Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Somber Topic

Poverty. It's a topic so often discussed, yet never really understood. In almost all parts of Africa, there is ongoing poverty and living conditions are brutal. Of course, it exists almost in all other places as well, but it seems to be the worst there. When I see a homeless person on the streets in America, my heart extends out to them, but watching movies such as Hotel Rwanda or Last King Of Scotland really makes me wonder if American poverty can truly be considered poverty. Yes, life is difficult for all poor people, but do the people in America live anywhere near the level of poverty seen in Kenya or Ghana?

Both sides of the argument have valid support, but I believe that if one is educated about Africa, they will soon realize that American poverty is nothing compared to that. In America, the percentage of unemployment and homelessness are minuscule compared to Africa's. People there have no choice, their government is corrupt, and any aid we may send them will get intercepted and taken away by the "African Big Men". Here, those individuals suffering from poverty have the choice of applying for a job, even if it's minimum wage. Most of the people we see on the streets are either dropouts who chose not to receive a minimal education, or people that already don't have much money, and spend all he/she has drinking or smoking his/her lives away. Especially now, with the American economy, the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, it's going to be difficult for these people to find jobs, but it seems to me that they are the ones responsible for their even greater oncoming troubles.

Obviously, I think poverty needs to be looked into more than it already is, because there are people all over the world, living on the dirty, unsanitary streets. In the past year, my high school has gotten a new fitness center, new wings added onto the school, plasma TV's in the student center, a much more modernized cafeteria, etc. while some high schools in the inner city of Chicago don't have simple items such as books or desks. Isn't there something wrong with this picture? The government isn't playing its part in distributing money evenly to provide a decent education for students everywhere. The more educated we make our young people, the more efficient of a generation they will become. Poverty in America, I believe, could easily be resolved if those experiencing it would be willing to put in some effort. Africa, on the other hand, will take much longer to stabilize.

1 comment:

Engel said...

Blame the taxes. The best qualified workers and professors often come to the districts where the residents pay the most tax. You can't really change the fact that the rich get rich and the poor stay poor, and if you do, you'd be considered a communist.

I believe the answer to this issue isn't based on education, but the willingness of the top professors to sacrifice some of their monetary opportunity to actually give crap for the poorer parts of our community. In other words, morals.