The first chapter in, Which Side Are You On, I chose to articulate on is chapter 12 on Poverty, Inequality, and Welfare. In this chapter it goes into the discussion of deficiency. Poverty is defined as the absolute level of deprivation. The World Bank defines poverty as anyone with an income less than a dollar per day. Anyone earning less than this is not capable of purchasing the bare necessities for a healthy life. There are millions of people who fall below this standard around the world.
Other definitions of poverty are whether people have specific basic necessities such as drinking water and sanitary means of disposing human waste. A substantial portion of poor countries is lacking some of these basic necessities. In general definitions of poverty will characterize poor people as those whose income falls below a percentage of the median income.
Equality is when everyone is given an equal opportunity to succeed, or everyone ends up with roughly equal circumstances. Robert Nozick argues that society has no obligation to provide equality. According to Nozick there are two ways to fix the problem: Worsen the situation of the favored individuals so that their opportunities are limited. Or we advocate policies to help the less fortunate. In his view both methods of achieving opportunity are unjustified, because we are taking from the fortunate.
The next chapter I wish to focus on is Chapter 13, Taxation in Which Side Are You On. For most governments, taxation provides a major source of income. These taxes go to fund entities such as police, courts, and roads. This funding is always subject to much debate. Because government spending contributes to overall demand, fluctuating spending can be used to prime or slow down the economy. .
For any level of spending there is another significant controversy, who should pay taxes? Proportional tax is when everyone pays the same percentage.