Is “Poverty” The Problem?

Bill Scher

Following yesterday’s poverty-related posts from Isaiah and me, about how we can avoiding the conservative “us vs. them” frame, Shawn Fremstad from Inclusionist left a provocative comment:

…we need to stop framing the debate in a way that automatically plays into the conventional us vs. them understanding of it.

But continuing to name the problem of inequality and social exclusion as “poverty” does exactly that.

Instead of continuing to call the problem “poverty,” we should cast it in terms of the increasingly politically and publicly resonant language of inequality. When you say poverty, people hear charity and dependency and them; when you say inequality and inclusion, people hear economy and fairness and us.

Food for thought.

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