Absolute poverty means not having enough food to eat, not having enough resources to survive. Relative poverty means not having enough money to allow you to participate in the social life of your community at the level that's considered 'normal' where you live.
Inequality is not the same thing as poverty. The moral case for eradicating 'poverty' cannot be presented as a moral case against 'inequality'. Yet the two terms are often used interchangeably. People state their intentions to tackle poverty, when in truth their goal is to eradicate inequality by distributing wealth more equally. There are two errors here. The first is the terminological error of treating poverty and inequality as synonymous. The second more serious error is attaching redistributive goals to poverty alleviation measures simply to take advantage of the fact that everyone would want to help the poor. Disguising wealth redistribution as poverty alleviation is nothing more than a disingenuous sleight of hand by those who, being ideologically opposed to inequality, wish to create the impression that they are tackling poverty. Helping the poor transcends ideological boundaries, especially helping children who have no access to food, education, health care, or basic comforts in life like a bed to sleep on. But when it comes to merely feeling angry that some people are richer than others, that's a whole different issue. Stating that 'it's to help the poor' is then a useful way of avoiding difficult discussions about inequality.
Everybody loves freedom. Both capitalists and socialists love freedom. The only difference is how much they love it, and whether they'd be willing to give up their freedom to create a world in which everyone is equal.
Most people have to work to earn a living, but why do some think they chose to work while others (often with the same employer) feel that they were forced to work? What is the meaning of 'choice' for those who rely on their labour for a living?
How would you know whether you are being exploited at work? Would it depend on whether other people you work with are also feeling exploited? What does it mean, if people doing the same work are quite happy and in fact grateful for the opportunity to earn a bob or two? Are they suffering from 'false consciousness' meaning that they're very unhappy but just don't know they're unhappy? Or should we conclude that 'exploitation' is a matter of subjective personal opinion? Or should we defer to experts who can tell us the true meaning of worker exploitation?
In the latest round of talks between Uber and its unhappy drivers, which are currently being conducted under the aegis of the Employment Appeal Tribunal, Uber is reduced to arguing that it has done nothing new, nothing innovative, nothing exciting, let alone revolutionary. The nature of their defence is: we deny that there is any such thing as the gig economy, or if there is, we deny that we are part of it. This is sort of like the defence Roark offered in The Fountainhead, except the exact opposite. Instead of defending your right to create and invent, you deny that there is such a thing going on.
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