Thursday, November 29, 2007

Poverty, shoddy scholarship and politics

The debate on whether South Africans are getting poorer or not is starting to claim its victims.

And I am not thinking of those 20 million-odd people living in these dismal circumstances while we continue to differ on politically senstive definitions.

As has been pointed out, the Living Standards Measure (LSM) is not a measure of poverty. All of those who are so happy using these figures to prove the point of decreasing poverty has now been blamed for shoddy scholarship. The LSM segments the South African market and is a measure on wealth or the standard of living with no relation to income at all (see SAARF)

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