Faces of Poverty

Poverty takes many forms. An obvious one is material disposession. Other forms are more abstract. 

Above all, several studies have shown that one of the most important factors in assessing the health of a society is relative poverty - a metric which measures ones own status and financial well-being in relation to those around you. What may sound strange at first makes perfect sense upon closer examination. The psychological effects of being relatively poorer to those around you, even if in absolute terms you are not as badly off as other people can in some ways be more devastating for the fabric of a society than absolute poverty.

For more on this fascinating topic, see also "The Spirit Level" by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett.
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