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There are two kinds of people intent on relativizing American poverty. Patriotic Americans who don't want to admit that the situation in the US can be that bad, and foreigners who insist that their home country is worse off.

But the point shouldn't be to rank countries on a linear scale of "poverty". The point should be to identify the markers of poverty (like we have done: infant mortality, child malnourishment, illiteracy, shortened life expectancy) and explore 1) to what extent these problems affect the whole society and not only who sufferes from them; 2) what the society at large can or should do about it.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 15th, 2005 at 04:50:13 AM EST
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