Grey Thoughts
Truth - Poverty and inequality
In the past I have talked about the definition of poverty being used and how letting those with competing ideas choose the terminology almost guarantees their success. Today on Online Opinion Peter Saunders makes the same connection with the definition of poverty that I have. As per usual, he says it a lot better than I could have...
Most commentators will tell you that “poverty” should be defined and measured relative to the living standards of specific societies. This means that “poverty” in Africa is very different from “poverty” in Australia. To be poor in Africa means you are starving: to be poor in Australia means you cannot afford to eat out at a restaurant. There is an obvious problem, however, in defining “poverty” in this way, for it swiftly becomes indistinguishable from “inequality”....This is why socialist academics and left-wing activists have universally adopted a relativistic definition of poverty, for it leads directly to the income redistribution policies they favour. Once locked into such a definition, anyone who wants to reduce poverty is obliged to sign up to a socialist political agenda.

As I said in the comments, the main difference between the 50/60's and now is that people back then knew how to do a lot of things themselves , whereas now people pay for plumbers, mechanics, meals out, clothing. We may have more money, but we have less skills due to a focus on the supposed unimportance of family life compared to a 'career'.
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