As the books under consideration show, however, this theoretical possibility has not been realized. When all men are provided with the necessities what do we care about the distribution of luxury? Envy and emulation are the motives—and not very good ones—for the equalization of wealth.Inequality of wealth is not necessarily a major social problem per se. The late French philosopher Charles Pguy remarks, in his classic essay on poverty, “The duty of tearing the destitute from their destitution and the duty of distributing goods equitably are not of the same order. The problem of poverty goes much deeper.“Income and Welfare in the United States” differs from the other works reviewed here in length (531 big pages) and in being the result of original research; 2,800 families were interviewed “in depth.” I must confess that, aside from a few interesting bits of data, I got almost nothing out of it.The other category is “case poverty,” which he says is “commonly and properly related to [such] characteristics of the individuals so afflicted [as] mental deficiency, bad health, inability to adapt to the discipline of modern economic life, excessive procreation, alcohol, insufficient education.” He reasons that such poverty must be due to individual defects, since “nearly everyone else has mastered his environment; this proves that it is not intractable.” Without pressing the similarity of this concept to the “Social Darwinism” whose fallacies Dr. Last April the newspapers reported some exhilarating statistics in a Department of Commerce study: the average family income increased from ,340 in 1929 to ,020 in 1961.
“If my interpretation is bleak and grim,” he writes, “and even if it overstates the case slightly, that is intentional. One is that Commerce Department study, already mentioned.
More important is “Poverty and Deprivation in the U.
(The other is related: While only eleven per cent of our population is non-white, twenty-five per cent of our poor are.) Two other current books confirm Mr. would appreciate—not that the rich have cars but that almost a quarter of the extremely poor do. The rich are almost as rich as ever and the poor are even poorer, in the percentage of the national income they receive.
Harrington’s thesis: “Wealth and Power in America” (Praeger), by Dr. Harrington’s in several ways: It is short, it is based on earlier studies, and it is liberally inclined. Yet, as will become apparent later, there have been major changes in the distribution of wealth, and there has been a general improvement in living standards, so that the poor are much fewer today than they were in 1939.
One of these websites is Kiva, whose tagline is “loans that change lives.” Loaning this money gives people a feeling of instant gratification.
People feel happy thinking that they are helping someone change their life, and when it is as easy as typing on a computer, people are more likely to do it.I favor something intermediate—why should the academics have the footnotes? In such a discussion it is inevitable that one gets mixed up with dry, graceless, technical matters.The lack of references means that the book is of limited use to future researchers and writers. That should not conceal the crucial fact that these numbers represent people and that any tendency toward understatement is an intellectual way of acquiescing in suffering.” But a fact is a fact, and Mr.It is pretty obvious that they did not have to pull themselves up by the bootstraps, that these people It may be overwhelming to think about a solution to such an enormous, worldwide problem. In today’s world, technology is a part of everyday life.So, it is not very surprising that a new and prominent way of giving money to those in need is happening on computers and cell phones, or really any device that can access the internet.Only the specialists and the statisticians read the fine type, which is why illusions continue to exist about American poverty. Harrington has popularized the treatment a bit too much.In the admirably short space of under two hundred pages, he outlines the problem, describes in imaginative detail what it means to be poor in this country today, summarizes the findings of recent studies by economists and sociologists, and analyzes the reasons for the persistence of mass poverty in the midst of general prosperity. Not in the writing, which is on a decent level, but in a certain vagueness.Galbraith is a humane critic of the American capitalist system, and he is generously indignant about the continued existence of even this nonmassive and afterthoughtish poverty.But the interesting thing about his pronouncement, aside from the fact that it is inaccurate, is that it was generally accepted as obvious.S.,” a bulky pamphlet issued by the Conference on Economic Progress, in Washington, whose national committee includes Thurman Arnold, Leon H.Keyserling (said to be the principal author of the pamphlet), and Walter P. In the last year we seem to have suddenly awakened, rubbing our eyes like Rip van Winkle, to the fact that mass poverty persists, and that it is one of our two gravest social problems. Harrington’s argument, his main point is a different and more vulnerable one: “The basic distribution of income and wealth in the United States is essentially the same now as it was in 1939, or even 1910.” This is a half fact.