The government and members of the tripartite alliance often speak of the 'triple challenges' of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
Of the three, inequality is the most controversial, as is its principal indicator, the Gini coefficient. More than that, the Gini coefficient is vaguer and more ambiguous than we realise.Those who reference it the most might not like what it is starting to tell them.
Most of us would agree that poverty is a bad thing, at least in the abstract and general sense of the word. One definition of poverty is 'the state of being extremely poor, of being inferior in quality or insufficient in amount'.
The word connotes a lifetime of drudgery, privation and inertia. It means a lack of opportunity and little to no chance of improving one's situation.
This last point is an important one. It is being immobile, economically and developmentally, that is the essence of poverty. Poverty means dependence.
The poor are stigmatised as a burden; poverty is a disease to be eradicated. Following from this, we can agree that eradicating (or at least reducing) poverty is a worthy goal even if we disagree on what actions should be taken, or...