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Politics and Resources

Updated on July 8, 2017


Politics affects every aspect of our lives from the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the car we want to buy, the home we want to own, the transport to and from work, where we want to vacation and spend our holidays, the health care we receive and to even who we marry.

Politics in this sense allocates considerable power to representatives who protect the interests of those that elected them to their positions of authority and they achieve this through legislative means whereby they pass laws that either intentionally or through unintended consequence boost or slow down the economy affecting their constituents.

Politics then decides who gets what and this in modern capitalist society is characterised by employment. Employment determines the aforementioned wishes of the populace in a state and gives an individual the right to pursue their desires by being given a salary to act on those material needs.

The government in turn taxes individuals and the corporations they work for to provide these services of infrastructure, health care, access to decent housing, food, clothing and security.

So what causes poverty in the first place? and what is the best system that can eradicate poverty?

In a social democracy, the taxes cover almost every aspect of the individual's well being such that they can access these services universally and reduce the number of the needy in a population by them investing the little they receive in other endeavors. The downside of the welfare economy however is that in the end it increases the public debt to unsustainable levels.

In countries where capitalism has gone awry, political leaders elected or non elected, accumulate power and wealth by corrupting their public offices depriving the majority access to decent living.

For instance, government officials can cripple the economy by looting public coffers to stack their own bank accounts in foreign states leaving little for development purposes and this includes funding for schools, hospitals, roads and as the economy becomes depressed more and more people get laid off work and their purchasing power becomes extinguished and the number of dependants in the economy rises.

Governments which are corrupted by selfish interests will then tend to borrow money from international organisations further indebting a recessive economy. Given that the borrowed money is subject to looting, the cycle of poverty is established where the people have no hope for access to the mentioned human needs and with time dissent grows into frustration which in turn can culminate to protests and political instability.

With employment being the benchmark for access to material gains, the state can also propagate poverty amongst certain groups by deliberately denying them employment opportunities. This is the case of many minority groups across the world who have fallen out of favour with the dominant group or groups.

Poverty thus can be created through corrupt state actors or through marginalization which creates disenfranchisement. This is poverty via domestic agents.

International politics can also affect the economies of countries and this can apply in the case of sanctions that restricts a particular country's' trading options and through limited market they are unable to sell their goods and services which in turn leads to inflation and loss of currency value. This affects the balance of trade of sanctioned nations and they cannot also buy goods and services which are in short supply in their countries and this leads to poverty.

The foraging communities that once were and the few that remain are given the description of the ideal affluent society because they work less and they only need to look for food for a few hours, the rest of the time they spend around their community and families but that kind of system is not consistent with one factor. 7 billion people across the world cannot forage and thus hunting and gathering is not a convincing way of eradicating poverty.

Technology can replace employment as artificially intelligent robots can be programmed to carry out day to day workload and if output of goods is standard and can be traded domestically and across borders then the rest of the people can acquire material resources without the need for work.

Another way to tackle poverty is to add pressure on corrupt officials to avoid misuse of public funds that should be directed at funding social amenities.

These solutions can only apply to the poverty of material needs. The emotional feeling of whether one is rich or not as compared to another social class is purely a subjective matter.


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