Ananya Roy, a professor at the University of California Berkeley, once heard her students talking about welfare and poverty in America. One of them expressed a controversial opinion, that is the behaviour of the poor that creates dependency on government welfare, and that this apparent dependency has now become a problem. The student who made this controversial statement was from a low-income family, who has taken on several jobs to help support the family. She works at the grocery store and, according to the above video, “…people on welfare come in there all the time, trying to buy cigarettes and alcohol with their food stamps.” Does food stamps and dole out aids or government subsidies really help alleviate, if not eradicate, global poverty?
This video discusses how the issue on poverty is not only the poverty of wealth but also the poverty of power. It defines the history and root of such dependency and takes on a global perspective where income inequality and welfare distribution has affected the countries in growing economies. Welfare, not poverty, is now the problem. That dependency on government welfare should instead be diverted to independence and empowerment of the poor. This is the advocacy of #GlobalPOV Project. Through the use of digital media and improvised art, critical social theory is enriched to educate people about ways on poverty and inequality, and how it can become a collective action for social change. See more of these videos at the BLUM Center for Developing Economies.