Generational Poverty vs. Situational Poverty

Poverty, in our own developed nation, is almost a taboo topic. People do not like to discuss it, and social welfare in regards to helping the poor are a hot topic in politics right now. Many people wonder why the government enables the poor to stay poor and to live on the government’s (taxpayer’s) dollar. Others think that of course social welfare is necessary. When it comes to poverty, most people don’t address that there are two types: situational vs. generational. Generational poverty is a family that has been living below the poverty line for more than two generations. Generational poverty is not going to be solved by pity, but education. The children within generational poverty have a right to educators who will encourage them to pursue their education beyond high school. We need to move to oppress ignorance instead of an entire population of people who are limited on their knowledge about how you can actually live in America. The gap between the poverty-stricken and the rest of the population is growing rapidly. It is currently becoming more and more difficult to bridge that gap. Situational poverty, however, has a quick fix, typically. These people include those who may have recently lost a job, lost the household’s “breadwinner”, or been involved in a natural disaster. Although some of these factors could turn into generational poverty (namely, the natural disaster factor), most of these can be aided, and ultimately fixed by social welfare and hard work, coupled with a great personal support system. Knowing the difference between the two can be how we truly make strides to eradicate poverty in our great nation.

-Jordan Wilcox


6 thoughts on “Generational Poverty vs. Situational Poverty

  1. This was a powerful post! This post actually made me look at different scenarios in a different angle. I feel that Generational poverty is the main cause of poverty in most of the developing countries. The parents have never been to school so they don’t encourage their children to go. They just get their help to earn the day to day income. Sometimes the case might be different, they might be experiencing structural violence. They might not have access to education so they just live the life they are forced to. Education is the key to outrun poverty.. I really enjoyed reading your post!
    A M Ovini Amarasinghe


  2. I have never been aware of there are different kinds of poverty, even though I often think there are different kinds of rich people. I want to add more on your post. I had to think about this: What kind of politicians would care about people in poverty? I assume the numbers are very low unless they realize it is good for the whole country.
    This can be a big assumption, but I think people with low income or unstable finance tend to vote for politicians, who values more free market than social welfare, to hope that they know about economy and eventually make the whole nation richer by making corporations richer. So, it does not help rise a voice of people who live in poverty. Politics is very tricky, but I would appreciate to see more politicians with various backgrounds.


  3. How would you suggest eradicating either form of poverty? Can you stop someone from losing their jobs? Why are the families that are poor for generations still poor? There are ways out of poverty, just because your family is poor doesn’t mean you have to become poor and your kids and their kids after that. Is generational poverty just laziness? And situational poverty has potential to become generational poverty if one isn’t too careful. I don’t think just knowing the difference can help end poverty. Ending poverty isn’t realistic at all.


  4. I never knew there were two different types of poverty. This is super interesting and more people should definitely learn more about this. I do agree that education is key and that knowing the difference can be strides to ending poverty!
    -Alli Stamper


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