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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    That's a bit of a tautology isn't it? Of course 'poverty' is a manifestation of 'inequality', by definition? :confused:

    The truth is that 'poverty' is always and in all places and societies, a relative concept. One is poor compared to those who are not.

    In every country, or at least every country with some kind of intelligent government, the authorities and official statisticians make an effort to define 'poverty' for their country, based on what is considered to be the minimum acceptable standard of living. When people, including government officials, admit that at least a million children are still living below the poverty line, they haven't just dreamed it up - they accept this definition.

    Of course poverty in the UK doesn't mean people are starving in the streets (although the growing use of food banks casts doubt even on that assertion) and yes, it's all relative. But so what??

    It's a pretty standard US-developed right-wing excuse that poverty in the West is not real poverty because people have a TV or can eat a meal every day. It excuses action.

    People who are poor in our society cannot, for example, maintain a properly healthy diet for long periods and also heat themselves properly now. Benefit levels are too low and food and energy prices have soared. The price of salads, fresh vegetables, meat and fish, for example, have all risen sharply. They now form a larger percentage of average income than for more than 20 years. Literally, winding the clock back to Thatcherism.
    Thank you! People don't realise the serious nature of inequality, no matter how relatively well off the lower-classes are compared to third world poverty.
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    I'm sorry, but who are you to be speaking like you have set me an assignment? You are not my professor, I don't have to do scholarship for you. You made the assertion that there is a raft of research out there, and I asked for references so that we could define the debate.

    As it stands, it is up to you to provide an abstract/summary of the relevant material so it can be discussed further!
    I'm not setting you an assignment, if you feel like challenging my view then I have directed you to some authors who may enlighten you. This is not a dissertation and I don't have to provide you with abstracts of research. I may do this later if I suddenly get lots of free time. This is unlikely and seeing as you ignore EVERY piece of evidence that doesn't fit your argument then it would probably be fruitless. You've ignored fuel poverty and associated deaths and you've ignored the brutal reality of the lack of funds in the example I gave you.



    (Original post by marcusfox)
    , now we are getting somewhere. You might just as well have said that you accept the 'relative poverty' definition without the need for all that name dropping. I have already done relative poverty to death in previous posts though - showing the way it to be calculated is complete and utter nonsense.
    I gave you one definition, not the only definition. I acknowledged the limits of that as a definition and also explained the flaw in your argument, which you studiously avoided responding to.



    (Original post by marcusfox)
    now you have redefined poverty to your own personal definition, which seems to be something along the lines of people who feel poor.

    I refer you back to Mr Filan of Westlife. Is he poor? Why? Why not?

    LOL. Talk about putting your foot in it. You go on to originally define poverty as relative poverty of those with below median incomes and then come up with an example of someone who would not even be counted in the relative poverty statistics because she has an above median income!
    That's the very point. I dare you to not feel poor living on £95 a month. This illustrates that even those considered not to be in poverty can be, practically speaking, in poverty. You may think that £95 a month would be a fortune to those in the global South but relatively here, where you can't buy food cheaply, where you don't have access to land on which to grow your own food, you are at the mercy of retailers prices, employers wages, state benefits and luck. If you can't acknowledge this point I would like to draw our conversation to a close as I do not believe we can achieve any form of rational debate. Oh and your stellar 'westlife' example; well, if he can't afford to feed himself properly, doesn't have a home, can't afford heating etc then yes.

    (Original post by marcusfox)
    Straight away, the indicators of poverty have become utterly meaningless.

    It's people like you who are defining poverty in this way who are responsible for the ballooning of the welfare state to levels we have today.

    The road to a welfare heaven is paved with good intentions. Almost since its inception the welfare state has taken on a momentum of its own.The safety net principle has all but gone through the window and the question of benefits has become instead a matter of ensuring adequate lifestyles often indefinitely regardless of whether beneficiaries work, don't work, are disinclined or willing to work.

    They are all lumped together in a heterogeneous group. The system does not allow judgments. Once the decision is made to "eliminate poverty" in this manner there is no end to it. Group after group is identified as being deprived. Every time one turns on a TV or radio discussion someone is holding a banner for this group or another pleading as to how they are deprived and disadvantaged. The number of these groups and the size of them grows every year.

