Factors Causing Poverty and Its Impact

Factors Causing Poverty – Poverty is one of the social problems that is always present in developing countries like Indonesia. Poverty is considered as one of the social problems that is difficult to describe, if it is not addressed immediately and find the root causes of poverty.

Poverty in general is a condition of a person’s economic inability to be able to meet the average standard of living of the people in an area. The condition of inability to meet these needs is characterized by the low ability of a person’s income to be able to meet basic needs such as clothing, food and shelter.

Some experts express their opinion regarding the definition of poverty. In addition, poverty also occurs because there are several causes that drive this phenomenon.

Definition of Poverty According to Experts

Previously, the definition of poverty in general was explained, several experts also expressed their opinions regarding the meaning of poverty, along with the definition of poverty according to experts.

Soerjono Soekanto, argues that poverty is a condition when an individual or a group of individuals is unable to maintain himself or herself with the standard of living of groups in society, and are unable to utilize their energy, mental and physical to achieve the standard of living of the group.

Gillin and Gillin expressed their opinion that poverty is a condition when an individual cannot maintain a scale of life that is high enough to be able to provide physical and mental efficiency, so that he and his family can carry out their functions properly in accordance with good societal standards. Due to inadequate income or unwise spending.

Reitsma and Kleinpenning, argue that poverty is the inability of an individual to be able to fulfill his life needs, both material needs and non-material needs.

Suparlan revealed that poverty is a standard or a low standard of living for a person, due to material shortages compared to the standard of living in the surrounding community.

In contrast to other opinions, according to Friedman poverty is an inequality of opportunities that a person gets to be able to formulate social power in the form of assets, financial resources, goods or services, socio-political organizations, social networks, skills, knowledge and information.

According to Ellis, poverty is a multidimensional phenomenon that can be studied in economic as well as social and political dimensions.

Hall and Midgley said that poverty is a condition of material and social deprivation that causes an individual to live below a decent standard of living, or it can be said that poverty is a condition of relative deprivation when compared to other individuals in the community.

The last expert who argues about the notion of poverty is Syaifudin who says that poverty is a way of thinking of someone who views poverty as an absolute symptom and a relative symptom.

Syaifudin divides this way of thinking about poverty into two, namely a cultural way of thinking or perspective and a structural perspective.

From some of the expert opinions above, it can be concluded that poverty is a condition, in which an individual is unable to meet his basic needs due to factors that affect the individual, making it difficult to get the same opportunities as other individuals.

Read more: Definition of Poverty

Factors Causing Poverty

As previously explained, poverty is a social problem that is difficult to unravel and often occurs in developing countries like Indonesia. Poverty can occur because there are several factors that cause poverty.

The following are the factors that cause poverty.

1. High Population Growth Rate

A high birth rate in an area can result in a country’s population growth rate being greater.

Thus, it can cause the available jobs to be limited to be able to recruit people who need jobs to get a salary so they can buy their basic needs.

In addition, when the population growth rate is high but not comparable to the economic growth rate. This will lead to an increase in poverty.

2. Unemployment Society Increases

A high population growth rate can cause jobs in a country to be limited. Thus, the unemployment rate in the area will increase. The more people are unemployed, the poverty rate will increase.

3. Low Education

Individuals who have low education tend not to have sufficient skills, insight or knowledge to get a job.

Thus, people with low education cannot compete with people who have higher education in the world of work and business. This is what makes people with low education less competitive and causes unemployment and poverty to increase.

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4. A Natural Disaster Occurs

Natural disasters can be a factor causing unavoidable poverty. Natural disasters such as floods, landslides and tsunamis can cause damage to infrastructure and psychological damage to the people affected by the disaster.

In addition, natural disasters can be a cause of poverty, because the people affected by the disaster will lose their possessions.

5. Unequal Income Distribution

Unequal distribution of income can cause inequality in the pattern of resource ownership. Generally, people who have limited and low resources are generally below the poverty line.

In addition to the five factors that cause poverty, some experts argue that poverty can be caused by private property or exploitation of workers. Some experts such as Henry George, Karl Marx argue about the causes of poverty.

According to Henry George, the main cause of poverty is private ownership and monopoly by individuals on land. George’s view emerged, when land ownership has become a measuring tool to see the personal wealth of an individual.

Karl Marx argued that the cause of poverty is the exploitation that occurs to workers who are carried out by capitalism.

Meanwhile, Robert Malthus said that the cause of poverty is because the population tends to increase more geometrically, but food production only increases arithmetically.

Types of Poverty

There are four types of poverty that Sinaumed’s needs to know about. Here’s an explanation.

1. Absolute Poverty

Absolute poverty is poverty which is a condition where the income of an individual or group of people is below the poverty line. So that the individual or group of people will find it difficult to be sufficient and meet their standard needs such as clothing, food and shelter needed to be able to improve their quality of life.

The poverty line referred to in the sense of absolute poverty is the average expenditure or average consumption of an individual to meet basic needs related to the fulfillment of the individual’s welfare standards. This type of absolute poverty is the type of poverty that is most widely used as a concept to determine or define the criteria for an individual or group of people who are poor or not.

2. Relative Poverty

Relative poverty is a form of poverty that can occur, due to the influence of development policies that do not reach all levels of society. So that it can cause income inequality and inequality in welfare standards in the country. Regions that have not received the reach of development programs are known as disadvantaged areas.

