Herbert Gan Poverty

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The Uses of Poverty Analysis Introduction In this week’s assignment, we were asked to read Herbert J. Gan’s The Uses of Poverty: The Poor Pay All, and to discuss the following areas. First we will discuss Herbert Gan’s perspective on poverty. Then we will look how Gan’s provocative insights help explain the tenacity of poverty in America. Finally we will discuss how Herbert Gan demonstrates that theory can be used to understand modern social problems. Perspective on Poverty Herbert Gan’s perspective on poverty appears to be that it is currently part of our social fabric. Our society’s government and some professions depend on the presence of poverty in America. Gan presents several basic alternatives to re-structure society if poverty was…show more content…
Gan wrote that there were several positive functions economic, social, and political that comes from poverty in America (Gan, 1971). First poverty ensures that dirty work is accomplished such as dead-end, temporary, physically dirty, labor intensive work (Gan, 1971). Second the poor have supported innovation in the medical field, as many of the poor population seek treatment at teaching hospital and submit to treatment as test subject in medical experiments (Gan, 1971). Third the poor create occupations and professions that service the poor (Gan, 1971). Fourth the poor buy products and services that the rest of society does not want such as day-old-bread, second hand clothes, and the poor tend to the use the serveries of sub-standard or ageing doctors and lawyers (Gan, 1971). Another function Gan stated that the poor provided society was in the realm of politics. Gan stated that the poor facilitated and stabilized the American political process because the vote and participate in politics less than other groups the political system can ignore them more easily (Gan, 1971). These are just a few of the functions that Gan stated in his paper but the few I have presented here paint the picture of Gan’s insight into poverty. I believe in simple terms that Gan shows that American society does not really try to eradicate poverty
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