Poverty stats and in particular child poverty stats, seem to disproportionately attract the extreme type of 'end justifies the means' lying bastards.
They've convinced themselves a problem exists and will do anything to fudge the numbers to make it seem like it exists.
I agree on the poverty stat. If there were almost no children in poverty, we would hear about the war on the poor that is stopping them from having children. The stat does not capture the true pain that is associated with being poor in the US and disregards any positive steps taken. Not a very effective measurement on either side for making a point.
Originally Posted by judoka_uk
Just talking generally here...
I'm certain poverty exists in the US. Poverty exists everywhere there are human beings, it's just that the poverty is always relative. There's not really any such thing as absolute poverty, poverty is always relative to the average wealth of your society.
Being poor in the US may mean not being able to afford an iPhone or to run a car, it doesn't mean that you will go homeless or not have food to eat, there's social security programs a plenty to ensure that doesn't happen.
The other thing that's never confronted is that poverty is not an aberration. Poverty is not some unusual state that occurs through a set of failures or bad circumstances. Poverty is the normal, the default state of humanity.
Wealth is to the human condition, what heat is to entropy.
It takes severe, concerted and continued effort not to default to poverty.
This is why humanity will never make poverty history, we will only increase the relativity of poverty.
Assuming humanity continues on a roughly steady upwards trajectory with a slight recessionary or depressionary blip every 30-40 years, which is a big if. We can be fairly certain that in 500 years, what is considered poor will be several light years ahead of what is considered comfortable to day.
That is not to say as the ignorant on the left, believe that the poor will be sipping margaritas by their pool or be able to 'make it rain' on the dance floor.
Instead that the day to day items of living, the time saving, labour saving, quality of life enhancing devices that today are available only to the rich, will be cheap enough to be available to the poor.
If we don't let our western hubris get in the way, by denying the world's poor the chance to advance and industrialise, in the spurious cause of saving the planet. Then one day little kids in Uganda, Sierra Leone, Laos and Uzbekistan will be born into the security, prosperity and luxury that we in the West enjoy.
Originally Posted by judoka_uk
Any recomended reading on said view points?
In terms of global poverty and routes out?
Originally Posted by dflanmod
Personally I'm a fan of Collier's The Bottom Billion and Acemolgu's and Robinson's Why Nations Fail , which has a good blog.
Both look at how state and charitable aid is failing to help the world's poor and how what the world's poorest countries need are strong institutions that can then nurture and protect free markets from rent seekers and extractive elites.
Crucially both explore how democracy alone is not sufficient to ensure prosperity and freedom, rather that a plurality of parties and the client building that democracy without strong institutions creates can lead to greater exploitation of the poor rather than less of it.
I would recommend reading both of those books.
My History teacher taught me that there IS such a thing as 'absolute poverty'. Consider the fundamentals to sustaining human life: food, water, shelter, clothing, etc.
The 'relative poverty' argument was one put forward by Prof Peter Townsend, I seem to recall.
I keep the former in mind when poverty is argued, often spuriously, by those arguing 'relative poverty'. I recall looking out of bus, when I was in India, and I seeing a man wrapped in a shawl bedded down to sleep. He exemplified absolute poverty in that he was just able to sustain life.
Africa? Well, strange to say but UK strives to encourage Stabilisation: Good Governance, Security, Education etc in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is done by £Money, Military and Police training teams. They are often overlooked. Additionally, UK offers quality training at Sandhurst, the Royal College of Defence Studies and more in the hope that a sense of Governance and Security will take root in Sub-Saharan Africa. Blair was a spur to this programme.
Your history teacher doesn't seem to have had much grasp of history.
Originally Posted by Eddie Hardon
What do you think was the definition of poverty when the first human cities were emerging in the then prosperous middle east?
Do you think the equivalent of your history teacher back in Ur or Nineveh in 700 BC would have pontificated about how there was no such thing as relative poverty in the poor outliers of Northern Europe or inner Africa, but there was such a thing as absolute poverty?
How would said Ninevehian history teach react to the iPad one wonders?
Well I will say I have seen real poverty that = that of the slums of TJ on this side of the border.
I have three families living a studio apartment in the bad part of town. These same people didn't even have a refrigerator. Also couldn't afford to have running water as in water shut off with no chance of getting it turned back on in the foreseeable future.
Lets not fool ourselves we have do have truely poor people. I have known people who have had to skip meals because the 10 cents a packet ramen was out of their budget.
You are trolling right?
Originally Posted by goodlun
100 years ago refrigeration barely even existed! And now you're portraying it as a basic human right.
That in of itself is evidence of how humanity has grown exponentially richer.
And what about welfare the US and UK spends billions on welfare. It is impossible to not be able to feed and cloth children and pay rent in the US and UK.
Your every need and then some is catered for.
Unless you're a recalcitrant drug addict or alcoholic there is no excuse to be without the basics in the UK or US.
Two interesting things about Mitt Romney I learned just today.
#1: He now likes certain parts of Obamacare and won't "repeal the whole thing" as he promised when he was nominated, breaking his first campaign promise before voting even begins.
So he was against it before he was for it...boy isn't that phrase getting old. He just doesn't like that darned Individual Mandate...you know...the one that was his idea and worked well in MA. But at least now he's being a tiny bit more honest.
#2: Mitt Romney loves growing the government so much, he plans to increase military spending by over 2 trillion dollars. So much for attacking Obama as a big government liberal.
Typical GOP. If we were still at war, this might make sense. We're drawing down two wars.
Maybe Mitt should read some Sun Tzu to understand why unsustainable military spending can lead to the strangulation of the state.
He's probably too busy ready Macroeconomics for Dummies.
Last edited by W. Rabbit; 9/09/2012 5:53pm at .