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Old October 15, 2008, 03:53 PM
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Default Re: Define Poverty...


Thanks for Trying to define Poverty.

Poverty = when people can't afford the basic "survival" amenities of life. Roof over their head. Clean water to drink. Food to eat. Ability to pay their medical bills.

Are you talking a Developed nation - or - some third world dung whole full of tribal disputes, class structures which may be denied but which still persists, places run by dictators who live high on the hog at the purposeful expense of its people, places where people breed like rabbits with little to no food to start with and thus only exacerbate the problem.

Define "Roof over their head"
Define "clean water to drink"

And then explain what the hell Medical Bills have to do with a person being in Poverty or not. Because, a person can be earning quite well, live in a nice four bedder, drive a nice car, but have no Savings in the bank or Medical Insurance and a $30k medical bill can bankrupt them. So an ability to pay a medical bill is Not any kind of Necessity of life. And certainly no determination whether someone is in Poverty.

The Abos of Australia are a Classic Example of this Poverty of which you speak. You see, they are given Everything. Free housing. Free schooling. Free medical. Free education. Free money.

You know what they do with it all?

Spend the money on cigarettes, booze and drugs. Rip their homes apart and burn the bits for firewood. Defecate and urinate inside their own dwelling - then complain about the Squalor they live in. Molest their children (something like 80% of their kids under 5 have sexually transmitted diseases). And don't bother going to school to Better Themselves.

But they have a roof over their head, clean water, food and medical taken care of. Would you say they are in Poverty? Because they reckon they are and that they are hard done by.

How about the bloke in England. Threw in his 80,000 quid a year job. Left his wife to move into a Caravan without power or running water. And now makes a few bob here and there by scavenging and beachcombing and selling his finds - such as driftwood - to whomever will buy his wears.

Does he fit your definition of Poverty? No clean water, cant pay his medical bills, has no money really so doesn't know where his next meal is coming from.

Should Ethiopia be helped from the outside while its own Govt stands by and does nothing - for example?

I am sure, going by your definition of Poverty, we could all find ways to be classified as living in Poverty. So what you want to achieve, is not achievable even in theory. Plus, you are trying to prevent a Symptom - a result - of some cause, without addressing the cause.

Richness is whatever you can convince people (and they believe) richness is.

Michael Ross
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