Although keep up in this rapidly changing

Although one can be ‘Poor’ in multiple ways, from health, attire to even outlook and thought, it is often perceived as an economic term. ‘Poverty’ defined by the world bank, is living under $1.90 a day (as of October 2015), however to humans living on or below this hellish, vicious cycle, being just another statistic is often burdensome to keep up in this rapidly changing world, and is why this issue in hand extremely relevant today. The subject of our debate was that ‘Governments can and should intervene to help reduce poverty’, with my team being proponents of the proposed motion, taking a predominantly utilitarian stance. My beliefs regarding this topic stemmed substantially from the environment I have been brought up in, a largely government-backed society, one which is flourishing with comparatively low amounts of poverty due to various government schemes and projects. After extensive research on arguments supporting and arguments against this motion, on evidence and studies, my position had, by large, not wavered and I found myself leaning towards promoting the idea of state support simply due to the logical sense it made; that the government had a vast amounts of resources, vetted representatives often chosen by the people to tackle such issues for them, their revised and proven structure to being in legislation usually results in a working and proven program and lastly input, invaluable input. With third-party organisations, all they ask is for donations rather than your opinion. This creates for an inefficient, ineffective system that seemingly seems like a money laundering scheme. As the government already has financial resources, what they can focus on is how to best address and aid the people. I think the most compelling argument, was the opposition’s argument and our response due to the exchange the entailed it, one that was extremely multifaceted and had evidence from both sides of this argument, mostly using rational reasoning.Essentially the bases of the opposition’s argument was that government assistance and intervention would make people dependent on the government and would not be able to sustain themselves, citing evidence from economists at Cornell University who claimed there were “no trace of lower poverty rates” corresponding with wage alteration. Although on the surface, this seems like basic logic, through personal research, the evidence I found seemed to prove the opposite. A notable study published in The National Institute for Economic Research (Studied from 2003 – 2012, published January 2016) analysed the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) and found that raising wages is directly correlated with increased worker productivity, even in jobs that require low skill, citing reasons such as more motivation, experience and investment in employees through employer-based training. Additionally, two years after Seattle implemented their minimum wage enactment (April 1st, 2015 when it was enforced), their economy was strong as ever, with unemployment at an all-time low, at 2.6% (April 2017). Such figures have only been identified due to government intervention. 207Our debate identified multiple perspectives, local and especially global that led to their implications being thoroughly explored. As we progressed through our debate, we both contested our local perspectives and its effects on wealth and poverty. Post independence in 1965 Singaporeans found themselves amongst chaos, living in overcrowded slums, shophouses built for two extended slums were housing as much as 50 individuals within one flat (World Bank/WDR, 2009). Singapore was in a spiral they seemingly could not escape, or at first didn’t know how it was almost half of the population was illiterate, and with a rapid influx of immigrant from Malaysia, the country badly needed 600,000 homes, tenfold more than their private supply then, which had 60,000 built houses (World Bank/WDR, 2009). Consequently, these poor statistics spurred Singapore to take action and work on what was needed most – alleviating the mounting pressure on Singapore’s housing structures. Over the last half-century, much of Singapore’s effort has been dedicated to the creation of infrastructure, specifically HDB’s (public housing built by the government), incentivized through special housing funds, with 86% of residents living in an HDB flat during by 2009 (World Bank/WDR, 2009), with their perspective on poverty and how to reduce it clearly seen among towering skyscrapers. The implication of this perspective was that with Singapore addressing a basic need, arguably, one of the most important, by generating a helping hand through low cost housing the majority of Singapore can afford, as illustrated by Singapore’s high ownership percentage, with the majority of residents living in HDBs, it reflects how much of an impact Singapore’ low-cost housing had had in Singapore’s battle against severe poverty. One of the global perspectives identified was South Africa’s new democratic government’s plan to minimize the unemployment, inequality and poverty; they had inherited from the previous political leaders in power. Recognizing this huge issue in their hands, they decided to create the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (AsgiSA, launched in 2006) mindful of the triple obstacles. From constructing, and maintaining, 21,000 km of road to social investment for child support, disability pensions and grants, along with free subsidised, basic services lifted from the lowest earning from a mere R 200 each year to R 2800 annually in 2010 to 2011 (South African Government). Consequently, the poverty rate after receiving the grants and services fell from 46.2% to 39%. Their efforts bore fruits as in a study of 12 middle-income countries by the reputable world bank; South Africa was found to have the largest reduction in poverty and inequality due to its fiscal policy, largely favouring the poor (World Bank). To ensure further development, the government created the National Development Plan, slated to achieve its objectives by 2030, ensuring a hand in hand relationship with citizens wanting to make a change to ensure a further reduction in poverty and inequality, with hopes for the fairy-tale like South Africa they dream of.The perspective easiest to sympathise with, was the local perspective, revolving around our government’s groundwork, especially in the housing industry. This argument was largely emotional, where found that much of Singapore’s success can be attributed to the government and its work to eliminate severe poverty and turning an impoverished, illiterate fishing village into a global hub through institutional reforms is nothing short of spectacular, and as a teenager grown up in Singapore, a small island with a relatively tight-knit community, forged together by the government, it is hard to argue against the all the positive the government has done for our little red dot. All this coupled with Singapore’s strategies to bring in business by advertising their high quality of life through subsidies and low tax, while for aspiring entrepreneurs, a clean, safe and beautiful community, and therefore jobs, manipulating their location to become a major trading hub as well as providing many of the need and wanted services themselves such as a telephone and T.V carrier pushed for the urbanised, Singapore my peers and I are familiar with today. There were multiple solutions presented, both implemented and to be implemented. The opponents of the motion posit that a gradual reduction in government intervention until they can safely assume the individual would be financially secure. They argue that this would not only save the country potentially millions or billions (depending on their economy and size of the country) but with the action plan could make the population largely self-reliant. On paper this argument seems rational, however in reality, Most SNAP (U.S’s food stamps program) households have children (44.8%), non-elderly disabled (20.3%) or elderly (17.4%) (Huffington Post), and if government aid diminishes, even slowly, a considerable amount of recipients won’t be able to  take actions to financial secure themselves from such an event happening. Our group essentially argued that, for example in the United States, as it is, the poor look to the ministry for resources; for food, food stamps, healthcare, Medicaid, and for money, minimum wage and that these programs are working, proven paths that are assisting the impoverished. Furthermore, during an era of volatile weather and climate change these programs moonlight as a backup fund to a sizable amount of Americans as during the October 2017 hurricane the program saw itself 7x more individuals register during those months to aid with their disaster relief. I believe that what the Republicans are doing is right, in this situation. The Republican party, instead of trying to stop the program altogether instead tried to get over 1 million able-bodied Americans off the program, nudging them into a workforce, which I believe is a much better, and viable solution to ensuring people who can be self-reliant, are, while not taking away what multiple people have to depend on to survive. On top of this, introducing legislation to better the programs would be a more cost and time effective, realistic and viable objective.In conclusion, I believe my perspective, has largely unwavered. Although my perspective on this issue shifted slightly, taking into account the opposition’s argument, I believe that although people should succeed on their own merit, and that governments should encourage a meritocratic society, they should account for people not being able to succeed on their terms, such as disabilities or age. Overall, this unit has taught me that there often aren’t set rules you follow in order to eradicate this issue and that different societies go about addressing Wealth and Poverty within their country, either through legislations, subsidies, or non-governmental organisations to combat impoverishment

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