“POVERTY IS NOT AN ACCIDENT…”
Iconic Nelson Mandela said “Poverty is not an accident like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human beings.” Of course, human beings here denote government or that force which compels society to move towards a direction of its preference. If government will be true to its principles of governance, then poverty can be addressed effectively. Government has so many resources at its disposal that a fraction of which can be dedicated to eradicate poverty. But politicians never wanted this to happen. Once a population has progressed, the field becomes leveled, society becomes flat and eventually, there is no more need for leaders. When that happens, politicians will be out of work, will have no more commissioned largesse and they will all be extinct in no time. Hence, poverty is even wished for if not intentionally programmed by a significant sector of government itself.
It took a Lincoln to eradicate slavery in American. It took a Mandela to push out apartheid in South Africa. It takes however government to eliminate poverty in its midst. There are countries whose government succeeded. There is New Zealand, where poverty incidence is almost zero. There is Switzerland, Nordic States (Sweden, Norway, Denmark), all welfare states—-where government has guaranteed welfare for its citizens.
It has been concluded in studies where empirical evidence suggests that taxes and transfers considerably reduce poverty in most countries, whose welfare states commonly constitute at least a fifth of the GDP. This means that most welfare states have considerably lower poverty rates than they had before the implementation of welfare programs. (In economics, GDP or gross domestic product means how much a place produces in some amount of time.)
Poverty to a certain extent is a personal choice though. One can live in complete opulence yet would remain simple and poor. Pope Francis removed the luxurious habiliments and bejeweled throne of the papacy in favor of a plain cassock and unadorned lumber as his chair. It is a form of sacrifice that is highly philosophical and profound. It is the basis of humanity and its advancement. But another form of poverty, a societal driven ill and an imposed social condition, is something that is never a choice. As a matter of fact, it is one form of poverty, which can be seen as a curse. It is this kind of poverty that sends an innocent person in prison, one that consigns a whole community immediately, if not instantly, from birth to the cemetery. It reduces man and defaces his integrity. It makes him inhuman and delivers him to desperation. This is one cause, which makes man rebel and revolt against the establishment. And it is this kind of poverty, which can be eradicated.