Two main causes of Poverty

jak2010 By jak2010, 29th Oct 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Society & Issues

This article is about the cause of poverty in a society. Two causes identified are structural and self. The structural is basically the governmental systems that create condusive environment for wealth creation or lack of it that makes people poor. The second is self, the poeple's own will power and determination to work and propser.or lack of it makes them stay poor.

What does it mean to be poor in Melanesian Society?

Poverty is a state of being poor. Poverty is measured differently in many different societies in the world. In Melanesian which includes the countries lay north of Australia like Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands do not measure their wealth in cash as those in cash economy like the western countries. They measure their wealth in the big their land is, the number of relatives they have and can draw help and strength from, and of course the number of traditional wealth like pigs, shells and other valuables. However, when cash economy was brought into their world by the western capitalistic cash economy system, they struggled because what they held as their wealth and money or artifacts of exchange has now been replaced with cash and legal tender system. They found it hard to survive in cash economy. Many sociologists would say that there are may be only two cause of poverty in the world.

Two Causes of Poverty: First is structural

The first one is caused by structural system of a society, be it primitive or modern. The structural are things like bad laws or government policies, political regime, infrastructure and social condition like high cost of doing business. These things that make ordinary small people who want to do business or engage in self-employment opportunities find it hard to make any ends meet. A subsistent farmer who grows a lot of taro in his or her remote village cannot bring the produce to market if there are no roads, bridges, and piers. The transportation cost would be very high for making any money. Many growers waste time in selling few crops and they make loss. The laws in getting loan do not favour small people in many countries and many who try to do something cannot succeed because their application fall short of many banks requirements or the governments do not provide conducive environment small people to do business. Poor education systems and corrupt governments can promote lack of interests and make many people do shorts for survival such as stealing. In many countries where the poverty rate is high, you will find structural problems as major impediment to people doing something to live at a sustainable level.

The Cause of Poverty: The second is Self

The second cause is self. The will power to succeed is the great potential and an invaluable resource one can possess. Many poverty stricken countries in the world are self-inflicted. Many people in Melanesian defend on their land and social system that makes them lazy to work their abundant land, sea and forest to be rich or wealthy. Their land provides things that they need to eat and survive and so they work less. They sit around and go to their forest and sea for food when in need. When they do not have food and do not want to go to their forest or sea to look for food, they go to their family members and friends and they provide food for them. They live off their relatives. This social system is called, wantok system, wantok mean one talk or people who speak same language. People who speak one language are also related to each other and are closely knitted in a patrilineal society so they care for each other. The system makes many people lazy and do not think for themselves. However, the system’s intention is good that it caters for people in times of need; people abuse it by leaving off others and become burdens.

Education: The Empowerment to break free from Poverty

The will power is to get of this state of poverty and to go and do something can be boosted by education. Education is the poverty cycle breaker. It is the empowerment. Education on business, time management, use of resource wisely and for making money for sustainability, budgeting etc. are something topics to be used for educating people to be free and to do sometime. Many societies like those of Melanesians where western concept of wealth is slowly sinking in and people need to get education to break free from the poverty line,


Hard Work, Laziness, Poverty, Systems, Will Power

Meet the author

author avatar jak2010
A teacher from Papua New Guinea, English is my sixth language and love to write articles using my sixth language.

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author avatar Jeramey
29th Oct 2015 (#)

Excellent article, Jak! Thanks for sharing.

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author avatar jak2010
4th Nov 2015 (#)

Thank you. I appreciated it.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
4th Nov 2015 (#)

Interesting Post!

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author avatar jak2010
24th Nov 2015 (#)

Thanks, I appreciated it.

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author avatar M G Singh
23rd Nov 2015 (#)

great and interesting post

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author avatar jak2010
24th Nov 2015 (#)

Thank you.

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