Is democracy effective in reducing inequality and poverty?
In principle democracy is the best form of govt. and most effective in reducing inequality and poverty. Democracy accomodates differences among citizens. Since democratic govt. is elected by people, it is more accountable and responsive than other non-democratic regimes. Hence democratic govts take steps to reduce economic inequality and poverty e.g. If we compare India during colonial rule and India after independence, we can see how economic inequalities have considerably reduced. Freedom and opprtunities are not guaranteed in a non-democratic regime. Although it is argued that democracy has not been able to reduce economic inequalities(it is a challenge to be overcomed), it can still be said that democracy is THE most effective way to reduce economic inequalities(as compared to non-democratic regimes)
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2. The government takes up measures for the welfare of the weaker section of the society, eg: having reserved seats in schools and colleges.
3. A democracy is not simply rule by majority opinion and the minority view is also taken into account for a general view. The government tries to organise schemes to help people come out of state of poverty, but it depends on the people to make the best use of it.
- The development strategies of a democracy should always work towards the goal of reducing the gap between the rich and the poor.
- Economic growth should ensure that wealth is distributed in such a way that all citizens of the country will have a share and lead a better life.
- In a democracy it is possible to provide equal opportunity to all the citizens to prosper because democracies are based on political equality. All individuals have equal right in electing their representatives.
- In most democracies a small number of rich enjoy a highly disproportionate share of wealth while the poor find it difficult to meet the basic needs of life, such a s food, clothing, health, education, etc.,
- It is the duty of the democratic country to lift the poor from the clutches of poverty, for all citizens have equal rights in a democracy. Programmes, for the upliftment of the poor are necessary.
- Programmes like food for work and National Rural Employment Program have attempted to use the unemployed to generate productive assets and build rural infrastructure.
- Other Anti-Poverty Programmes include Rural Landless Employment Guarantee Program