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26-06-2019, 15:11   #61
Graces7
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Originally Posted by Peregrinus View Post
But this thread, realitykeeper, which you started, is specifically about the solution to poverty, and there's an undeniable link between poverty and not having enough money. Encouraging people to grow their own vegetables and is all very well, but it's of limited value to someone who cannot afford to buy or rent a house with a garden large enough to grow a meaningful amount of food, or who hasn't had the foresight to inherit one. I completely agree that people's well-being will be enhanced by engaging in meaningful, beneficial work even that work is unpaid, but enhancing well-being is not the same thing as reducing poverty.
Thank you for this wisdom

One point; define " poverty"?

There is from time t o time an "official declaration " of how many of us live " below the poverty line"

Its definition of "poverty" is upper middle class. They would define as poor many who live simply through choice. As i do. I am not living in poverty

I am too old to work as such but I engage daily in meaningful activity that benefits others and yes it means a great deal to me in many ways

Oh and I do grow food but would starve if that was all I had!r

There has to be realism in idealism.
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27-06-2019, 02:47   #62
Peregrinus
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Originally Posted by Graces7 View Post
One point; define " poverty"?
It's a very good question.

Obviously, you can have things like spiritual or emotional poverty, but that's not what we're talking about here, so lets put those to one side. Let's talk about material poverty.

Material poverty is the condition of not having enough possessions or income to meet your needs. But obviously there's an awful lot wrapped up in the words "enough" and "needs".

Obviously, you have absolute poverty; someone who cannot feed, clothe and shelter themselves and their dependents to the level needed to sustain life.

But you also have relative poverty; someone who is not absolutely poor in the sense just described, but who is nevertheless so poor, in comparison with others, that they suffer social exclusion. We're social animals; we have a need for social relationships; social inclusion; participation in the community. o if we are deprived of those kind of connections and relationships because we don't have the money required to pursue them, we are in relative poverty.

In your own case, you have a low income but you also live, by preference, a simple life which doesn't consume a lot of resources, so you're happy in life. Which, obviously, is good, and important. But being happy is not the same as not being poor. The fact remains that there are certain choices that you couldn't make, because you don't have the money to make them. You are fortunate that they are choices that you don't want to make, so your inability to make them doesn't lead to unhappiness, but if they were choices that somebody else might need to make in order to live a life with adequate social inclusion, the inability to make those choices would represent poverty.

There are places in the world, for example, where your ability to live a fulfilling life and to make and maintain ordinary social connections is crucially dependent on having, or having access to, a private car. In those places, if you can't afford to keep and run a car, you're poor. There are other places in the world where this is not true. It's increasingly the case that if you can't afford a smartphone, or otherwise to access the internet, this is going to impose significant social limitations on you and will represent relative poverty.

Note that "social limitations" doesn't mean just the inability to socialise with friends. Your lack of a car or a smartphone may be a huge limitation in looking for a job, or in the range of jobs that you can take, or it could similarly limit your educational opportunities - you can only go to the college that's accessibly by bus; you can't take online courses. The smartphone, note, was invented less than 20 years ago, and in that time has gone from luxury status symbol to basic necessity in many societies.

Obviously, what represents relative poverty depends on how rich a society you live in, since social inclusion depends on your being able to do the things that it is normal in your society to be able to do. Therefore we have the bizarre circumstance that someone living on a certain income will be in relative poverty in a first-world countty, while someone living on a much lower income in a developing country will not be in poverty at all. That's a reflection on the inequality of the world we live in, but nevertheless the poverty of the richer person in this example is real.
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