Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on February 20, 2014

in Inequality

… is from page 28 of the manuscript of Deirdre McCloskey‘s forthcoming volume, The Treasured Bourgeoisie: How Markets and Improvement Became Virtuous, 1600-1848, and Then Suspect (original emphasis; footnote excluded):

The usual way of talking about poverty is by income alone, using an ever-shifting “poverty line.”  As the Australian economist Peter Saunders notes, however, poverty rates “automatically shift upwards whenever the real incomes (and hence the poverty line) are rising.”  The poor are always with us by definition, the opposite of the Lake Wobegon effect – it’s not that all the children are above average, but that there is always a bottom fifth, of course, in any income distribution.


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