The world is split into developed and developing economies in which the poverty rates vary significantly. In this respect, the governmental policies are not the only ones to blame because individuals’ perceptions of the economic and social environment also play a role in poverty line reduction.
In this respect, humble people could also be the reasons for the increased poverty rates because their attitude to the government is often too skeptical to accept their reforms and adhere to the established regulations.
Hence, society forms an integral component of economic and political infrastructure that influences governmental decisions. Provided humans are given more power to control social and economic process; there is no guarantee the country will prosper due to the increased personal interests. Moreover, the individual-oriented approach can prevent the population from contributing to the overall social welfare.
From a utilitarian perspective, poverty could be regarded as a result of an individual’s inactivity. People rely predominantly on government that should provide them with all material and spiritual values, giving them pleasure and satisfaction. In fact, those people who take all responsibility for their welfare can eliminate poverty and become full-fledged and wealthy members of society.
The power they gain over other, less ambitious people allows them to follow their utilitarian goals. As soon as an individual agrees with the ideas that wealth can only be achieved by means of luck, but not by means of rationally calculated manipulations, the utility of money declines.
In various contexts, the principle of money utility is much easier to justify as soon as the government and other social institutions dictate people how they should perceive their material status.
According to Robert Nozick, the nature of poverty is explained by the situation when the needs and concerns of one individual are prioritized over the needs of the entire society. By denying the ethical hedonism, the theorist suggests that economic and social inequalities should be beneficial for the most disadvantaged members of society. He also withdraws the possibility of human liberty because it may hurt social welfare in general.
Therefore, people living in a state should subject to established laws and regulations. Additionally, the elimination of poverty is impossible because, as Nozick argues, it can lead to violence and destruction. Constant redistribution can have a disastrous effect on society because people will never stop acting in accordance with personal preferences and interests. Thus, the existence of the dominating force is necessary to control the established equilibrium.
According to Rawls’ distribution principle, people cannot accurately assess their place in society, as well as fortune distribution. The principle of justice should be enacted regardless of social position, individual skills, experiences, and knowledge. It should exist independently from humans as well. However, such an organization in the United States cannot be possible because people’s efforts, skills, and contributions could not be estimated equally.
Thus, highly qualified workers should receive greater rewards whereas low-skilled professionals should be paid less. Such a distribution defines the main principle of just treatment in American society. It also explains the impossibility of equal distribution of the material wealth among the population.
The least advantaged people should make efforts and experience to gain reward and recognition. Finally, the presence of hierarchical distribution is also justified because people taking higher positions have greater responsibilities than those with lower status.