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How the poor were lost.

If democracies must have poverty, then they must at least know their poor.

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When the poor were the majority.

picture of uk houses of parliment UK government.

The poor in developed countries like the USA and UK are now a minority, though up to maybe the 1950's or 1960's they had been a majority.

While the poor were a majority their main problems were simply economic poverty and economic exploitation. Government bodies manned by the upper and middle classes understood this sufficiently to be able to handle the poor with some appropriateness, if not always entirely to the poor's liking or benefit. The votes of the poor majority were basically sought with a policy mix of small economic titbits and nationalistic policies.

The poor becoming a minority.

In the USA by 1950, and the UK by 1960, growing economic prosperity saw the numbers of the poor begin to fall until soon they became a minority. This was helped by more enlightened government policy, and was good for the many that then escaped poverty. Unfortunately the remaining poor as a minority were to face seriously increased problems.

There were two main reasons why the modern minority poor in advanced countries faced increasing problems. The first was that the poor soon had more complex, though supposedly helpful, welfare systems applying to them and giving them new problems - and also as a minority they now also hit new minority social exclusion problems. The second main reason the modern poor in advanced countries faced increasing problems was that they became less seen and less understood by the governing upper and middle classes, so their governing became wildly inappropriate and plain wrong.

How affluent governments lost their poor.

When the poor in developed countries became a minority, democratic political parties began to see their votes as unnecessary, though the poor remain a socially significant minority whose misgovernment can seriously undermine society.

The poor becoming a minority lead to public education moving from being a more appropriate different-classes mix, to being a majority middle-class education only into which most of the poor cannot easily fit. This move is presented as 'equality' education or 'democratic' education when it is just majority middle-class education that fits only those from the majority middle-class culture which may be more disciplined and work-centred while the poor may have a more anarchic and play-centred culture. A middle-class only ethos school system may get 50% of middle-class children to university by age 18 and 1% of poor children. But an appropriate-for-different-classes ethos school system may get 60% of middle-class children to university by age 18 and 10% of poor children - with more equality reached after 18.

Where the poor became a minority, majority middle-class issues generally became prioritised, for example huge anti-tobacco-smoking and anti-littering type law resources being applied by government and employer bodies but much less on drunkenness, drug-taking or weapon-carrying - pushing many from smoking and littering to socially worse habits. Smoking and littering may be disliked more by most of a middle-class but are really smaller undesirables and available alternatives for the poor are really much worse. And some of the health problems of smoking may be due to eg inhaling cigarette lighter flints rather than inhaling tobacco, and clearing litter can create useful jobs for some of the poor. But legalised alcohol-drinking and weapon-carrying can tend to create real jobs for the middle-class only, while undermining the poor, and their being illegal without good government is not always an improvement.

All government, charity, employer and other bodies being now run by a middle-class having no real understanding of modern poor minority problems has led to many policies affecting the poor becoming totally inappropriate. And developed countries prioritising middle-class issues and worsening the position of their poor minority are in effect doing a Nero and 'fiddling while Rome burns', but their governments have basically lost the poor.

All you need is Love.

Social exclusion is basically a society saying that it has no love for its poor or other excluded minorities. Adults may be able to take that OK, but socially excluded children seeing that society has no love for them can easily become extremely anti-social. Governments claim that poverty is OK for children as long as they have love. But that is only true if it includes an adequate degree of social love as well as parent love - parent love alone is certainly not enough to counter both poverty and social exclusion. Governments must also show a little appropriate love - and too often show none.

Re-finding the poor.

In developed countries now, those producing policies are educated professionals with little or no experience of the poor today, and they may commonly have correct general theories but often be missing the correct practical detail needed for correct modern policy making for today's minority poor. They urgently need to find and involve the tiny handful of street-wise professionals who somehow do happen to have substantial real experience of today's poor themselves - but as yet they are totally unaware that this is needed.

Or if modern affluent middle-class government cannot find a way to better govern their poor and other minorities, then perhaps modern democratic government will demand less middle-class officials. Maybe a percentage of politicians should not be elected, but instead be randomly selected from elector lists ?



Websites you may wish to visit ;

UK Child Poverty . UK School Truancy . UK TV Licence Facts


If you have a loved one with a drug addiction problem, better stage an intervention at the earliest possible time, because the longer the addiction lasts, the worse the long term effects of drug addiction would be.

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(PS. This website is being especially well used by colleges and universities, so maybe academics must be relied on to get these social exclusion issues dealt with - though most of them may well consider that to be outside their customary role !?)
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