Poverty in the UK

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Poverty in the UK

Postby KwanSeum » Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:36 pm

According to the BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11922516 13 million people in the UK were living in poverty. Of these, 5.8 million (44%) were in "deep poverty". By mid-2010 one in five 16 to 24 year olds were unemployed - the highest for 18 years and three times that for other adults. By mid-2010, almost 2.5m people in the UK were unemployed - up slightly on 2009.

This seems like a scandal - discuss!
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Re: Poverty in the UK

Postby luzianne » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:57 pm

Poverty is not only in UK but here in America as well. It is sad to hear that these two places as well as other places in the world are on an increase in poverty. I believe we are in a depression like the one that happened in the 1930's. :crying:
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Re: Poverty in the UK

Postby udawa » Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:33 pm

Go to India or anywhere else in the 'developing' world and you will see real poverty.

There was real poverty in the UK, pre-second world war (see Orwell etc), but now? Relative deprivation and genuine suffering, often caused by addiction or poor mental health - there's plenty of that around, no doubt. And the street homeless live close to the edge.

Old Delhi in the late 1970's was strangely reminiscent of Dickens' London. Things have moved on from there, I think. Let's hope they don't go back....
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Re: Poverty in the UK

Postby Indrajala » Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:30 pm

udawa wrote:Go to India or anywhere else in the 'developing' world and you will see real poverty.

There was real poverty in the UK, pre-second world war (see Orwell etc), but now? Relative deprivation and genuine suffering, often caused by addiction or poor mental health - there's plenty of that around, no doubt. And the street homeless live close to the edge.

Old Delhi in the late 1970's was strangely reminiscent of Dickens' London. Things have moved on from there, I think. Let's hope they don't go back....



:?: Do the poor in developed countries not have the right to feel anguish just because elsewhere in the world it is far worse?

I'm in Varanasi, India at the moment and indeed the poverty in India can be quite severe.

Strangely, Bhihar state is said to be the poorest state in all of India, but I see the poor people there in rural areas, while clearly not well-to-do, wearing clean clothes and not diseased looking. But then you visit Delhi and see people in rags, malnourished and clearly diseased. The rural people don't make much money, but they're properly fed and clothed. The urban poor suffer quite severely.

On that note, though, I think poverty in developed countries is just as severe when it comes to mental anguish. One might live in the UK or Canada and have access to great medical services and state welfare, but when you're struggling to make ends meet and have no idea where the next rent payment is coming from, the anguish is just as severe as in India I imagine.

I come from the working poor in Canada and can vouch for the fact that living in poverty even in such a nation as Canada can be full of great anguish. You might still have food and health, unlike in some places elsewhere in the world, but having to produce the monthly rent and balancing all your bills on a fixed income with unexpected costs coming up can be a living hell for many.

I mean keep in mind in many cities even if you make $1500 / month, your rent might be $800 or more. By the time you buy your food, pay your bills and look after your children if you have any, you have nothing left over. If you suddenly have an unexpected cost arise like a medical emergency, injury resulting in a loss of income or you lose your job, you're basically up sh!t creek without a paddle. Don't tell me that isn't suffering just because the poor in India also suffer immensely.
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Re: Poverty in the UK

Postby Astus » Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:24 pm

Maybe poverty is not about salary and work, just as the article says. I mean, there are thousands and thousands going to the UK to do some work for a couple of years and bring it home eventually (this is from poorer EU countries, mainly Poland). And most of them do simple jobs like on construction sites.
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Re: Poverty in the UK

Postby kirtu » Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:13 pm

KwanSeum wrote:This seems like a scandal - discuss!


Seems like a scandal???? This is of course a scandal.

What are the stated reasons for poverty in the UK?

Ultimately whatever the reasons given, work givers are not providing work seekers with work opportunities and this is ultimately the reason that people are unemployed (or the work itself is producing insufficient income to lift people out of poverty). But what reasons are the work givers giving for not employing people?

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Re: Poverty in the UK

Postby kirtu » Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:48 pm

KwanSeum wrote:According to the BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11922516 ....


So the article comes out with some stated reasons for poverty:

1. young adult unemployment is tied to education with the implication being that a substantial subset of the 20% of unemployed young adults are insufficiently educated to find work.

Is this true? If it is true why are these young adults not required to enter and pass job training? Are there any alternatives to job training? Why are there insufficiently educated young adults to begin with in the UK?

2. The Save the Children report mentioned in the article said that work income was insufficient to keep the working poor out of poverty. So what can be done about that (how about paying the workers sufficiently?)?

Mixed in the article are implications about the anticipated effects of the austerity measures of the Cameron government.

Are there other reasons for unemployment? Do classisim, ageism, racism or regionalism play a role (or just plain ole' little village syndrome)?

The 2010 Nobel Proze for Economics went to Diamond, Mortenson and Pissarides for their work on labor markets with one of their insights being the cost of work search and relative immobility of work seekers amongst other factors. So - in the UK are a substantial percentage of job openings (like > 95%) public information and are workers able to move to take advantage of those opportunities?

If people become unemployed in the UK can they subsequently be employed or are they viewed as permanently damaged (I ask this because in the 2008 Depression in the US once you become unemployed for period over a month or so you are essentially permanently estranged from the labor market - employers will simply not hire you).

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Last edited by kirtu on Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Poverty in the UK

Postby kirtu » Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:55 pm

luzianne wrote:Poverty is not only in UK but here in America as well. It is sad to hear that these two places as well as other places in the world are on an increase in poverty. I believe we are in a depression like the one that happened in the 1930's. :crying:


This is in fact a depression. However we can argue over other characteristics.

However in your response you raise the issue of the USA. The USA is the worlds leading second world nation. Are you asserting that the UK is also a second world nation? The UK has some form of universal health care, the UK has some form of universal educational access (although both the USA and UK ration higher education on the basis of money), the UK has substantial social services for it's population (in comparison the USA has none), both the UK and the USA appear to be engaged in endless war. The UK has a national transportation network (the USA does not or it has it in the form of interstate highways).

So is the UK also a second world nation or is it a first world nation like most of western Europe and probably Canada?

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