freedom, where common economic struggles are inexistent.
When considering the unstoppable population growth at great rates around developing nations, it is crucial to take in mind that a higher demand and exploitation of natural resources represent more environmental resistance. The more and more population there is, more environmental degradation will take its toll and a widening gap between the rich and the poor will occur. Uncontrolled population growth also links a greater margin of poverty, misery and uneven distribution of wealth in all nations worldwide. Controlling population growth and being aware of its devastating effects is one of the major steps toward preventing poverty.
The first step in preventing poverty from its main cause is to control one’s own population growth and reproduction rate. Not having extremely large families with numerous children is a smart decision. Not having children at all is the ideal decision both at the personal and environmental level. Having children and expanding a family represents a substantial economic burden for parents, and it also represents a significant environmental degradation. Children will grow up and become consumers who will put the environment to a greater level of resistance.
Controlling population growth also encompasses teaching low-income and impoverished individuals about the importance of not having children. The negative correlation between wealth and the number of children conceived gives an insight of why poor people tend to have more children than the wealthy. Given these reasons, the first step to help oneself and the world at large in preventing poverty is to have as few children as possible, and teach other people about the importance of family planning. A resource rich planet with a small but highly productive workforce is the best way to ensure particularly low levels of poverty, sustainable economic growth and financial well-being for its population.
Improving one’s lifestyle and standard of living are directly associated with access to education. However, the systems of education, work environments and infrastructure in the poorest regions of the world are highly inadequate. When educational systems are not up to par to the demands of a globalized world, it is exceedingly difficult to create a productive workforce capable of satisfying those demands, leading to a workforce that sustains to make ends meet in a struggling world of poverty with remarkably little professional growth or opportunities.
Likewise, inadequate work environments cause workers and professionals to work in labor environments characterized with low wages, minimal job outlook, exploitation
and numerous risks. Lastly, an inadequate infrastructure like the ones present in the poorest regions of Africa, Asia and Latin America, cause many individuals to focus their energy and skills to acquire basic necessities. Poor infrastructure causes the inability to access water, food, social services, healthcare and other essentials. Impoverished individuals must deal with an inadequate infrastructure to obtain these basic necessities every single day because they truly do not have any other choice than to survive on a daily basis.
Western and industrialized nations possess a well-developed infrastructure which allows its citizens to access to these basic necessities without too much effort. A well-developed infrastructure allows citizens to focus their energy and skills to their own work in order to be more productive and specialized in their own fields. This process prevents poverty from happening because each specific individual focuses on his or her own work, which creates highly beneficial results for economic activities and to the society at large.
Creating a reliable and effective infrastructure in terms of education, labor and access to essential necessities is crucial to prevent poverty from happening. The problem is that a large portion of people believe that creating an effective infrastructure is the responsibility of the government, when it is actually the responsibility of all citizens. Government leaders, professionals and workers must act cooperatively to create a sustainable and reliable infrastructure that aids the process of obtaining basic necessities and improving one’s own standard of living. These processes along with population control represent the two most crucial steps toward the prevention of poverty around the globe.
We all have heard that education plays a vital key role in the prevention of poverty. The correlation between education attainment and poverty has been negative in the majority of scenarios. People have historically interpreted education as academic achievements such as certificates, diplomas, university degrees and other similar attainments; when in fact education encompasses other more prominent areas than these achievements. To prevent poverty, not only a person has to be educated, but also to be family educated in terms values and principles.
Parents have the obligation to teach their children morals, values, virtues and other positive principles. Children who grow with a solid foundation of these principles taught by their parents are more likely to prevent poverty with wise decisions and approaches later on in life. Being academically educated is not enough in a competitive society. Countless super star students and excellent professionals lack solid values and principles, which ultimately lead them to very detrimental decisions in which many of them fall in poverty.
Being academically and family educated is a virtue that children must learn early in life to prevent poor decisions that lead to poverty and financial distress. Parents are the main responsible for their children’s success and should by all means teach the importance of respect, compassion, positive attitudes, care, financial advice, ethics and morals to prevent their children from taking poor decisions and being victims of poverty in their lives.
Lastly, another additional cause of poverty that people must fix is the overall culture, beliefs, attitudes and perceptions in all regions of the world that keep people from achieving a better standard of living. An example would be the throwaway mental state of a large portion of the population in the United States. Many Americans believe that it is a necessity to purchase new items on a constant basis and throw away old items without using them to their fullest extent. This form of thinking causes many Americans to fall into debt and financial struggles commonly associated with poverty. Another example is the importance that the majority of Latin American citizens give to government assistance and the political agenda. Millions of Latin Americans believe and expect entitlement programs from their respective governments, to the point where the majority of citizens blame their governments for their own financial problems.
The perception of these attitudes, beliefs and overall culture is a cause that people must fix to prevent more poverty from expanding. Organizations, activists and other citizens can educate this particular group of citizens by changing their views, perspectives and culture with real-life examples of what they do and what are the consequences of their actions that keep them in the world of poverty and from succeeding in life.
Preventing poverty is a continuous process that encompasses the cooperative help in the four leading causes which are population control, infrastructure development, academic/family education, and the change of erroneous ideas and attitudes that keep people in poverty.