Inequality ≠ Poverty … and it makes a difference for policy

Economist Peter Gordon offers a clarifying message that sometimes gets overlooked in political discussions. 

Concerns over poverty are surely justified. But poverty and inequality are not the same thing — and they are purposefully muddled by those with an agenda.

It matters. We focus on expanding the culture of opportunity, increasing the likelihood that poverty will be reduced as people gain the skills and education they need to get ahead. 

Gordon points out one of the hazards of focusing on inequality.

The poverty=inequality misconception is fed by the suspicion that wealth is most likely ill-gotten and/or we live in a zero-sum world. If most people (most voters?) believe either one or the other these we have a problem. 

We doubt that most people fall into that trap. But the reminder is worthwhile.

His brief post provides a link to another Tyler Cowan (another economist) post indicating that America has been much more successful in reducing poverty than the official statistics report