Poverty In The Early 20th Century

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Before the early 20th century, the definition of poor was much different than the modern definition of poverty. For example, in prior centuries, if a family had a roof over their heads and could afford any food, they were not considered poor. However, near the beginning of the 1900s, the definition of poor was changed to promote consumerism, and the population was convinced that if they didn’t have excess goods and gadgets, then they were poor, even if all of their basic necessities were fulfilled. This led to an economy based on consumerism, with people buying more and more excess items in an attempt to be seen as and feel rich.
After the end of World War II, most of the world was in ruins, and the United States became the forefront of economic production. However, the government had come into even more control of common lives, and people were losing the last of their self-sufficiency and being able to function independently and support themselves, locking the population into the economic system that continues today while still falsely promising them riches. The idea had become cemented that poor people were poor for a reason and that anyone, if they were talented or motivated enough, could become rich. This belief persisted despite the truth that “poor” people were neither truly poor nor to blame for their circumstances, in most cases. However, this process had not yet completed itself until much later after World War II.
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