    Political parties follow the public mood. In a democracy they'd be foolish to follow any other course. As the system expands, more and more electors become embraced in full or more usually part dependence on the benefits system and we move one step nearer towards the client state.
    Esping-Andersen would not agree that we have a ballooned state - he describes us as a 'liberal state' in his typology. This describes us as a basic, social assistance state, compared to social democratic states such as Sweden. http://xavier-fim.net/teaching/cpd/r...rsen-intro.pdf.
    The ballooning, over generous welfare state you describe is a very contested concept. Other countries have far more generous systems and also ensure employers pay adequate wages.

    You seem to be very preoccupied with a distaste for the 'relative' definition and yet have totally ignored the fact that people have died through being in poverty and that people, whether working or in benefits, are faced with funds less than they need to live adequately. I have spent times on extremely low income and have only survived because of the generosity of friends and family. Perhaps you have been fortunate enough to never be in that position but I really wish you wouldn't, in one fell swoop without any references of your own, tell me that no one in this country lives in poverty. You've demanded evidence from me, yet provided no evidence to back up your 'points'. David Cameron is happy to accept that there is poverty in Britain:
    '…and again it’s us, the modern compassionate Conservative party, who are the real champions of fighting poverty in Britain today.'
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/poli...h-in-full.html

    Do you disagree with him?
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    You don't make sense. Of course it is not necessarily the case whether we are using mean or median. That is the WHOLE POINT of my objection to using 'relative poverty' as any sort of benchmark for anything.

    So why bring 'mean' into it?

    If the mean income increases, it is entirely possible that those under the mean figure have not had their incomes increase whatsoever, or even decrease. It's possible that it has risen, but by no means certain.

    Now replace mean with median and the same applies (even though in every one of my original examples I was talking about median average and you got it into your head that I meant mean average.

    This is GCSE level maths...
    I love the way you completely ignored my main argument and keep concentrating your post on semantics.
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    (Original post by amineamine2)
    I love the way you completely ignored my main argument and keep concentrating your post on semantics.
    He has become preoccupied with defeating the concept of relative poverty. He seems to forget that whether or not you like the concept of relative poverty and the possibility that some people contained within its definition may not have very low incomes, there are some people living in poverty. He seems to think that if he can prove that its not a perfect method then that means no one is living in poverty. If only that were actually true and not completely ridiculous.
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    (Original post by css88)
    He has become preoccupied with defeating the concept of relative poverty. He seems to forget that whether or not you like the concept of relative poverty and the possibility that some people contained within its definition may not have very low incomes, there are some people living in poverty. He seems to think that if he can prove that its not a perfect method then that means no one is living in poverty. If only that were actually true and not completely ridiculous.
    TBH I'm starting to realise it's a bit of a waste of time attempting to engage in rational debate on this topic. Die hard libertarians regard all forms of government welfare as anathema and are indifferent to practical argument. Poverty? It doesn't exist. Fairness? An outmoded concept. People who genuinely need help? Workshy scroungers.

    I call it Daily Mail uninformed Psychosis or taking a DuMP.
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    (Original post by amineamine2)
    British intelligence claim the ship was heading away. And now you are just speculating. The war would have been won without it. That's me speculating, I can do it too.
    Heading away doesnt mean they were harmless....

    I doubt Yank Navy ships were sailing towards Hiroshima in 45....
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    (Original post by amineamine2)
    You seem not to understand what happened to the Belgrano. There was no need to sink it as it was not a threat, nor did it aid British victory. It was just a pointless waste of some 300 lives.
    "It wasn't a threat."
    No, it was just a dirty great big US Navy cruiser sitting off the Falklands with orders to attack the Task Force.

    Can you tell me what a warship is for if it's not a threat? Perhaps you think that it was a bit like Rainbow Warrior, and they were going to make a big fuss and protest a lot until the Task Force went home?

    "nor did it aid British victory"
    Well, their Navy immediately turned and fled back to Argentine ports, never to return. If that's not an improvement in the strategic situation, I don't know what is.

