Poverty, as it is identified, in the grossly underdeveloped areas of Africa and other developing world countries cannot be compared in likeness to poverty situations faced by those in Canada and the United States. In these rich countries the poor are characterized as those who have a comparably low level of income, usually measured in the relative approach, one-half the median income whereas poverty as it is faced by those in developing countries is a matter of survival with little or no hope for escape.
With this in mind, the only evidence of poverty being prevalent in rich countries can be found only in the minds of the establishment. In other words, those who may be materialistically rich still prove to be compassionately impoverished. The economic make-up of a countries infrastructure like Canada s or the United States exemplifies not poverty in the sense real threats to survival, as in Africa, but can be better explained in terms of equality or better yet inequality.
The terms equality and inequality for the basis of this essay can be applied to most aspects of what economists in “rich countries” term to be poverty. What is poverty to Canada and the United States are in fact blatant examples of inequality in education. When measuring inequality there are people in Canada and the United States, who are less monetarily fortunate than others. Over 30% of the entire United States wealth is held by only 1% of its population (The Distribution of Wealth, in class lecture).
There is no need for great concern with the extent of poverty in rich countries; nevertheless inequality is due to lack of education. Instead of offering what politicians term “band-aid” solutions to poverty problems they should look more at the source of the problem which is lack of education. Canada and the United States do not posses the realities of poverty as do other countries, inequality exists and the only way to eliminate inequality is to give everybody the same opportunity in education.
Education is the key to a better standard of living, wiser decisions, and convalescent equality among all. On the Statistics Canada s website, www. statcan. ca provides insight into the relative success of people possessing some level of education be it a degree, certificate, or diploma. It is suggested by Statistics Canada that those who could establish that they possess a certain level of education were percentage wise higher employed than those who were not as well educated.
Statistics Canada further elucidates the benefits of education by stating that in Canada 15% of the total uneducated population is unemployed and over 50% of all the uneducated were not in the labour force. To compare with educated only 5. 5% of them were unemployed and only 17% of all educated were not in the labour force. If countries such as Canada and the United States centered more attention on education, people would become more equal and poverty would be eradicated.
In rich countries like the United States and Canada poverty should not be an absolute measure, not a relative measure, but rather a measure of inequality. In these countries there is opportunity for everyone to better their way of life. There exist established social programs which aid people searching to progress. Again Statistics Canada states that three out of five people leave poverty within a year compared to only one in ten stay in poverty for longer than five years (Income Mobility, in class lecture).
This statistic led to the belief that there are shifts in inequality and that most people do not continually suffer from it. There are places for the very poor to get food and shelter and support and help to those who want it. In conclusion it has been established, with the support of Statistics Canada, that poverty as it exists in Canada and the United States is nothing more than an example of inequality in education. Equal opportunity in education shall eliminate many of the countries’ problems.