Recently we discussed the idea of the equity-efficiency trade-off in very broad terms. As we noted, in order to discuss such a concept we need to think about a series of issues about groups. Some of these are easier to conceptualise than others – one of the simplest (albeit not simple) is poverty.
Now anti-poverty policy has had a long, and varying, history. And as this video from Marginal Revolution discusses, many of the principles that we now argue about society has been debating for a long time.
Furthermore sometimes people talk as if poverty has been conquered – and in an “absolute poverty sense” the data seems to back this.
However, although poverty is an “absolute” concept, it isn’t so much about absolute income – as absolute deprivation in terms of capabilities (which includes the ability to function within society, and self-worth in a community).