    "It was just a pointless waste of some 300 lives"
    There was a war going on. They started it, then started crying every time they got spanked. They used missiles and bombs on our Navy - sinking the Sheffield, the Coventry and blowing up the Galahad and Tristram. Did they ever stop and ask "are those British ships a threat?" "Will we be wasting lives?" No. Because we were at war.

    I tell you what - how about we don't go around sinking enemy ships, give them all the advantages and fight it out from the worst possible position - and lose as many of our own people as possible. We tried that before, and called it The Great War.


    It seems to me that the Argentine Junta at the time (and successive governments including the current one), were banking on the British government thinking the way you do.
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    (Original post by flying plum)
    It was more complicated than that, and you know it.
    Not to me it's not. To me, the sinking of the Belgrano is an entirely uncontroversial episode.
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    (Original post by Clip)
    No, it was just a dirty great big US Navy cruiser sitting off the Falklands with orders to attack the Task Force.

    Can you tell me what a warship is for if it's not a threat? Perhaps you think that it was a bit like Rainbow Warrior, and they were going to make a big fuss and protest a lot until the Task Force went home?



    Well, their Navy immediately turned and fled back to Argentine ports, never to return. If that's not an improvement in the strategic situation, I don't know what is.



    There was a war going on. They started it, then started crying every time they got spanked. They used missiles and bombs on our Navy - sinking the Sheffield, the Coventry and blowing up the Galahad and Tristram. Did they ever stop and ask "are those British ships a threat?" "Will we be wasting lives?" No. Because we were at war.

    I tell you what - how about we don't go around sinking enemy ships, give them all the advantages and fight it out from the worst possible position - and lose as many of our own people as possible. We tried that before, and called it The Great War.


    It seems to me that the Argentine Junta at the time (and successive governments including the current one), were banking on the British government thinking the way you do.

    You aree lateeee, I already admitted my misconception of the events and that I was wrong upon being given new information I was not aware of.
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    (Original post by css88)
    He has become preoccupied with defeating the concept of relative poverty. He seems to forget that whether or not you like the concept of relative poverty and the possibility that some people contained within its definition may not have very low incomes, there are some people living in poverty. He seems to think that if he can prove that its not a perfect method then that means no one is living in poverty. If only that were actually true and not completely ridiculous.
    I guess you can't change ones philosophy when they refuse to take part in a rational debate with an open mind.
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    (Original post by amineamine2)
    You aree lateeee, I already admitted my misconception of the events and that I was wrong upon being given new information I was not aware of.
    You mean 30 year-old new information?
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    (Original post by amineamine2)
    I love the way you completely ignored my main argument and keep concentrating your post on semantics.
    Eh? You are the one concentrating on semantics. You are the one who keeps trying to hammer home the difference between mean and median as though it were somehow relevant to my argument.

    9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Median value 5, mean value 5. A contrived benchmark for comparing whether future examples increase or reduce relative poverty.

    20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 4, 3, 2, 1. Median value 12 mean value 10 - median value rises, but people below the median are still the same as before, yet relative poverty has increased without any change in income.

    4, 4, 4, 3, 3, 3, 3, 2, 1. Median value 3, mean value 3. Median value has fallen, those at the bottom are still earning the same, but apparently are better off because less are assessed as being in relative poverty.

    9, 9, 9, 9, 8, 4, 4, 4, 4. Median value 8, mean value 6.6. Median value has risen, but more are in relative poverty in spite of them earning much more than they were before.
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    (Original post by css88)
    Single mum, 1 year old identical twins, husband left her. Earns £30k from a decent job she worked hard to get. She takes home, after tax, student loan and pension deduction about £1760 a month. She has to put her children into fulltime childcare to do this. The cheapest childcare she could get comes to £375 a week (£1625 pm) and the rent on her horrible, ex-council flat in a run-down block comes to just £1100 (bargain!). Luckily the state helps her out and she gets support towards those crazy childcare costs of about £230 a week (£1005.33 pm), and lets not forget that £33.40 in child benefit a week (£144.73 pm) She then has to legally pay £90 in council tax a month.
    So where are we at now? lets see..
    Income:
    £1760 + £1005.33 + £144.73 = £2910.06. Lucky lady!

