Explain the liberal, conservative and radical views of why people are poor. What does each group...

Explain the liberal, conservative and radical views of why people are poor. What does each group believe is society's responsibility to the poor? With which of these groups do you believe and why?

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Answer #1

America's poverty is real. Some on the right seem to suggest that poverty is just a left-wing invention, that it's mostly a sloth and bad bookkeeping issue. While poverty may not be as life-threatening as it was once, it may still be dark and hopeless. As accounts such as There Are No Children Here and Turning Stones have shown, deprivation is not simply "poverty," although its ravages may transform children into "children"— kids who may be chronologically young but have seen and experienced life beyond most adults ' nightmares.

The most important thing that conservatives can learn from liberals is to come to grips with the reality of poverty in America. It would certainly change the conservative voice. Conservatives will be more successful in undoing the welfare state if they give up arguments that either "unserving" or "non-existent" all the poor in America.

The hope that liberals and conservatives can take the time to learn from each other on poverty issues stems from the common ground that they have already found in the need to strengthen the civilian sector of America. Politicians, analysts and academics from across the ideological spectrum have come to recognize in the past half-decade that the real hope for change and the real answers to long-winding social problems must come from "civil society." This partnership is grounded in a mutual recognition of the talents and abilities of neighborhoods and civic groups and churches beyond policy aspirations. They are actively and intimately involved in the lives of needy people. They share a common code of moral responsibility which provides guidance and safeguards. They have elements of faith that touch people much deeper than a check or a voucher.

What liberals get right (and, to be fair, most non-liberals agree with that) is that, no matter how important standards and habits are for economic outcomes, recessions inflict a lot of economic misery on people out of control. However, structural economic shocks can break what seemed to be a responsible way of life. Since the seven million jobs since the late 70s, the 7 million lost manufacturing jobs have surely pushed many into an economic tailspin from a self-supporting life. While all the other reasons for the safety net fall apart, both cyclical and systemic shocks justify a significant safety net.

Another thing liberals are getting right is recognizing the role the government has played in pushing many African Americans into poverty. Not only does this end in slavery, but it goes on through a history of discriminatory policies and the egregious drug war that has destroyed millions of families. Even if today's drug war came to an end, the negative reverberations would continue to view the negative effects on children raised with a parent in jail, and the many black markets created by government in a life of crime.

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