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see poor lawpoor law,
in English history, legislation relating to public assistance for the poor. Early measures to relieve pauperism were usually designed to suppress vagrancy and begging.
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extreme poverty among working people, the absence of the most essential necessities of life among masses of the population in societies based on private ownership of the means of production, inequality of property, and exploitation of some classes by others.

In capitalist society, pauperism is the inevitable result of the universal law of capital accumulation. As K. Marx observed, “Pauperism is the hospital of the active labor-army and the dead weight of the industrial reserve army. Its production is included in that of the relative surplus-population, its necessity in theirs. Along with the relative surplus-population, pauperism forms a condition of capitalist production, and of the capitalist development of wealth” (K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 23, pp. 658–59). In the age of the general crisis of capitalism, mass unemployment has acquired a chronic character and creeping inflation has become an inevitable feature of the capitalist economy, which is increasingly dominated by the military sector. Under these conditions, the robbing of workers by monopolies has increased, thereby engendering pauperism.

References in periodicals archive ?
This principle cannot be too deeply impressed upon ourselves, and those for whom we act" (Society for the Prevention of Pauperism in the City of New York 1820, 38-39).
Yule is better known perhaps for his work in Economics where he documented a positive correlation between the degree of pauperism in a district and the generosity of provision of food for the poor; this was used to argue that there was a causal relationship between the generosity of such relief and the degree of pauperism in Yule (1899).
21) Pauperism, on the other hand, was the "consequence of wilful error, of shameful indolence, of vicious habits.
322: Jukes and Kallikaks--Richard Dugdale, The Jukes: A Study in Crime, Pauperism, Disease, and Heredity (1877).
In chapter 2 Jones revises the familiar juxtaposition of Sister Carrie and The House of Mirth in order to show how, after Darwin, the Progressive era debated the extent to which pauperism was a biological condition.
32) He further contends that the segregation of 'deviants' in Queensland was so effective as to allow the perpetuation of the myth, heavily promoted in immigration propaganda, that pauperism did not exist in Queensland.
The Society for the Prevention of Pauperism preached "sober, industrious, and economical" behavior in return for aid.
He preaches and dictates laws which punish injustice and mean-spiritedness at the same time that they defend and uplift society's victims, whom we can only assume are people just like him, suffering from pauperism, overwork and general neglect.
The former includes economic inequality or property incomes etc in addition to social inequality such as dependence or exploitation while Pauperism denotes ones inability to maintain at the level conventionally regarded as minimal.
The Constitution of the Female Hebrew Society further tells us that the Society sought to protect the poor without encouraging pauperism.