    Then, outgoings, keep it simple to start:
    Rent: £1100, Childcare: £1625, Council Tax: £90 = £2,815.

    So, that leaves her with £95.06 per month for gas, electricity, food, clothes for her growing children and this is all assuming it's totally fine with her to walk 20 miles to work and back a day. Don't forget, once you are late at nursery it is standard to start charging by the minute. Get your running shoes on!
    Single mum, one year old identical twins, husband left her.

    Unemployed.

    Child Tax credit £114 per week
    Housing Benefit £253.85 per week
    Council tax benefit £0 - It has just been abolished.
    Child benefit £33.70 per week
    Jobseekers £71.70 per week

    That is £494.96, a week, less housing benefits, equivalent pre tax (including student loan and 5% pension contribution) income of approximately £38,000.

    Minus the housing benefit and money due on council tax, (£253.85 + £20.77 = £274.62 weekly) this leaves £220.34 a week (multiplied by 4.3) or £947.46 monthly.

    £95 a month? Why is she bothering with work? Because as a single mother with two children, it would be ridiculously easy to contrive a situation where she were not easily employed and eligible for TEN TIMES the figure you quoted.

    No child care requirements either. Walking 20 miles to work and back a day? Yeah right, in your dreams.

    (Original post by css88)
    That's the very point. I dare you to not feel poor living on £95 a month. This illustrates that even those considered not to be in poverty can be, practically speaking, in poverty. You may think that £95 a month would be a fortune to those in the global South but relatively here, where you can't buy food cheaply, where you don't have access to land [...]
    If I was a single mum of two, I would not be on £95 a month, FACT.

    (Original post by css88)
    Oh and your stellar 'westlife' example; well, if he can't afford to feed himself properly, doesn't have a home, can't afford heating etc then yes.
    LOL, at least it was actually based on reality, unlike your one above. What if he just 'feels' poor?

    (Original post by css88)
    Esping-Andersen would not agree that we have a ballooned state - he describes us as a 'liberal state' in his typology. This describes us as a basic, social assistance state, compared to social democratic states such as Sweden. http://xavier-fim.net/teaching/cpd/r...rsen-intro.pdf.
    The ballooning, over generous welfare state you describe is a very contested concept. Other countries have far more generous systems and also ensure employers pay adequate wages.
    Overgenerous, certainly as I have just surely demonstrated above.

    (Original post by css88)
    You seem to be very preoccupied with a distaste for the 'relative' definition and yet have totally ignored the fact that people have died through being in poverty and that people, whether working or in benefits, are faced with funds less than they need to live adequately. I have spent times on extremely low income and have only survived because of the generosity of friends and family. Perhaps you have been fortunate enough to never be in that position but I really wish you wouldn't, in one fell swoop without any references of your own, tell me that no one in this country lives in poverty. You've demanded evidence from me, yet provided no evidence to back up your 'points'. David Cameron is happy to accept that there is poverty in Britain:
    '…and again it’s us, the modern compassionate Conservative party, who are the real champions of fighting poverty in Britain today.'
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/poli...h-in-full.html

    Do you disagree with him?
    I don't agree with every single point the Conservatives are pushing, just as I'm sure you don't agree with every point Labour are pushing (or do you?)

    I have provided evidence to back up all my points where requested. Including demonstrating more than adequately that the term relative poverty is meaningless because more people are in relative poverty when everyone is richer, and less people are in relative poverty when everyone is poorer.

    As a final note, I too have spent times on extremely low income and have only survived because of the generosity of friends and family. However, it doesn't make me in 'poverty'.
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    Single mum, one year old identical twins, husband left her.

    Unemployed.

    Child Tax credit £114 per week
    Housing Benefit £253.85 per week
    Council tax benefit £0 - It has just been abolished.
    Child benefit £33.70 per week
    Jobseekers £71.70 per week

    That is £494.96, a week, less housing benefits, equivalent pre tax (including student loan and 5% pension contribution) income of approximately £38,000.

