People of good will wish to end poverty. No one who lives in abject poverty wishes to remain there. We all know that poverty is a problem, but we differ on how to “fix” it.
One clear distinction, discussed by Stephanie Summers, is whether we want to end poverty, or whether we want to promote human flourishing. This is a critical delineation.
Ending poverty focuses primarily on government policy and programs. It utilizes metrics, numbers, data to “prove” success. The goal is to move a person or family from one income bracket to the next, higher up. It is economics-focused, not person-focused.
How is the goal of human flourishing different? It is more robust, Summers says; it encompasses more than simply economic factors. “We are not simply baptizing a particular public policy agenda or means,” Summers states, but seeking a manner of living that allows each person to reach his/her fullest potential. (more…)