… is from pages 38-39 of the manuscript of Deirdre McCloskey ‘s extensive and insightful review of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century ; (quoted here with Deirdre’s kind permission) (original emphasis; footnote excluded):
The usual way, especially on the left, of talking about poverty relies on the percentage distribution of income, starting fixedly for example at a relative “poverty line.” As the progressive Australian economist Peter Saunders notes, however, such a definition of poverty “automatically shift[s] upwards whenever the real incomes (and hence the poverty line) are rising.” The poor are always with us, but merely by definition, the opposite of the Lake Wobegon effect – it’s not that all the children are above average, but that always there is a bottom fifth or tenth or whatever in any distribution whatsoever. Of course.
[The Saunders citation is: Peter Saunders, “Researching Poverty: Methods, Results, and Impact ,” Economic and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 24, June 2013, pp. 205-218.]