Poverty

Poverty

Poverty

Poverty

Excerpt

Poverty in the social order stands out like a fungus upon the surface of decay. It arose almost with the gnawing of the first empty stomach. No doubt it became apparent as a phenomenon of life as soon as human society could be recognized as such. To observe it as a phase of modern life; to estimate its extent; to appraise its causes; and to analyze the several processes now consciously set up to defeat it, is the purpose of this book.

The work is divided into three parts for greater clearness. The first of these undertakes to define poverty and to estimate its extent in the modern world. The second attempts an analysis of the causes of economic underprivilege. The causes of poverty are legion. So numerous are they, that a reading of the many theses and treatises on the topic leads only to worse confusion. Thus far there is no helpful analysis of the causes of poverty. In this work they are grouped under eleven convenient headings and treated severally in a series of thirteen chapters.

The reader will find much to question in the eleven headings selected. He may wonder that environmental influences are claimed to exert a more far-reaching effect than personal causes. He may disagree completely with the author in finding the pressure of population upon available means of subsistence to be fundamental among the causes of poverty. He may find himself equally at outs with the choice of War; Political and Economic, Change; the Industrial System, and Unwise Efforts at Remedy, as causes rather than the mere occasions of poverty. But if he ponders them he may be able to view this many-sided riddle in a new light. Thus . . .

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