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Causes of Poverty in Cental America & the Philippines

This paper will discuss the roots and causes of poverty in Central America and the Philippines. Both of these regions are underdeveloped and are therefore considered to be part of the Third World. This is particularly ironic in the case of the Philippines, because that nation has seen a great deal of industrial growth during the twentieth century. Nevertheless, the majority of the population in the Philippines live in poverty despite the fact that the nation as a whole is "well above the poverty line" (Pollard 196). This situation exists because of inequalities in the distribution of wealth. In this regard, it can be seen that the wealth of the Philippines is "concentrated among owners and managers of a relatively few well-organized and productive enterprises and land-holdings" while the majority of the people are "engaged in small-scale business and farming" (Wickman 113). As a result, only a small percentage of the population of the Philippines share in the nation's industrial wealth. By contrast, the majority of the people are relatively poor, and, furthermore, the incomes of over 40 percent of the population are "at or below the margin of subsistence" (113). This type of unequal distribution can be seen in the nations of Central America as well. In those nations, which include Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Belize, few are rich while many are poor. As noted by one commentator in the mid-1980s, "the gap between Central American expectations and achievements was wider than ever, and the affluence of the few stood in sharp contrast to the rapid population growth that has expanded the depressing poverty of the majority to alarming proportions" (Woodward 281). In both the Philippines and Central America, the unequal distribution of wealth stems from the colonial backgrounds of the two regions. Prior to the twentieth century, both areas were under the colonial rulership of Spain. The sys...

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Causes of Poverty in Cental America & the Philippines. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 01:06, March 26, 2019, from https://www.lotsofessays.com/viewpaper/1705097.html