Why Are The Poor Poor? Easy to Answer, Hard to Respond

          A recent article on ShaperIron asked the question: “Why are the poor poor?” I'm not sure the right question is being asked or what a right answer will accomplish. However the reason why the poor are poor is relatively simple. Most poor people are BORN poor! Sure there are underlying causes, vicious cycles, but mostly it’s that innocent children are born into poverty and brokenness who have never known anything different and rarely benefit from or have access to the privileges of upper classes. If you are reading this blog on your laptop today as an educated, employed, middle-class American, there’s a good chance (with some exceptions) that you didn’t lift yourself up by your bootstraps.

          To rephrase an old adage: Most poor people are born into poverty, some achieve poverty, and others have poverty thrust upon them.  I'm sure many don’t like this reason. They would rather postulate individual responsibility or social injustice as the cause of poverty. And there's often a lack of one and an abundance of the other respectively. We need a response to the poor more than we need an answer to the cause of poverty unless we really think having an answer will direct us in significant engagement to provide relief, rehabilitation, or development. Is there something more we need to know about why poor people are poor or something we need to do regardless of the cause?


One Response to “Why Are The Poor Poor? Easy to Answer, Hard to Respond”

  1. I am glad you posted some thoughts about that article. I was looking forward to reading your thoughts on it. I think that asking the question, "Why are the poor poor?" can be a good question if we are asking it in light of the question, "How can I better help the poor by understanding them?"
    Unfortunately, I think the question is too often asked in light of the question "Should I help the poor?" Or "Do they deserve the help, I can give?"

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