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poverty can be most feasibly defined, imho, by certain objective measures.  infant mortality, malnutrition, educational access and follow-through, security of housing (or any housing), food security, freedom of mobility, average lifespan and causes of premature death.

if you have a substantial number of people whose lives are curtailed below the national average lifespan due to causes associated with deprivation -- malnutrition, exposure, life in insecure "war zones" rife with violence and virtually unpoliced, arbitrary violence from whatever police presence there is -- then I think it is safe to say that you have substantial poverty.  

it is possible to be "wealthier" in terms of good diet, personal security, health and longevity as a cash-poor peasant in a supportive cultural matrix than as a working-poor American through whose hands more dollars flow each year.  so I would stick to actuarial stats if I were trying to figure this out.

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Thu Oct 13th, 2005 at 05:18:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you, DeAnander.  Somehow you've distilled the essence of the thing I howl about in a succint and practical way.

As to the part about "life in insecure war zones" (and I'll have to find the link) a study came out not too long ago showing that children in some areas of our inner-cities do suffer ptsd and all the associated problems of living in this way.

Honestly, we can talk about jobs and the economy and education -- and those are all good things -- but I think if I could choose just two things to change that I believe would help the most, I'd choose national healthcare and ending the drug "war."

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 13th, 2005 at 05:31:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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