THE PERSISTENCE OF POVERTY
No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.
—ADAM SMITH, The Wealth of Nations
Poverty is one of the most intractable and shameful problems mankind has had to deal with. Today, about 5 billion of the 7 billion people inhabiting the earth are poor or extremely poor. They go hungry. They have no energy or time for education. They are susceptible to disease because of little or no access to health care. They often have more children than they can support, which perpetuates a poverty class, a culture of poverty. Their hopeless condition leads some of the poor into lives of crime, hard drugs, and armed conflict. This means that the cost of poverty ...