Poverty is a human created condition borne out of ignorance and greed. A condition is characterized by circumstances affecting a particular state of being. In this context, the particular state of being is the material wellbeing of any person anywhere in the world. No individual is born materially poor or rich. We do recognize that some are born into environments susceptible to the poverty condition. However, even in some of these instances, some individuals have developed counter measures against this condition, while others, regrettably, accept the poverty condition as a part of their so-called fate. When this unfortunate acceptance (culture) of fate occurs, the individual is thrust into the poverty condition and the resulting deprivations.
We recognize that the condition known as poverty has been long standing and readily recognizable worldwide. However, since poverty is a human created condition, then it must follow that poverty is preventable, manageable and maybe can even be totally eradicated. Hence, various efforts are being made to confront this condition, but even so poverty seems to be on the rise This conclusion brings us to a brief discussion of "Matter and Dalton's Law of Conservation of Mass and Definite or constant Proportion"
Matter is generally defined as "Physical substance, as distinct from mind, spirit and energy; which occupies space and possesses mass in a state of rest." Matter is anything that has mass and takes up space. From this observation, Dalton surmised the Law of Conservation of Mass and Definite or constant Proportion. In its basic formulation, "no detectable gain or loss in mass occurs in chemical reactions" even though the state of a substance may change in a chemical reaction as a result of energy transfer between atoms and their environment. Secondly, the elements in a given compound (matter) are always combined in the same proportion by mass. From these formulations, we agree with the conclusion that any combination of a ton of matter produces an equivalent ton of mass (solid, gas and liquid) because matter is indestructible. Since matter is indestructible, it follows that the level of worldwide sustainable resources cannot be completely exhausted. In effect, we may drill and harvest all of the crude oil in the world, but we cannot destroy the quantity of world oil reserve without converting it into other forms of matter. To be sure, we may reduce the volume of crude oil reserves, but we cannot destroy it because we have simply converted it to other forms of matter. ,
Symptoms as Justification
This same principle applies to the world's food supply. Not only is there enough food to feed the world's population, but the indestructible nature of matter means we have the capacity to cultivate, grow and supply enough food to feed every human on earth. Simply put, matter is self-generating and self-conserving. As such, the explanations given for the persistence of poverty address the symptoms and not the root cause of the condition.
There are two prevailing schools of thoughts in the efforts to address poverty. Proponents of absolute poverty maintain that a measure of the amount of money necessary to meet basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter provides the indices to solving poverty. On the other hand, advocates of the relative poverty see poverty in relation to the economic status of other members of the society. According to this school of thought, people are poor if they fall below prevailing standards of living in a given societal context. The problem with both approaches is that they are limited to or mostly concerned with what (income) and how much (consumption) and not the why of poverty.
An emerging trend is the so-called "concept of social exclusion." The rational here is an attempt to incorporate important social and cultural needs of an individual. The suggestion is that by incorporating three perspectives; (1) the income perspective, a person is poor only if his or her income is below the country's poverty line; (2) the basic needs perspective includes the need for the provision by a community of the basic social services necessary to prevent individuals from falling into poverty; and (3) the capability (or empowerment) perspective suggests that poverty signify a lack of some basic capability to function as reasons for poverty, such as the roles of culture, power, social structure and other factors largely out of the control of the individual. Although the "concept of social exclusion" makes a concerted effort to explain some facet of the why of the condition poverty, it does so through proving or reliance on the negative.
This list of factors contribution to and reduction of worldwide poverty are fully documented and exhaustively explored elsewhere. However, in this author's opinion, the factors, contentions or explanations are symptoms driven. For example, while it may be true that an increase in population exerts an increase demand for food, it does not follow that the increase population caused the hunger. The fact remains that most still have food while a few do not.
Real Causes of Poverty
Although we recognize the importance of incorporating the symptoms of poverty into mitigation strategies to alleviate the poverty condition, we submit that there are basically two fundamental causes of poverty; namely, ignorance and greed. A holistic conceptual view of ignorance and greed may be classified as internal/individual versus external/societal limitations. We know that hunger triggers the desire to eat food. That desire compels the individual to seek to acquire food either from their own farm or purchase from others. The ignorant individual may go without eating because he does not know how to farm or claims to have no money. In point of fact, he could have offered his labor to the farmer in exchange for a ration of food. Herein lies the importance of real education.
Of course, the individual in our example could have offered his services to the farmer for a food ration or pay or both. However, the farmer might have decided to give him less than agreed because of better market price offerings. Better yet, the farmer could control a significant majority of the farms and markets and thus decides to charge higher prices for the food products. This outcome is invariably, an artificially created caused by greed. Thus, any formulation of solutions to combat poverty, must necessarily include the containment or minimization of ignorance and greed.
Simon W Tache
 Merriam Webster Dictionary, 2d ed. 360, (2003)
 Smelser, N. J. and Baltes, P. B. (eds.) International Encyclopaedia of the Social and Behavioural Sciences. Elsevier. Oxford Science Ltd. (2001)
 Supra, Note 1 at 1084
 Benjamin, Solomon (1993) Urban Productivity From the Grass Roots,
Third World Planning, 15(2) pp. 142 -157.
 Literature Review on Poverty Reduction Strategies Aimed at the Very Poor; http://www.seepnetwork.org/literature-review-on-poverty-reduction-strategies-aimed-at-the-very-poor--resources-524.php
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