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Poverty Essay Research Paper PovertyMany citizens have

Poverty Essay, Research Paper


Many citizens have become ruthless victims from poverty. Perhaps

some of these people could have prevented their socioeconomic downfall by

planning decisions and setting goals. There are many things that they must

decide to do in order to eliminate themselves from being a victim of

downward mobility. For each of their important decisions they have to set

goals to reach. However, should they start falling from their

socioeconomic status, they must be prepared to cope with the situations.

Most theorists would agree that there are two factors that

influence downward mobility. The rich and the poor. As one moves from one

class to another there are a number of changes that take place. Some can

be large and some can be small. People would think that small changes

would not be as significant as large changes. The real truth is that

people do not realize that the little small changes add up to equal a large

change. Changes lay the foundation for which type of person will belong to

a certain social stratification. Anytime a change occurs one must beware

that they might be entering into a crisis.

In the Chinese culture, if one would break up the word crisis, they

would find that the word means opportunity and danger-threat. One might

gather that the word crisis is bad, but it could also relate to a good

situation. What the word crisis is trying to say is that it is a dangerous

situation where there is opportunity at the same time. People who are in a

crisis must evaluate their situational priorities and the available


Karl Marx might argue “capitalism would inevitably cause the

expansion of the lumpenproletariat”(Kornblum 235). Luck plays a major part

in capitalism. The more often one examines their situation, they are more

likely to improve their personal gain. I believe that luck is where

opportunity meets preparedness. When opportunity arises, one must be

prepared to adjusting their behavior accordingly. With preparedness, one

needs to invest time. Those who take the time to be prepared will be

empowered to advance in society instead of stagnate and also increase their

social stratification.

There is much opportunity in our society. Most of the opportunity

is hidden, or one might be informally excluded from it. According to

William Kornblum, “wages of the lowest paid government employee’s rise very

slowly of at all” (Kornblum 237). Poor people are always discriminated

against, thus making it extremely difficult to obtain opportunity to pull

themselves out of the slum of poverty. However, opportunity can be

minimized or enhanced. The more opportunity one can distinguish will only

improve the amount of influence of what is done in the future.

People who have become victims of poverty also suffer from learned

helplessness. For instance, if an individual’s employment is terminated,

one would take the first job opportunity that came their way and make less

money. However, if they would have chosen to reexamine their priorities,

they could have exercised delayed gratification by going to school and

finding a more satisfying career that has better pay.

Wealth, power, and prestige are three factors that can be termed a

hierarchy that has a drastic effect on mobility. Myron Gutmann of the

University of Texas, Austin writes, “… one’s place in the hierarchy is

intimately related to power and wealth. I think that for the most part

social place is independently determined, and gives you access to power and

wealth … it also determines your ability to reproduce your social status

through marriage; and it gives you visible prestige (Gutmann).” The term

hierarchy sounds great in which one automatically gains wealth, power, and

prestige. Consequently, majorities of people are not born into this


Assuming that a person is not born into this hierarchy, how can one

acquire the wealth, power, and prestige necessary to stay clear of poverty?

They must examine all of their opportunities. Also, one must learn how to

deal with anxiety that accompanies important decisions. Repression is the

most common way of dealing with anxiety, but it only puts the anxiety into

one’s unconscious. Thus, it will be with the person until they are ready

to deal with it or conform to the rest of the population and develop a


Realistically it is somewhat not important to fall into downward

mobility. Society shapes the poverty class into the slum of the earth by

applying labels to disadvantaged people. Wealth, power, and prestige are

desires of most everyone. If people want to void this trend, they should

work on their social character. Likewise, it will include them into the

world of the informally excluded. With this in mind, one should remember

these words from Irv Risch, “Men of genius are admired; men of wealth are

envied; men of power are feared; but only men of character are trusted”