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This is a great but broad question. In other words, there is no standard answer when it comes to government and society. There are too many variables. Let me give you a few reason why this is so.
First, when it comes to society, society is not monolithic. Society has people who differ greatly when it comes to poverty. Some people think that poor people are lazy and they need to get a job. Others believe that those with wealth have a responsibility. Still others believe that nothing can be done and that it is the government's responsibility. In short, there are many different opinions and therefore different responses.
Second, when it government, much of the same can be expected. For example, governmental officials change. If a democrat is in power, they will usually want a bigger government, which means the government's stance will be to help more. If a republican is in power, then they will usually believe in a smaller government, which means they would want organizations to help the poor instead of the government. Then, there are the differences of opinion on the local level, which adds another dimension of variability.
In the end, all people usually want to help the poor, but there is no agreement on what is the best method.
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