Friday, December 23, 2005

"Poor" as a Relative Standard: A wonderful article from The Economist on how poverty is very much a subjective word. The article uses a comparison of a back-woods ex-miner from the mountains of Kentucky vs. a doctor in Kinsasha, Congo.

Done with typical British aplomb, it refrains from any explicit judgments while showing that what we consider poor is a far cry from a true dearth of material wealth. Tellingly, our backwoods ex-miner is far better off, materially, than the respected Congolese doctor, yet when comparing their contributions to society, one finds that material wealth is a misleading indicator of worth.

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