Robert Edward Freeman
University of Virginia
1. Here’s a way to think about poverty. People who live in poverty do so because they have few opportunities to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. In fact the gap between rich and poor has increased in recent times due to the more wholesale adoption of capitalist practices around the world. The institutions of business and government conspire to give the poor a Hobson’s choice of minimal wage McJobs or unemployment. Neglect of both urban ghettoes and the rural poor has been systematic, if not conscious. The very idea of capitalism reinforces the notion that some are meant to be poor and some are meant to be rich. Such a system must be overridden at times by government to help the poor cope with their lot. The only solution is a massive redistribution of income and a system of capitalism that is severely restrained. All of this is at best highly unlikely. Even if there were such a redistribution policy we could not count on government to execute it fairly.
Keywords Business and Professional Ethics  Conference Proceedings
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ISBN(s) 1-889680-24-9
DOI 10.5840/ruffinx1998114
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