The Inequality Of Poverty And Deprivation Throughout The World

1368 WordsMay 13, 20156 Pages
A middle-aged man in Mirebelais, in the Central Plateau of Haiti, raises a tattered T-shirt to show a group of blans—the Creole word for foreigners, or whites—his thin stomach, how long it has been since he has eaten. In the sprawling hillside favela of Jacarezinho, overlooking Rio de Janeiro, a 31-year-old single mother with two small children describes how she struggles to get by on $40 a month from childcare work. And in the capital of the richest country in the world, in Washington DC, a homeless man in his late 50s—who is good-natured and suffers from no drug addiction, nor mental or physical disability— holds a cup to passersby each day for money. When most people see these kinds of poverty – and there are many different levels and layers of poverty and deprivation throughout the world -- they think first about the glaring inequalities of income and wealth, both within and between countries. But inequality is only part of the story, and depending on the place and the time period in question, it may not be the most important part of the story. It may be that other policies, in addition to redistributing income directly, have a vital role to play in reducing inequality. In the past year, there has been something of a revival of the public policy debate on inequality of income and wealth, a welcome development in light of the alarming trends of the past few decades. Thomas Piketty’s brilliant work, Capital in the Twenty-first Century, focusing primarily on the

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