3. Cultural Poverty

Cultural poverty is a form of poverty that can occur, due to the attitudes and habits of an individual or a society that generally come from culture and customs which are generally relatively unwilling to improve their standard of living in modern ways. The habits mentioned can be in the form of being lazy, less creative, wasteful and relatively dependent on other parties.

4. Structural Poverty

In contrast to cultural poverty, structural poverty is a form of poverty caused by low public access to resources which generally occurs in a social and cultural and socio-political order that does not support poverty liberation in a country. Generally, structural poverty sometimes has discriminatory elements.

Poverty Impact

Poverty as a social problem can have an impact on the individual and the wider community. Poverty can also have other impacts, here are the explanations.

1. Increasing Crime in an Area

Poverty can be one of the causes of crime. This is because the poor will tend to want to fulfill their basic needs by using any means, including by means of crime. Some forms of crime that can be committed by an individual are fraud, theft, robbery and murder.

2. Mortality Rate Increases

Poor people who are unable to meet their basic needs will find it difficult to get access to adequate health for themselves and their families. This difficult access to health can cause the death rate of a population to increase, especially the death rate of the poor.

3. Access to Closed Education

In developing countries like Indonesia, the cost of education that must be paid by an individual is quite high, so that this will close the poor’s access to education.

In fact, one of the causes of poverty is the low level of education. So that closed access to education can exacerbate the conditions of poverty that exist in an area or country.

4. Increasing Unemployment Rate

Poor people will find it difficult to get access to proper education. Thus, the poor will find it difficult to compete for jobs with rich or affluent people. This is what can trigger an increase in the unemployment rate.

5. Conflicts that Occur in Society will Emerge

Poor people generally will get different treatment from rich people. Examples include gaining access to certain facilities. The gap that occurs in the community will trigger conflict in social life because of the jealousy that arises.

Ways to Overcome Poverty

Poverty is a social problem that will be difficult to unravel if it is not handled early. Poverty can spread to areas that previously had low levels of poverty, because in a few years if poverty is not resolved immediately there will be an increase through other causes of poverty.

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For example, in Indonesia poverty occurs due to the low level of education that can be obtained by the community. Because it was not immediately addressed, poverty that occurred due to low levels of education also increased due to other factors such as the spread of epidemics, natural disasters and others.

Therefore, it is important for the government to immediately overcome this social problem of poverty. There are several ways that the government can do to overcome poverty. Here’s an explanation.

1. Update Population Data

The government can update population data, especially to complete data on poor and vulnerable populations who are then categorized as deserving of social assistance from the government.

Thus, government budget funds that have been allocated for social assistance can be channeled to the right citizens and really need these social assistance funds. In addition, after updating the data, the government can increase the social assistance budget and expand the number of beneficiaries to citizens who have fallen into poverty due to influencing factors, for example, the Covid-19 pandemic.

2. Integrate Social Assistance Distribution

In various places, there are various forms of social assistance, differing in the types and amounts measured by the government. However, these differences actually created social tensions in several regions.

The social tension then got worse, because there was a database of social assistance, especially the Integrated Social Welfare Data (DTKS) which was used by the local government and did not include people who were not previously recorded. However, the unrecorded economic condition of the people has worsened due to several factors.

To be able to overcome this problem, the government can update data as in the first solution and integrate the distribution of social assistance, through cooperation between state banks so that social assistance funds can directly enter and be received by beneficiaries.

Integration of the distribution of social assistance funds can simplify the distribution process, and there will be no overlapping beneficiaries.

3. Reducing the Expenditure Burden of the Poor and Nearly Poor

One way to deal with poverty is to reduce the burden of spending on society, especially the poor and near-poor. Especially reducing costs controlled by the government or administered prices.

There are four costs that are controlled by the government and can be reduced to ease the burden on the poor and near-poor. These include water rates for households, electricity rates, LPG prices, and fuel prices.

4. Providing incentives in the fields of agriculture, livestock and fisheries

The government can tackle poverty by increasing incentives for farmers, ranchers and fishermen through product purchase schemes carried out by the government. In addition, the government can also improve logistics routes for agricultural, livestock and fishery products. So that residents who work in this field can increase their production and face the lack of market uptake.

By providing incentives in these three areas, the government will help to secure the availability of national food stocks, especially during times when food stocks are running low and hard to find.

By securing stock availability, the increase in cost of goods can be suppressed. So that people who are almost poor, can still meet their basic needs. Thus, the level of poverty can be reduced.

5. Manage the APBN Carefully

The government needs to manage its state budget carefully, so that it can increase the budget for social assistance that will be provided to the poor and near-poor. By managing the state budget more carefully, the government can allocate special funds for the poor and near-poor in order to meet their basic needs.

Example of Poverty

Here are some examples of poverty according to its types.

  • Subjective Poverty: Occurs because of one’s own thinking with the assumption that the individual’s needs cannot be met sufficiently. Even though the individual is actually not poor. Example: seasonal beggars.
  • Absolute Poverty : Occurs in families or individuals who have no income. Example: poor family.
  • Relative Poverty: Occurs due to the influence of uneven development in society. Example: people are unemployed because of a lack of available jobs.
  • Natural Poverty: Occurs due to scarcity of natural resources. Example: residents who are in the region of the African continent.
  • Cultural Poverty: Occurs because the individual does not want to improve his standard of living. Example: people in the interior who still hold fast to their customs and do not open up opportunities for modernity, such as the Baduy people.
  • Structural Poverty: Occurs because of the social structure. Example: Papuan people who do not benefit from Freeport.
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