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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Economics, 2nd Edition by Tom Gorman

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The Ultimate Issue: Quality of Life

Ultimately, wealth and poverty are quality-of-life issues. Wealth obviously improves it, but poverty undermines the quality of life for everyone in an economy, not just the poor. Poverty generates crime, broken families, drug addiction, illness, illiteracy—and more poverty. Many people decry the cost of government programs to deal with poverty and its side effects. However, the hidden costs of poverty, which go beyond the suffering of the poor, are staggering. These costs include property loss, deteriorating real estate values, bodily injury, and increased public and private expenditures for insurance, law enforcement, court cases, prisons, and health care, plus the lost productivity of people who could be ...

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