Tuesday, 2 June 2015
Thing Not To Feel Today: poor.
The Death of the Pauper by Alexandre Antigna.
'We weren't poor,' my mother used to say when speaking of her childhood, though the only loo her home possessed was a bucket in a shed in the garden.
'We were a bit better-off than most people,' my father explained, though his house had no electricity or water supply.
My parents both felt quite well-off because they had food to eat: starvation had been a real threat to their own parents.
So what is poor, exactly? Well, I can tell you. In Britain and the European Union poverty has a nice precise definition. Poverty is having an income equal to or less than sixty per cent of median* income, with an adjustment for family size.
It means that if you have a smaller private jet than everyone else in your country then you'll probably be classed as poor.
On the other hand, if no one has any income at all, then poverty will have been conquered.
And what about me? Good heavens no, I'm not poor. Why, I have an internet connection!
And after all, who needs a smart phone and a driving licence, anyway?
Thing Not To Feel Today: poor. This word comes from the Latin pauper, which means poor.
*You work out a median by lining up every example in your sample (in this case, everyone's income) individually in order of size. The median figure is the middle one in the list.