Monday, December 07, 2015

Why nothing will reduce poverty

Liberal blogger (and Jewish social justice warrior, in spite of the name) Matthew Yglesias writes on Vox:
One consequence of this is that we have massively improved the educational credentials of people living below the poverty line, ...

During this time, the overall poverty rate has risen by 1.1 percentage points. This ought to cast some doubt on the idea that further increases in educational attainment are going to cure poverty over time. ...

To reduce poverty, you either need to address those barriers or you need to just hand over some money.
He is a little confused about how the poverty rate is measured. It is based on comparing earned income to the cost of food in 1963, with various inflation adjustments. A man can have all of his food paid by food stamps, and it will not affect whether he is below the poverty rate.

The poverty rate is kept alive by people who believe that relative poverty is more important than absolute poverty. So the rate is calculated so that about 15% of the American population will always be below the poverty line. They could be living like kings on welfare benefits, but the poverty industry will still say that there is an inequality that ought to be addressed.

So poverty will not be reduced by education or anything else, as it is measured. It is just something for social justice warriors to whine about.

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