Chapter

The poor and the unequal

Jeremy Seabrook

in Contemporary social evils

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9781847424099
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301981 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847424099.003.0017
The poor and the unequal

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This chapter highlights the need for new models that will allow people to contribute to a fairer, more just and ultimately freer society. It also dismisses the political pursuit of ‘equality of opportunity’ as a ‘shallow and meretricious’ approach to social, educational and cultural disadvantage. It equates it with support for a ‘meritocracy’ that conveniently ignores the concentration of supposed ‘merit’ among those already favoured by birth or wealth. The poor are disempowered in a democracy where most people are well to do. The pattern of economic growth that prevails now in almost every country on earth leads to growing inequality. Inequality has historically always seemed more abstract than poverty. Finally, the chapter deals with wealth as the problem.

Keywords: meritocracy; poor; democracy; economic growth; inequality; wealth; poverty

Chapter.  4282 words. 

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