Is Poverty and Hunger largely a distribution of resources issue?
Uploaded by kat_112 on Jul 14, 2012
In our world today poverty and hunger are more prevalent than ever before, with developing countries suffering the most devastating statistics. Approximately 925 million people are living in poverty and hunger, with 98% of these people living in developing countries (World Food Programme 2012). Poverty can be defined by people who lack the means to satisfy their basic needs (Yapa 1996). This is a very broad definition of poverty and can incorporate both absolute poverty which means those who lack the necessities for survival like food and water and relative poverty which means people who are unable to meet a standard of living in a community like not being able to afford dentistry (Encyclopaedia Britannica 2012). Whereas hunger can be defined as a feeling of weakness coupled with the desire to eat (Encyclopaedia Britannica 2012). So why does so much of the world’s population live in hunger and poverty? It can be stated that the answer to this question is an inequality of distribution of resources. This essay will explore how poverty and hunger is largely a distribution of resources issues by exploring such social matters as; food as a commodity and the consequences, poverty and hunger as a failure of entitlements and lastly democracy as a cure for absolute poverty and hunger.
Food as a commodity and the consequences
To begin to understand how poverty and hunger developed through an unequal distribution of resources an understanding of the evolution of food production is needed. For thousands of years human beings were gathers and hunters finding and foraging for food (Robbins 2010), they later domesticated food, planted, and cultivated crops (Robbins 2010). For hundreds if not thousands of years humans lived and earned from their own lands (Robbins 2010), but this was to become a thing of the past. The industrial revolution was the birth of the capitalist system (or the production for the purpose of sale and profit, instead of production use) (Magdoff 2012), this meant that farmers/peasants had to flock into the cities to earn wages, as imperial powers demanded monetary taxes rather than good taxes, as well as new agricultural technologies minimising the need for human labour (Kuyek 2011). This began a process that had converted food into a commodity and as cities and capitalism grew larger, so did food as a commodity to profit from (Magdoff 2012). Food production became and still is a capitalist intensive industry (Kuyek...