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Aug 28, 2006


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Nate Custer

So as I try to work through your argument, I am struck that you seem to be defining poverty and prosperity in fixed terms. Poverty is having less then X a day, wealth having more then X. While that is useful for mathmatical analysis, is that how people really speak about wealth and poverty? If wealth and poverty are more of a relational measurment does that change your argument?

Michael Kruse

Interesting question. You be anticipating some things I will be posting on later. (One of the drawbacks about a piecemeal discussion like this.) Are you raising the issue of relative poverty, the disparity between the top and bottom of the income distribution?

Nate Custer

I guess I am wondering two things:

1) Is the poverty we speak of (or that the bible speaks of) relative or definite? Which way more acuratly describes how we as a culture use the term? How we as christians should use the term?

2) If relative poverty (or relational poverty - nicer spin on the word ;) ) is more important then difite, does your argument that our goal should be to increase the gdp of the world still hold?


Michael Kruse

Nate, I my next post goes directly to these issues. Your second question is one I am building toward.

Also, "aboslute poverty" and "relative poverty" are two standard terms for talking about poverty from the social sciences. Thus, my terminology. Far be it from me to cross the sociology gods.

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