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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

Poverty vs. Inequality

Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

Anand Giridharadas




"Market world [eg. TED talks and Aspen ideas festivals] find certain ideas more acceptable and less threatening than others...for example, ideas framed as being about poverty are more acceptable than ideas framed as being about inequality. The two ideas are related, but poverty is a material fact of deprivation that doesn't point fingers, and inequality is something more worrying. It speaks of what some have and others lack." - Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World (2018)

Basically true. Even the winners probably agree child hunger is bad, for example. Inequality is evidence that the best are allowed to win big. And if you say, well, if we reduced inequality, there'd be less hunger, right? -- the reply could be, "that's zero-sum thinking." Socialism is everyone starving together. The best way to truth out these kinds of claims is to look to history, but this is a small book and that's beyond its scope.

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