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ERIC Number: ED002549
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1964-Jan
Pages: 8
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
THE STRATEGY AND POLITICAL ECONOMY OF THE WAR AGAINST POVERTY.
ORNATI, OSCAR
SUGGESTIONS FOR STRATEGIES TO WIN THE WAR ON POVERTY ARE BASED ON AN UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT POVERTY IS, HOW IT IS TO BE FOUGHT, AND THE MEANING OF LOSING THE WAR. THERE HAVE BEEN MANY DEFINITIONS OF POVERTY, FOR INDIVIDUALS DIFFER IN THEIR VALUES AND THEIR IDEAS OF NEED. SUBJECTIVE ESTIMATES OF NEED DEPEND ON WHETHER THE ESTIMATOR IS RICH OR POOR, THRIFTY OR LAX, MATERIALISTIC OR IDEALISTIC. FROM SUCH DIFFERENCES STEM VARIED ESTIMATES OF THE NUMBER OF POOR IN THE UNITED STATES WHICH RANGE BETWEEN 20 TO 70 MILLION. DISAGREEMENT ALSO ARISES ON WHETHER THERE ARE MORE OR LESS POOR NOW THAN FORMERLY. THE POOR MAY ALSO BE DEFINED AS CONSTITUTING SOME PART OF THE BOTTOM OF THE INCOME DISTRIBUTION, BUT INCOME DISTRIBUTION IS A DERIVED ASPECT OF POVERTY RATHER THAN ITS CAUSE. TO PLAN AND CARRY OUT POLICIES EFFECTIVELY, PEOPLE WITH HIGH CHANCES OF BEING POOR SHOULD BE IDENTIFIED. IN ONE STUDY, A MEASURE WAS DEVELOPED SHOWING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN POSSESSION OF A GIVEN CHARACTERISTIC AND THE LIKELIHOOD OF HAVING AN INCOME BELOW A CERTAIN LEVEL. IT WAS FOUND THAT THE POSIBILITY THAT A PERSON POSSESSING ONE OF THE CHARACTERISTICS STUDIED WOULD BE POOR INCREASED IN THE PERIOD FROM 1947 TO 1964. EXPANSION OR CONTRACTION IN THE ECONOMY HAD LITTLE EFFECT ON THE RISK OF POVERTY. POLICIES AIMED AT ECONOMIC IMPROVEMENT OF THE TOTAL SOCIETY, WHICH PRESUPPOSE THAT THE POOR WILL ALSO BE HELPED, ARE INEFFECTIVE IN IMPROVING THE LOT OF THE POOR. BECAUSE POOR PEOPLE LACK THE PERSONAL ASSETS WHICH PRODUCE INCOME, WHAT IS REQUIRED TO HELP THEM IS AN INVESTMENT IN HUMAN CAPITAL. POVERTY CAN ONLY BE ELIMINATED BY PAYING ATTENTION TO EDUCATION, CIVIL RIGHTS, HEALTH, HOUSING, JOB RETAINING, SLUM ABATEMENT, AND OTHER EFFORTS TO ENRICH HUMAN BEINGS. THIS PAPER WAS PRESENTED TO THE POVERTY IN PLENTY SEMINAR (DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, JANUARY 1964).
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA