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The why of poverty (1901) PDF book by George Henry Hubbard

Download The why of poverty (1901) by George Henry Hubbard (social studies regarding poverty causes in the author's time and  some causes are still relevant to our time)

The why of poverty


The most troublesome element of the social problem on its economic side is the element of poverty. All other questions at the present time seem to radiate from this as their common center. Every scheme for reform seems to have this for its ultimate end, — to relieve poverty. Poverty makes men restless, it makes them envious, it makes them desperate. And % there is poverty in our land, hard, grinding poverty, notwithstanding the fact that the nation as a whole is growing richer at the rate of more than a billion dollars annually.


 Periodically there sweeps over the country a wave of hard times and thousands of struggling workers are almost swallowed up in its resistless flood. Even during what we call easy times there are many who must battle night and day to keep the wolf from the door. Multitudes of families know nothing of luxury, and not a few are strangers to even the comforts and decencies of life.


Children are reared amid squalor and filth unfit for animals. Women wear out their lives toiling for a mere pittance. Hungry ones long in vain for nourishing food; and weary ones are spurred on to their toil by the knowledge that rest means starvation. These weary ones look across the way and see their neighbors living in plenty, who apparently toil no harder than they. The sight fills them with discontent; for they feel sure that something is wrong with the world in which they live. Wealth is certainly very unequally distributed.
The fact is patent to all, and the question naturally arises, — What is the cause of this inequality? Who is responsible for the fact that one man has enough and to spare while his brother man perishes with hunger? Is it the fault of existing social systems, or of the wickedness of individual men and women, or of an unequal Providence?


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