Redefining "Poverty" to Benefit the Welfare State

By:  Thomas Sowell
08/03/2011
       
Redefining "Poverty" to Benefit the Welfare State

If there were a contest for the most misleading words used in politics, "poverty" should be one of the leading contenders for that title.

Each of us may have his own idea of what poverty means -- especially those of us who grew up in poverty. But what poverty means politically and in the media is whatever the people who collect statistics choose to define as poverty.

This is not just a question of semantics. The whole future of the welfare state depends on how poverty is defined. "The poor" are the human shields behind whom advocates of ever bigger spending for ever bigger government advance toward their goal.
 

If there were a contest for the most misleading words used in politics, "poverty" should be one of the leading contenders for that title.

Each of us may have his own idea of what poverty means -- especially those of us who grew up in poverty. But what poverty means politically and in the media is whatever the people who collect statistics choose to define as poverty.

This is not just a question of semantics. The whole future of the welfare state depends on how poverty is defined. "The poor" are the human shields behind whom advocates of ever bigger spending for ever bigger government advance toward their goal.

Click here to read the entire article.

Thomas Sowell (photo)

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