Tuesday, 1 March 2005

One in seven UK children in poverty: bullshit!

by Charles Pooter

The Guardian's appropriately named Sarah Left uncritically reports on a Unicef press release claiming that "Despite government efforts to improve the living conditions of poor children, the UK still has one of the highest rates of child poverty in the developed world". Rather predictably, poverty is defined in relative terms rather than as an absolute measure of wealth (or the lack of it). In this case poverty is defined "as households with income below 50% of the national average ". I'm sure I don't need to point out to readers of this weblog how meaningless this is. What amazes me is how anyone who likes to think of themselves as progressive can still cling to the idea that these kinds of obvious distortions of language and statistics in any way help the poor or underprivileged of the world. Is there really still anybody who believes that stagnant equality is superior to economic growth with inequality but plenty of social mobility?

1 comment:

Jon Goldsbrough said...

Amen, when I here politicians talking about child poverty in the UK it makes me want to scream.