The poverty industry is out in force and claims 16% of NZ families live in poverty.

What people need to understand is that the poverty industry has invented a measure of poverty which makes it impossible to not have poverty unless you have a communist economy where all families earn much the same, regardless of ability, whether they work etc etc.

They claim poverty is earning less than half the median income. This means that a country in Africa which has a median income of US$100 will have no poverty as all families earn at least US$50, while New Zealand will be seen to be racked by poverty because families where no adult works, earn less than half the median income of those families where one or two parents are working.

A poverty definition which is a simple percentage of median income is nonsense and has nothing to do with poverty. It may have something to do with wealth distribution, but not poverty.

I don’t claim that the definition of poverty in NZ should be the exact same as the definition of poverty in Rwanda, but we need to have a more sensible definition such as tieing the definition of poverty to the cost of food and shelter, not merely the median income.

The insanity of the poverty industry’s definition is that almost by definition you will have poverty increase every year, as the income increases of the top earners always exceed the income increases of those on lower incomes, and hence even if low income families are earning lots more, they get classified as “more poor”.

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