Debate Magazine

What If Poor People Are Like Real People?

By Philosopher's Beard
Inspired by the excellent piece by Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo More Than 1 Billion People Are Hungry in the World: But what if the experts are wrong?
Development theory is founded on simplification and quantification, resulting in the assumption of direct simple machine-like relationships between inputs and outputs. Hence the long held belief that famines are caused by lack of food, rather than the inability of some sections of society to be able to acquire food for economic or political reasons.
Hence also the puzzle that widespread hunger represents in the modern world, with food subsidy programmes even in many poor countries. What these authors show is that when you look closely at how poor people live you see that they do not spend their money 'efficiently' buying the cheapest most nutritious food available. Poor people are not calorie maximising machines. Instead they spend a significant chunk of their tiny budgets on treats - like tasty calories, tvs, mobile phones, festivals, tobacco, alcohol - and go hungry as a result. Because, you know, life in poor places like rural India is really boring and poor people feel that just like real people do.What if poor people are like real people?

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • What Does Being a Girl Mean to You? (Response By Becka W.)

    Becka W. wrote this piece in response to a question I posted under my Writers Wanted tab: "What does being a girl mean to you? Read more

    The 24 June 2011 by   Danielleb
  • What We Can Do For Feminism

    I find myself in a church, crowded with people dressed in heavy 1800s garb, despite the extreme heat.“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and... Read more

    The 19 May 2011 by   Starofdavida
  • The Media - What Are We Really Trying to Censor?

    This post is a best of the best post on the topic of; the media as it relates to kids with special needs. Don't forget to check the BOB Site when it goes live o... Read more

    The 11 June 2011 by   Gbollard
  • What JWA Means to Me

    The Jewesses with Attitude blogrecently had a makeover! I’m not used to the new format yet (it takes me awhile to get used to change - when they remodeled my... Read more

    The 06 September 2011 by   Starofdavida
  • What Does Being a Girl Mean to You? (By Alexis Z.)

    Alexis Z. wrote this piece in response to a question I've been asking for a while now: "What does being a girl mean to you?" If you've got a different opinion... Read more

    The 04 July 2011 by   Danielleb
  • Numbers Not Content Is What Counts

    As a member of City Council I made some decisions that did not receive universal acclaim. But in leading up to those decisions I laid out my position in OpEds,... Read more

    The 20 May 2011 by   Kelly058
  • What If Schools Did Away with Transcripts?

    What if schools did away with transcripts? I’m not sure how much useful data we get from transcripts. For example, I received an A in my high school chemistry... Read more

    The 26 August 2011 by   Stevemiranda

Add a comment