Michael Harrington o ubóstwie i walce z ubóstwem w Stanach Zjednoczonych
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Michael Harrington has been interested in the problem of poverty in the United States for many years. In his opinion the poverty problem is a social problem. The poverty of particular people, according to him, is not a question of individual characteristic of people suffering it but rather of socio-economic conditions end mechanisms. The question "who should be considered as poor?“ can be answered only against a concrete historical background, with in a context of a definite society living at a definite period of time. The poverty is not only a problem of the poor but, first of all, of the society in which the poor live. Besides its economic aspect the poverty has also its psychological and political aspects. While recognizing the importance of the economic factor, M. Herrington accepts, as a starting point, the official income definition of the poverty and measures resulting from it. He is also formulating a number of postulates concerning such realization of this definition eccording to which anybody, who is not encompassed by the economic promotion of the entire society, is conside red to be poor. The struggle with the poverty represents an obvious social goal, which becomes all the more urgent since the poverty is characterized with autodynamics. The causes of the poverty are analyzed by the author from two different view points. In the liberal-reformistic interpretation, the main emphasis is placed by him on the existence of the so-called "vicious circle of the poverty" in which the poverty is both the effect and the cause of the poverty. On the other hand, the analysis performed from the left ist view point reveals that at the very foundations of "the vicious circle“ lies the monopolistic structure of the US economy and subordination of the state's targets to corporations targets. Whan analyzed in such a context, an effective struggle with the poverty, in Harrington's opinion, calls for fundamental social reforms to be performed and implemented under pressure exerted by a wide socialist-liberal- and trade-unions coalition. Harrington believes in a likelihood of establishing such coalition and in its effective operation.