The Lasting Effects Of Poverty

Throughout history there has been a certain amount of biases in societies towards the needs of those who have the most power. At one point that power was decided upon based on ones lineage entirely. The sons and to a lesser extent daughters of kings would be understood to have much more authority than the children of commoners. As societies became more meritocratic, people who were born to lower social classes achieved some ability to rise up from their circumstances through effort. This is a well documented opportunity that should not be ignored however this essay seeks to explore some of the barriers to that social mobility that come from being born into very deep poverty.


People who are poor do not have access to the healthiest of foods. In very impoverished countries that can lead them to becoming extremely thin because all food is beyond their reach. In developed countries there is an abundance of cheap, unhealthy food so that the poorest members of society are actually more likely to be obese than those who are rich. In either case, the lack of nutrients can lead children to have trouble focusing in school which makes them less likely to get good grades and be able to improve their situations. In adulthood the health issues they developed as children can continue to plague them which leads to higher health-care costs over a lifetime.


The experience of living in poverty can make people start to think that there is no way out especially when they see so many of their neighbors trapped in the cycle. This creates feelings of desperation that can lead young people to pursue a life of crime. Dealing drugs can seem like a good way to make fast money and by bringing harmful substances into their neighborhoods they make their communities even harder to uplift or escape from.


Often when people from poor communities do achieve some level of success, they may face discrimination on the basis of where they were born and raised. There are even situations were names associated with one ethnic group are consistently excluded from interviews because of biases that the interviewers may not even realize that they have.

There has not yet been a society on this planet in which some sort of poverty was completely absent. Until the systems that we live by are altered, we will continue to look for temporary inadequate measures.