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gareth_rees
Feb. 24th, 2012 01:45 pm (UTC)
calls to eradicate poverty are nonsensical, since poverty is defined in relative terms

The people who call for eradication of poverty are probably thinking in absolute terms.

But even if you define poverty in relative terms, it's still (mathematically) possible to eradicate it. In the UK, a typical measure of relative poverty is a household having less than 60% of median income (after housing costs). It would certainly be (mathematically) possible for every household to have more than 60% of median income, even if the income distribution remains highly skewed.
steepholm
Feb. 24th, 2012 02:03 pm (UTC)
True - I was simplifying so as to get the point across in a snappy way. But yeah - I've made that same point in the past. One trouble with relative measures is that it means that a drastic reduction in general living standards may actually make it look as if poverty is being eliminated. I suspect that poverty is being eliminated in Greece as I write, even as most people are getting poorer in absolute terms.

On the other hand, I can see why they prefer relative to absolute measures.

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