sábado, 14 de março de 2009

O que irá definir pobreza ou riqueza?

Via O Insurgente

An alternative history: how poverty fell under Thatcherism, texto de Kristian Niemietz

Looking at the evolution of conventional relative poverty (using a threshold of 60% of contemporary median household income), there is a clear pattern: the poverty rate was stable for decades at around 14%, until, from 1983 on, it suddenly recorded a gigantic leap. In 1990, it reached a record of 24%, not falling by much since then. The conclusion usually drawn is that the market-oriented policies pursued in the 1980s may have improved economic performance, but this was achieved at the expense of the poor.

It must be kept in mind, though, that poverty analyses are extremely sensitive to the poverty measure employed. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has experimented with some
alternative measures. They have set a poverty line at 60% of the median household income of the year 1996/97, and applied it from 1961 to 2006, adjusted to each year’s price level. From this, a totally different picture is obtained.

According to the fixed-threshold measure, more than half of the population lived in poverty in the early 1960s. The rate fell rapidly over that decade, while in the 1970s it showed marked volatility. Most strikingly, the explosion of poverty of the 1980s that the conventional figure shows is not mirrored. Poverty now falls from 1982 to 1988, and then stagnates for a while to fall again after 1995.

Os padrões que definem a pobreza e a riqueza, com a continuação do actual estado de coisas, tenderão a baixar os seus níveis. Sejam eles relativos ou absolutos.

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