How do society and the government respond to poverty?Thanks for the help!

Expert Answers
readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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. 

kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Society and the government tend to respond to poverty in different ways. Firstly, the government creates welfare programs to assist those in financial needs. In the U.S., for example, there are housing assistance programs, like the HUD Public Housing Program, which provides affordable rental homes for low-income families. (See the reference link for more information).

The government also provides financial aid to those who are out of work or on a low income. This is achieved by things like unemployment benefits and tax credits, designed to ensure that low-income families have enough money to cover their basic expenses.

In contrast, society tends to respond to poverty through charitable aid, gift giving, and volunteering with those in need. Compared to the government, this is a more grassroots approach which works with poor people on an individual level.

In addition, society is often involved in raising awareness of poverty and highlighting the specific areas of need. This is important because it makes clear to the government the policies and programs that are working well while highlighting new areas of need for the future. 

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