“The Position of Poverty” is a book written by John Kenneth Galbraith. In this book, John tries to explain the two types of poverty, their causes and effects. He entirely explains why poverty strikes both individuals and the whole community. Notably, Galbraith categorizes poverty under two principal classes, which are insular and case poverty.

John Kenneth explains how the community as a whole influences poverty on an individual. According to him, the community is usually over expectant on an individual’s lifestyle or possession (Galbraith, 234). Despite the fact that a person may have an income that is enough for him/her, the communities’ standards may depict an individual as poor and; thus, the poverty mentality. Arguably, that is the definition of poverty according to John Kenneth.

Accurate Description of Poverty

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Galbraith’s description of poverty is not an accurate one. Poverty can be defined as the situation where people or communities are unable to meet their daily needs at all. John Kenneth assumes that “the degree of privation depends on the size of the family”. At some point, John observes that in normal life, a person usually has three basic needs that are food, shelter, and clothing. Lack of any of the basic needs can be described as poverty as a person cannot afford them (Galbraith, 236).

Consequences of Accepting Galbraith’s Description

Galbirths’s description may mislead the whole community if followed. It can result to stress as people try to live according to the society’s expectations. Arguably, this can lead to deviant behaviors in the community such as stealing and prostitution. Notably, Galbraith’s description of poverty may lead to low self-esteem.


In conclusion, poverty is the state where an individual or the whole community cannot access their basic needs. Galbraith offers a way ward description of poverty that can lead to deviant behaviors in the community.

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