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The greatest impacts of global poverty are, of course, on the societies in which the greatest amounts of poverty exist. Perhaps the most important impact of this poverty is on the life expectancy of the poor. Their lack of access to medical care, along with poor diets, reduces their life expectancy considerably. Another impact is the fact that many people from poor countries leave their homes to try to find work in rich countries, thus eroding the social fabric of their own countries.
Global poverty also affects at least some societies that are not poor. The poor often try to leave their own countries and go to richer places. This leads to refugee problems such as are experienced by Australia. It leads to problems of illegal immigration such as those experienced by the United States. In these ways, global poverty affects the societies of poor countries and of some rich countries as well.
Poverty is the state for the majority of the world’s people and nations. Why is this? Is it enough to blame poor people for their own predicament? Have they been lazy, made poor decisions, and been solely responsible for their plight? What about their governments? Have they pursued policies that actually harm successful development? Such causes of poverty and inequality are no doubt real. But deeper and more global causes of poverty are often less discussed.
Behind the increasing interconnectedness promised by globalization are global decisions, policies, and practices. These are typically influenced, driven, or formulated by the rich and powerful. These can be leaders of rich countries or other global actors such as multinational corporations, institutions, and influential people.
In the face of such enormous external influence, the governments of poor nations and their people are often powerless. As a result, in the global context, a few get wealthy while the majority struggle.
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