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Quote 611

Classical liberals have insisted that the question of "the wealth of nations" comes logically before "the poverty of nations". Poverty is meaningful only in comparison to wealth and wealth must be produced. Poverty is what you have if wealth is not produced. "poverty has no causes, wealth has causes"

Definition of poverty

Quote 612

There is no decernable line between poverty and wealth.The poor today enjoy amenities unavailable to the wealthy of the past, even the relatively recent past. (think of dentistry that only used to be accessible to the super rich, now available to the poor worldwide)

  • Median relationship means that we can never eradicate 'poverty'
  • Different opinions of what is essential mean we cannot agree on what is poverty
  • The fact that poverty can officially fall due to a DROP in household incomes shows how silly the current definition is. 
  • Some of poverty can be resolved by taking some basic lessons in personal financial management. Or lowering living standard expectations to something more reasonable?
  • Pasta, bread and rice are still relatively inexpensive, there is no need for anyone on even the most basic income to go hungry.
  • A new definition of poverty would be those that cannot afford Sky television, cigarettes and alcohol!
  • Poverty rates need to take regional differences into account.
  • How is it possible that there is poverty here with the billions paid out in benefits,free housing,free schooling, free healthcare etc
  • The so-called "poor" weren't out stealing food to feed their starving families, they were stealing the latest flat screen TVs and iphones.
  • Are those in poverty the work-less or work-shy?
  • The measure needs to include all "hidden" income, such as housing benefit and free school meals.
  • "Child Poverty" two very emotive words. However are the parents of these children actually truly poor or are they the "self made" poor.
  • To reduce child poverty we should discourage people on low incomes/benefits from having children. Instead we have been doing the exact opposite and encouraging them to have kids to get benefits.
  • Surely having a roof over your head, clothes on your back and food to eat without having to a days work for it is a definition of being rich not poor, or have I missed something...
  • I have the feeling issues creating child poverty are not just financial.
  • Maybe a redistribution of benefits are what's needed to address poverty.
  • 'undeserving poor', 'deserving poor',  'undeserving rich', 'deserving rich', 
  • If they want to link the word poverty to the fact that members of society needs to plan a full role in society, then working and paying taxes are also included in this. 
  • Many of those claiming poverty will not have seen real poverty in the flesh so to speak, like witnessed in many poor countries (Siera Leon, Djibouti, India to name a few).
  • Issues creating child poverty are not just financial.
  • One problem is (even with technology aside) what is now defined as 'poverty' is a higher standard of living than average 50-60 years ago. A family on welfare with a house or flat has a lifestyle beyond the dreams of most people 100 years ago. Some won't work for better. 
  • We have a "poverty industry" whose careers depend on making the position sound worse.
  • Poverty is essentially a condition of a lack of choice.  
    In poorer countries there is a lack of choice of jobs, which mean workers have to accept low wages
    Some people have made previous choices that have limited their current choices
    Government regulates so that there is less competition for consumers pushing up prices and restricting choices.
  • There are no causes of poverty. It is the rest state, that which happens when you don't do anything. If you want to experience poverty, just do nothing and it will come.

Method for resolving definition of poverty

1. Define essentials. 
2. Decide a minimum spend on non-essentials. 
3. Declare that those who cannot afford to spend the minimum on non-essentials are in poverty. 

4. Argue forever about 1.

The issue for all politicians is the poverty trap - if they spend enough to take people out of absolute poverty the economic case for working declines, "not worth working"

This government hate the poor. They are doing nothing to eradicate unemployment

Problem is some campaigners just won't be content unless everyone has almost exactly the same.

From EA magazine

  • The biggest source of poverty is not low pay, its not having a job
  • 'Poverty industry'
  • What level of spending if any would qualify as 'enough' for the poverty industry
  • Incomes in the middle of the distribution tend to follow the business cycle more closely than incomes at the lower end , because the former consist mostly of earned income, and the latter mostly of state transfers. Median incomes fall faster than low incomes and drag the poverty line down with them.
  • Welfare system that is not based on a contributory principle here payment of tax gives entitlement to benefits.

Is capitalism to blame for poverty?

Quote 1224

Capitalism did not create poverty, it inherited it. Compared to the centuries of precapitalist starvation the living conditions of the poor in the early years of capitalism were the first chance the poor ever had to survive.

   --  Ayn Rand

Wealth has causes, but poverty does not; poverty is what results if wealth production does not take place , whereas wealth is not what results if poverty production does not take place.


Yet another job creation programme, this time not for the poor or unemployed but for the 'poverty industry'. 

Ending poverty is like achieving world peace - not achievable

One thing organisations like Oxfam get caught up in is focusing on inequality. However this focus on inequality, does nothing to solve 

School breakfasts

Take money from family support and use it to feed kids at school, problem solved.

Light hearted solution

Feed the homeless to the hungry. Problem solved.
Don't feed the wildlife, they can become dependent. - same applies to people