Insular Poverty

1461 words 6 pages
English 102
Insular Poverty
Nobody wants to be considered to be below the poverty line. Unfortunately, for fourteen percent of the people in this country, that is their reality. Fourteen percent of the people currently living in the United States’ basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter are not being met. Poverty is experienced at different levels in different parts of the country. The causes and effects of insular poverty are experienced differently in rural and urban areas in the United States.
Insular poverty, defined by John Kenneth Galbraith in his 1969 essay The Position of Poverty, refers to groups of people who are poor because the circumstances of their lives trap them in social islands in which nearly everyone
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Where the rural poor live distances them from important opportunities like education and health care. In Galbraith’s 1969 essay, The Position of Poverty, he states “to eliminate poverty efficiently, we must, indeed, invest more than proportionately in the children of the poor community. It is there that high-quality schools, strong health services, special provision for nutrition and recreation are most needed to compensate for the very low investment which families are able to make in their own offspring.” Because of where the rural poor live, they are easily overlooked by people who are economically stable (Landon 15). If some of their money went to improving the education, public infrastructure, and social infrastructure of the rural poor, it would greatly improve the lives of the people affected by poverty. To improve their education, they must design and provide programs that meet the needs of adult learners and children of all ages from pre-school through college, including community education (Landon 15). To improve their public infrastructure, they must ensure the availability of and access to basic utilities, affordable and accessible transportation, and the ability to access modern technology (Landon 15). To improve their social infrastructure, they must provide resources and develop programs such as child care and adult day care, outpatient and inpatient mental health services, and other programs and resources that help rural


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