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Pauper kings - Open Knowledge — LiveJournal

Jul. 29th, 2003

07:39 pm - Pauper kings

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Arnold Kling compares the lifestyle of Frederick Douglass , a freed slave who later become a wealthy publisher and civil rights advocate, with the lifestyle of the current working class residents of his Anacostia Park (Washington, D.C.) neighborhood. Conclusion: the "poor" of today live lifestyle equivalent to the wealthy of a hundred years ago.

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From:ehintz
Date:July 29th, 2003 06:49 pm (UTC)
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Certainly worth being grateful for. But an Apples/Oranges comparison in the big picture. A more useful metric would be the comparative difference between the "rich" and "poor" of the respective centuries. I rather expect the "rich" of today enjoy a lifestyle order of magnitude better relative to today's "poor" compared to the "rich" of a century ago. I mean, we could go on all day about how the poor of 100 years ago had it great compared to the poor in the middle ages, then middle ages vs. whoever all the way back to semi-erect apes in Africa. Or cockroach-ish fish crawling out of the ocean. But for the most part that's kind of obvious. That's what progress is all about, things get better for everybody. Or at least more efficient.

In fact, I'd say a more useful comparison along those lines would be how much better the poor folks in DC have it compared to the average Indian or Chinese peasant. More relevant.
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From:gentlemaitresse
Date:July 29th, 2003 07:03 pm (UTC)
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More relevant to what? :-)

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From:ehintz
Date:July 29th, 2003 07:41 pm (UTC)
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The 21st century... ;-)
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