Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

So, Change The Definition Of Poverty Then

The problem, generally, is staying in a home, not finding one

We’re told that ever more Britons are living in poverty. This is something that the coming recession will sort out handily. For our measure of poverty is a relative one, related to median incomes. That median will fall – it’s a recession – and yet there is a floor under all incomes called the welfare state.

Another way of making the same point, a measure of relative incomes is one of inequality, not poverty, Inequality falls in recessions. The richer among us rely more upon profits as their source of income, profits fall far faster and further than other components of national income.

But, still, we are told that poverty is increasing:

The number of Britons in poverty has reached a record high of 14.5million, government figures reveal, with the majority living in working families.

Data from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) estimated that the number of people living in a relative low-income household after housing costs had risen to 14.5 million in 2018/19 from 14 million the year before.

It is the highest number of people living in poverty in the UK since figures were collated in 2002.

Note the starting date of this statistics. It was under the Brown Terror. About when they were trying to lower relative income differences by taxing the rich more and sending the money to the poor.

That is, the statistics was entirely concocted in order to justify what they were already doing and going to do.

The correct answer to which is cut the legs out from underneath the justification by changing the counting method. Move to an actual measure of poverty – an absolute measure of living standards at a specific point in time – and junk the relative measure entirely. Or, at least rename it to what it is, a measure of inequality.

That would stop people claiming that poverty is increasing even as living standards for all are also increasing.

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4 years ago

You cannot trust any statistic or study without knowing in great detail how it was developed. If you have a group with an agenda they can very easily get a study that shows the need and/or the phenomenal ROI. You don’t have to lie or cheat, there are plenty of ways to get there with just the slightest influence. One example – many years ago someone did a study of “Food Insecurity” in the U.S. As soon as it was published the news was full of stories about the shocking level of Hunger in the U.S.

4 years ago

But a welcome consequence of mostly shutting down entire nations will be a lessening of “income inequality.” Most really excellent outcomes are now impossible (unless one employs a lobbyist).

Leo Savantt
Leo Savantt
4 years ago

Having lived and worked in genuinely poor countries this idiocy is taking on a profoundly dark tone. If it is true that you don’t know what you’ve got till its gone, protecting what you already have is harder than it ought to be and can ultimately become impossible. Mostly the only truly poor people in the UK are those with health, usually mental and often drug related, problems. Whilst it is true that a very few do slip through the safety net, the percentages are tiny and relatively modest policy changes can address the vast majority of cases inexpensively. Even… Read more »

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