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Why is society responsible for poverty?

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Aside from any ethical considerations, on a practical level, society should be responsible for poverty because the consequences of poverty harm all of society. Poverty increases crime, for example, which we must all pay for, one way or another, in increased policing and the very high cost of incarceration.   Poverty means people are not contributing as much as they could to the tax rolls, which means all of us must pay more.  Poverty harms business interests, as people who have businesses frequently complain, for instance, that congregations of homeless people near their shops make it unpalatable for customers to frequent those shops.  Poverty has an adverse effect upon real estate values, too, which can diminish societal assets. Poverty harms the economy, since poor people do not receive as good educations as middle-class and wealthy people do, and thus we are not capitalizing on all the talent and intelligence that we could.  Poverty is also a factor in political instability.  A...

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