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Parker Skinner
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"The Economic Lives of the Poor” provides meaningful commentary on the lives of the poor and the extreme poor. I found the sub-sections the authors chose to identify and explain interesting. Breaking down consumption, income, market availability, and infrastructure allow for an understanding of the day-to-day decisions that people in these groups must face. The dilemma between choosing to feed oneself or pay for the funeral services of a relative is one that many of us have and will never face. The authors’ statement about the “substantial slack” in the analyzed people’s budgets is an unfair assessment of the way humans ought to act. I believe this is where the concept of freedom being one aspect of development comes into play. The argument may be rational from a purely caloric perspective, but in terms of human happiness it does not have the same validity. All people should have the freedom to spend as they please. If “festival” activities bring one more utility than extra meals, then that person should act by spending on these activities. I believe the authors ignore this aspect of what we mean when we define development. Societal judgements of those whose identity includes poverty or even extreme poverty should not limit their consumption choices. While I do disagree with the authors in thats sense, I did find the statistic that expenditures on food have decreased as a percentage to be intriguing.
Toggle Commented Sep 11, 2019 on Readings for next week at Jolly Green General
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Sep 11, 2019