by Thomas Sowell –
The political left has long claimed the role of protector of “the poor.” It is one of their central moral claims to political power. But how valid is this claim?
Leaders of the left in many countries have promoted policies that enable the poor to be more comfortable in their poverty. But that raises a fundamental question: Just who are “the poor”?
If you use a bureaucratic definition of poverty as including all individuals or families below some arbitrary income level set by the government, then it is easy to get the kinds of statistics about “the poor” that are thrown around in the media and in politics. But do those statistics have much relationship to reality? [Read more…]