Capitalism and Poverty

Sheri Berman free ebook

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By historical standards, the notion that poverty can be ended is new and rather odd. “The poor ye have always with you,” noted
the Bible, and until quite recently such pessimism would not have been controversial. For most of human history life has been lived at or near the subsistence level, with individuals and communities struggling to get by from year to year and often failing.
In such a world, poverty was inevitable: a society without it was about as conceivable as a sky without moon or stars. If poverty was considered natural, however, so was the notion that it was society’s responsibility to care for the poor. Religious institutions, public authorities, and private charity all generally contributed something. The precapitalist world, in other words, had the will to help the poor, but not always the means to do so. free ebook