Poverty: Lack of Resources or Personality Defect?

Poverty: Lack of Resources or Personality Defect?

As we have discussed earlier poverty and the figures in the previous sections. In this, we will analyze some studies done about Poverty. These studies are about some misbeliefs about Poverty. It is important to mention these things here because then it would be difficult to reach the bottom of the issue. These studies predict that can be eradicated through empowerment and these studies negate the claim that Poverty is a personality defect. Some people believe that poverty is a personality defect as put by the British Prime Minister

“Poverty is a personality defect”

But those who think the same way are quite wrong as poverty isn’t a personality defect but a lack of money and resources. In the following paragraphs, we will have a look at different studies and ideas about poverty and its reasons.

A bunch of scientists flew about over 8000 miles to India to experiment with sugarcane farmers. The experiment was to ask the farmers some IQ questions before and after the harvest. When the scientists analyzed the results, they were astounding. The farmers performed poorly on the test before the harvest and the loss of points corresponds to 14. After the harvest, when they had the money the results were different. This is one of the thousand studies conducted to analyze the behavior of people who live in such conditions.

Now lets have a look at the theory of American Professor Elder Shafir. His popular theory ‘Scarcity Mentality’ states that people behave differently when they perceive things to be scarce. This narrows down the focus towards solving a problem. Ultimately, we make poor decisions then. This behavior can be seen not only among the poor but also among the rich. This theory explains the fact that poor people don’t make dumb decisions because they are dumb but because they live in a context in which everyone would make dumb decisions. So it is about the circumstances around and not something from within personality.

The problem can also be approached when the people are assured of the basic income grant. The basic income grant is a monthly grant which covers the monthly basic needs: food, shelter, and education. A similar experiment was conducted in Dauphin, Canada in 1974. The people were assured of the basic income grant. The scientists when fall short of funds wrapped up their bags and packed all data in about 2000 boxes. Later a Canadian professor, Evelyn found the data and applied all the statistical methods and tools to find the results. The results were amazing. During those years, She observed, that people had not only become richer but smarter and healthier also. The kid’s school performance improved significantly. Domestic violence incidents were low and also there was a fall in mental health complaints.

These things emphasize the fact that people living in such extreme conditions don’t lack anything from within but from the outside i.e., resources. Poor people when given the conditions to flourish their abilities will give rise to talent in the world as a lot is being wasted. So Poverty is not a personality defect but lack of resources.

Leave a Reply