In The Affluent Society, what is the Galbraithian perspective on poverty in rich countries?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Galbraith's perspective has many aspects.  Let us look at three of these.

First, he says that poverty in affluent countries is more relative than absolute.  Poverty, he says, occurs when some people are so far behind the rest of society that they seem "degraded."

Second, he says that there are two kinds of poverty.  There is "case poverty," which is individualized and caused by some problem on the part of the individual.  There is also "insular poverty" which is caused by some problem on the part of the area in which the poor live.

Finally, poverty in an affluent society is not much of a concern to politicians.  The poor are few in number and have little voice in political affairs.  Therefore, politicians do not try to champion their cause.

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