Sunday, May 24, 2009

People who live on a dollar a day

They're not necessarily poor.


LemmusLemmus said...

From the article, and highly misleading at best:

"The people who get by on less than $2 don't even qualify as being in poverty, according to the Indian government's own definition. (The national poverty threshold is set at something less than $1 per day and applies to 27 percent of the population.) The figure, which comes from a standard developed by the World Bank to measure global development, says very little about the living conditions of a particular individual in a particular place."

What's that World Bank measure?

"When estimating poverty worldwide, the same reference poverty line has to be used, and expressed in a common unit across countries. Therefore, for the purpose of global aggregation and comparison, the World Bank uses reference lines set at $1.25 and $2 per day (2005 Purchasing Power Parity terms)."

In other words, we're not talking about what two US dollars can buy you in India, but rather about the fact that many people can buy as much per day as two dollars get you in the US.

march said...

A lot depends on what the government provides that is not calculated as revenues per day. I'm not familiar with socialism, but it seems that many governments are based on a kind of socialism-standard - food prices at times are a fourth less than u.s. prices, which keeps money in the pocket, or communications a fifth less than u.s. prices. we europeans pay more taxes, but we pay less at the register and our taxes might pay our social security at 65. if india is providing housing and amenities, then 2 dollars a day might extend a ways, vs. 2 dollars according to u.s. standards.

what i can't figure out is how indian people can be considered at poverty level, but yet the country of india has one of the highest literacy rates in the world - or do i have wrong information?

and is poverty defined by the same standards india vs. u.s.

if i were at poverty level, i sure would prefer a tent community with resources than being homeless at the steps of a brownstone.

and breaking out of poverty is a matter of accumulating wealth. certain countries are built in such a way that acquiring resources happens faster than other countries - possibly a result of a socialism-standard government. socialism that's not so obvious.

John Althouse Cohen said...

march: The linked article says: "nearly 70 percent of Indians still live in villages, many in rent-free ancestral homes."