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I think your description of American poverty is a microcosm of global poverty: the ever-increasing gap between rich and poor, an increasing many for whom the world system doesn't work. We refuse to admit how our affluent societies climbed to their lofty heights. The deregulation of the global system for the benefit of our corporations mimics the debasing of our social safety nets at home. The EU castle is lovely but there is an impoverished mob trying to cross the moat. The world economic system also doesn't work without the poor.

Here is the problem: we've all heard about the complementarity of inflation and unemployment. The problem is that policy analysis may look good on paper, but when you look up from the paper you realize you are making conscious decisions about allowing more actual people to become unemployed, or allowing actual people's savings to become devalued. And there is no way out from the moral quandary. There are indications that the economic system works most efficiently when a small fraction of the population is allowed to slip through the cracks. The problem is that noone likes to be the one slipping through the cracks. The analysis looks good on paper, but then you realize you're talking about actual people.

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 Tue Oct 11th, 2005 at 06:59:15 PM EST

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