Welcome to The Times in Plain English   Click to listen highlighted text! Welcome to The Times in Plain English

Reducing Poverty, Not Inequality, is the Real Challenge

December 28, 2016
Plain English Version
Reclaiming Detroit.

Reclaiming Detroit.

You can take money from the rich and give it to the poor. Say you take away the wealth of the top twenty percent of Americans. Say you give it to the bottom twenty percent of Americans. You will increase the wealth of the bottom group by twenty-five percent.

But if you do take that action, you will not be able to do it again next year. It is a one-time, one-year plan. That is because the rich, without their money, will not be able to make more money. Or they will have found a way to keep you from taking it again.

If poverty means doing without, the news is promising. In nations from India to Botswana, incomes are growing. Education, healthcare, and housing are growing even more.

Still, there is a strong impulse to rail against the rich. Their wealth is on display. It creates envy and jealousy. It gives politicians a way to appeal for votes. If you wanted to reduce income inequality, how could you do it? Taxes could help. But taxes get money to the government. There is no assurance it will go to the poor.

Overthrowing the government might work for a while. It did not end inequality in the old Soviet Union, or in China or Cuba. It just made more people poor.

Going after the rich could reduce their will to make more money. That could mean fewer inventions. It could mean the economy might not grow as fast as it should.

There is some agreement about what to do in the future. Get more income to those who need it. Get more services to them. Make sure they join in civic life, including voting. Continue stressing the importance of education today. Society can do a lot in that department.

Taking away Rolex watches from the rich will still leave the poor with Timex watches.

It is better to grow the economy than to seize it.

Source: The New York Times December 23, 2016

Print Friendly

In Brief

Most Cancer is Due to “Bad Luck”

When someone who does not smoke, says that he or she has cancer, it is often a surprise. There does not seem to be...

Selling Kids on Vegetables

How to get kids to eat vegetables? Marketing is the answer. You can call it tricks or just good ideas. Whatever works.

School lunchrooms are...

What Do You Call Yourself if Your Mother is White and Your Father is Black?

On the 2010 Census, President Barack Obama, identified himself as  “black.” But millions of Americans consider themselves “bi- or multi-racial.”  And their numbers are...

Mending Walls, By Robert Frost

Robert Frost (1874 – 1963) was a great American poet. Just before he died, he read his poetry at the inauguration of President John...

Archives

Dictionary
  • dictionary
  • English Dictionary

Double click on any word on the page or type a word:

Powered by dictionarist.com
Click to listen highlighted text!