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But this is the problem Polly

The aim is to rubbish the poverty measure accepted by all international organisations and to call for new measures that ignore inequality.

All of those international organisations use a definition of poverty which is about inequality, not poverty. So if you wish to insist, as is perfectly reasonable even if you don\’t happen to agree, that poverty should be about absolute poverty not relative poverty then you\’re going to be entirely out of step with all of those international organisations.

For example, if we measure UK child poverty by deprivation then we\’re 9 th in the OECD (out of 29).

If we measure by relative child poverty then we\’re 22 nd out of 35.

That is, we are a more unequal country than many other places, thus we have higher relative child poverty, but we have less child deprivation than many other places that are more equal than we are.

It is indeed possible to discuss which measure we ought to be using: but all those international organisations measuring it only by relative poverty are rather closing down that conversation, aren\’t they?

2 thoughts on “But this is the problem Polly”

  1. Can I just say “Overton Window”?

    Or, to explain, if we aren’t allowed to talk about alternative measures of child poverty, then they’ve already won because “reducing child poverty” is an easy sell.

    Also – does this mean that Khazakstan is one of the countries with the lowest official child poverty (it’s one of the low gini countries ’cause nearly everyone is dirt poor, without being clearly dysfunctional like Somalia.)

  2. on their definition, the poor will always be with us and therefore they have a role in life as defenders of the poor. If there is no poverty then you can’t take money from your enemies to give to your friends…

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