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Compare and Contrast Essay

Compareand Contrast Essay

Compare and Contrast

The two essays What is Poverty? by Jo Goodwin Parker as wellas The Poverty of Equality by Stephen Moore and Peter Ferraralook at poverty from different perspectives. In particular, Parkerdescribes poverty and insists how poor people tend to suffer morethan the richer ones. On the other hand, Moore and Ferrara offer adetailed description of poverty and how the society and thegovernment should handle the problem. In fact, they debunk the myththat the equal distribution of opportunities will reduce poverty. Forinstance, the two authors use the example of China to reveal how theidea of communal land ownership failed, and the need for people touse their skills and knowledge to succeed. They believe that it isright to help the poor people, but, also morally wrong to take thefunds that share it equally in the community. Instead, Parker’sessay does not offer such measures, and she only illustrates howpoverty has led to multiple challenges in the society. Even if thetwo essays talk about poverty, Parker only shows the suffering thatpoor people undergo while Moore and Ferrara prove how the ideology ofequal distribution of resources is wrong and impractical.

The two essays What is Poverty? by Jo Goodwin Parker and ThePoverty of Equality by Stephen Moore and Peter Ferrara both talkabout poverty. In fact, they highlight the challenges that poorpeople have to undergo in their daily lives. To some extent, theessays act as a call for action and the authors wish that thegovernment makes immediate response that will minimize the impact ofthe problem. They also assess the current approaches by thegovernment that have helped poor people in handling their challenges.For instance, Parker has illustrated how the unemployment helped thenarrator’s family, and she also talked about the lunch program thathelped the poor people in finding enough income to support theirbasic needs. On the other hand, Moore and Ferrara highlight how theprogressive tax system often gets more money from the richer peoplein a bid to help the poor ones.

Apart from the few similarities, the two essays have differentapproaches since Parker highlights challenges of the poor peoplewhile Moore and Ferrara look at the proper measures that will reducepoverty in the society. Parker simply evaluates how poverty lookslike, and it is a way of raising awareness. Even the second paragraphinsists that “Poverty is getting up every morning from a dirt- andillness-stained mattress” (Parker). She also reveals how she relieson government support such as the unemployment insurance, the lunchprograms, and she also tells how she was forced to beg her relativesfor money to support the children. However, Moore and Ferrara believethat the poor people have been blinded with the notion that thegovernment should initiate the equal distribution of resources tohelp them earn enough income. In fact, the two authors reveal that“once such policies are established, going further—taking fromsome by force of law what they have produced and consequently earned,and giving to others merely to make incomes and wealth more equal—isnot justifiable” (Moore and Ferrara). The two are against the ideaof equality, and they want everyone to struggle and make an impact inthe society.

Moore’s and Ferrara’s position was more convincing since theyused clear arguments and stories to justify their perspective. In theprocess, one is able to understand how the poverty of equality isineffective and identify the mentality and measures that can help inreducing the problem. First, he begins with the short story “HarrisonBergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut that shows how the ideology of equalityfailed in improving that particular society. The authors evenmaintain that China tried the communal land ownership during the1950s and ended up producing a lower amount of food. However, whenthe nation embraced the private land ownership in the 1980s, theharvest doubled up, and the nation was able to defeat the economicchallenges that they were facing. Moore and Ferrara also illustratethat “if equality is truly a moral obligation, then inequalities ofbeauty, intelligence, strength, grace, talent, etc. logically allshould be leveled as well.” The description justifies how thepoverty of equality is impractical since some people have gainedwealth through their effort and knowledge without the help of others.Hence, making sure that they are taxed with the objective of helpingthe poor people seems a bit irrelevant. Instead, the authors wanteveryone to use their abilities and succeed and stop complainingabout the increased income inequality. In summary, Moore and Ferraraare more convincing that Parker’s that simply illustrate howpoverty is challenging, yet, she does not offer any way forward.

In conclusion, the two essays capture how poverty works but, Parkeronly highlights the challenges that poor people experience whileMoore and Ferrara insist that the assumption of equal distribution ofresources will reduce poverty is wrong and impractical. In fact,Moore and Ferrara describe how China was unable to have a strongereconomy when they had decided to embrace the ideology of communalland ownership. However, the nation began experiencing significantchanges only after they had initiated the private land ownershipconcept that doubled up the amount of harvest that they were gettingearlier. The arguments make the Moore and Ferrara’s essay moreconvincing than what Parker does. For instance, Parker simplyhighlights how severe poverty can be. She does not offer anysolution’ but, only describes it in detail, and reveals how peopleare suffering because of their low-income status instead.


Moore, Stephen and Ferrara, Peter. The Poverty of Equality.Retrieved on 18th Nov, 2016, from:https://spectator.org/35742_gsa-rocks-vegas/

Parker, Jo Goodwin. What is Poverty?Retrieved on 18thNov, 2016, from: https://msu.edu/~jdowell/135/JGParker.html