    Minus the housing benefit and money due on council tax, (£253.85 + £20.77 = £274.62 weekly) this leaves £220.34 a week (multiplied by 4.3) or £947.46 monthly.
    You're fond of quoting figures like this. What exactly does it prove? Is your imaginary single mum living in private rented accommodation? What is her monthly rent? You don't mention it. Most people in private rental situations end up having to pay a great deal of the rent out of what is left, since HB invariably does not cover it.
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    LOL. What if he just 'feels' poor?

    As a final note, I too have spent times on extremely low income and have only survived because of the generosity of friends and family. However, it doesn't make me in 'poverty'.
    Where does "feeling poor" enter into it? We are discussing government statistical definitions of poverty, not personal feelings.

    Your own experiences indicate that your friends and family had spare resources and an inclination to assist you. A great many poorer people are not in that situation.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    You're fond of quoting figures like this. What exactly does it prove? Is your imaginary single mum living in private rented accommodation? What is her monthly rent? You don't mention it. Most people in private rental situations end up having to pay a great deal of the rent out of what is left, since HB invariably does not cover it.
    This isn't often the case outside of London tbh
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    You're fond of quoting figures like this. What exactly does it prove? Is your imaginary single mum living in private rented accommodation? What is her monthly rent? You don't mention it. Most people in private rental situations end up having to pay a great deal of the rent out of what is left, since HB invariably does not cover it.
    Yet again, ZERO reading comprehension skills whatsoever.

    (Original post by css88)
    Single mum, 1 year old identical twins, husband left her. Earns £30k from a decent job she worked hard to get. She takes home, after tax, student loan and pension deduction about £1760 a month. She has to put her children into fulltime childcare to do this. The cheapest childcare she could get comes to £375 a week (£1625 pm) and the rent on her horrible, ex-council flat in a run-down block comes to just £1100 (bargain!). Luckily the state helps her out and she gets support towards those crazy childcare costs of about £230 a week (£1005.33 pm), and lets not forget that £33.40 in child benefit a week (£144.73 pm) She then has to legally pay £90 in council tax a month.
    So where are we at now? lets see..
    Income:
    £1760 + £1005.33 + £144.73 = £2910.06. Lucky lady!

    Then, outgoings, keep it simple to start:
    Rent: £1100, Childcare: £1625, Council Tax: £90 = £2,815.
    Entirely based on that example that I quoted. It's not MY imaginary single mum, it's that posited by css88, even more imaginary on £95 a month vs the REALITY, that she would be entitled to her entire £1100 rent as housing benefit, but ten times more after rent and council tax are accounted for.

    I don't even have to IMAGINE anything, since css88 provided the scenario.

    I even wrote down what her WEEKLY rent, as HB allowance would be, at £253.85. You do the maths.

    Do try to keep up!
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    (Original post by a729)
    This isn't often the case outside of London tbh
    London is where the crisis usually emerges, but I've read that HB is woefully deficient for the private sector outside London, although landlords are of course adjusting their rents to factor in HB.
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    And a hat trick of reading comprehension fails in less than 24 hours. Although I find I should give you the benefit of the doubt because it's not exactly in the same post I quoted at that time, but an earlier one, you have a habit of sticking your nose in and ignoring the substantative content of my posts to play on one small insignificant part of it, and then alternatively scuttle off without reply, or request the moderator to delete the whole thread at 2am ('It's not relative poverty, but actually it is').

    Perhaps you should be directing your above comment at some other person
    Please desist from using such offensive language in a public thread.

    Yes, I didn't see that line item in the earlier post and it isn't in the one I replied to.

    You are assuming she gets full HB support for her rent? Isn't that a pretty unlikely assumption? HB does not fully compensate private rent in almost all cases.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    There's no reason I shouldn't quote parts of your posts, don't be silly.

    You repeatedly claim that poverty is only relative, I was responding to that and asking why that matters exactly?
    For the umpteenth time. Jesus...

    The term 'relative poverty' is meaningless as an indicator of poverty because more people are in 'relative poverty' when everyone is richer, and less people are in 'relative poverty' when everyone is poorer.

    The median wage has fallen because wages have fallen across the board, so in theory, everyone should be in more poverty than they were before.

    But oh no, because the median wage has fallen, there are less people falling into what constitutes 'relative poverty'. It has dropped from 18.7% to 16.2%.

    Get it yet?
 
 
 
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