Poverty is defined as the lack of sufficient income or materials that would cater to individual needs. In the United States, it is measured by comparing an individual or family income to the poverty threshold, usually an annual income of $12,760 for single persons aged below 65, and $26,200 for families with four members (“Annual Update of the HHS Poverty Guidelines”). In Europe, the poverty threshold is set as a percentage of income below the average household income. Absolute poverty is an income that is below what a person or a family needs to afford basic needs. Both the US and European countries are committed to the UN goal (1) elimination of poverty. Nevertheless, the US is dedicated to eliminating absolute poverty, while the EU is committed to eradicating relative poverty.
The difference is partly influenced by neoliberalism – a socioeconomic theory that seeks appraisal of human well-being by “liberating individual entrepreneurial freedoms and skills within an institutional framework characterized by strong private property rights, free markets, and free trade” (Harvey 2). The definition asserts that people have freedom in the free market to spend.
- FAST HOMEWORK HELP
- HELP FROM TOP TUTORS
- ZERO PLAGIARISM
- NO AI USED
- SECURE PAYMENT SYSTEM
- PRIVACY GUARANTEED
That is why the US is cutting payroll taxes and giving large bailouts to some industries. While these programs aim to benefit people living in absolute poverty, they will also benefit the rich at the expense of middle-income earners. Contrarily, European countries offer aid such as food supplied to the most deprived using guidance from the social inclusion measures. Therefore, it is arguable that the US has focused on the minority population living at absolute poverty to create an opportunity for escalating neoliberalism, unlike European countries that focus on helping everyone in need.
“Annual Update of the HHS Poverty Guidelines”. Federal Register. 85: 3060. 17 January 2020. Retrieved from: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-01-17/pdf/2020-00858.pdf
Harvey, David. Brief History Of Neoliberalism, A. Oxford University Press, 2005.