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Showing posts with the label | The Poor Law

What is Poverty?

The state has an interest in defining poverty in such a way that only a minority are classified as poor.

  It was hardly surprising, after the depredations of war and the austerity of rationing, that the early post-war years should have been a period of rising expectations. This increasing optimism was fuelled by rapid growth. The huge task of social reconstruction soaked up labour like water in a sponge. Low unemployment pushed up wages and that, together with the introduction of the "welfare state", meant that the scourge of poverty seemed to be inexorably receding. Technological advances made affordable household items that were once the province of privilege. The mass market had at last truly arrived: a veritable cornucopia disgorging its superfluity of refrigerators, TV sets and automobiles. And it was against this backdrop of rising consumption that the first green shoots of a new kind of social protest would soon emerge—from budding environmentalists to the…