How do we define reducing poverty?

I checked the sources in the following Wikipedia post and it seems accurate.

This description is how Bernie Sanders and his supporters see dealing with poverty. That is, not creating economic conditions that enable people to lift themselves from poverty and require them to act responsibly, but as Ben Franklin said, “make them more comfortable in it.”

How does one define reducing poverty as transferring wealth via government programs from those not in poverty to those in poverty? How does that change the fundamental situation of the impoverished? If I am no longer living in poverty only because of public assistance what reason do I have to achieve personal success?

imageIt is one thing to help those who are unable to help themselves, but how is it justified to use broad social policy to simply transfer wealth to others based on their income level? If the Nordic model with its free health care, free education, free day care and more were successful, would there be a need for other transfers? What excuse except true disability is left for anyone to live at the poverty level? Indeed, how can anyone under such a system become impoverished in the first place?

They can get an education, keep their health and have government watch their children while they work? The only things they are not given is drive, ambition and motivation.

Is that the kind of “success” we are seeking in America? The kind that substitutes dependency for ambition.

The Nordic model has been successful at significantly reducing poverty.[34] In 2011, poverty rates, before taking into account the effects of taxes and transfers, stood at 24.7% in Denmark, 31.9% in Finland, 21.6% in Iceland, 25.6% in Norway, and 26.5% in Sweden. After accounting for taxes and transfers the poverty rates for the same year became 6%, 7.5%, 5.7%, 7.7%, and 9.7% respectively, for an average reduction of 18.7 p.p.[35] Compared to the US, which has a poverty level pre-tax of 28.3% and post-tax of 17.4% for a reduction of 10.9 p.p., the effects of tax and transfers on poverty in all the Nordic countries are substantially bigger.[35] In comparison to France (27 p.p. reduction) and Germany (24.2 p.p. reduction), however, the taxes and transfers in the Nordic countries are smaller on average.[35] Source: Wikipedia 


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