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欧洲的贫穷定时炸弹

发自马德里——穷人通常无力左右发达国家的选举,但他们如今却是意大利大选中各方争相讨好的对象。意大利力量党(Forza Italia)领袖,前总理西尔维奥·贝卢斯科尼提议发放“尊严性收入”(dignity income),而五星运动党影子领袖,喜剧演员毕普·格里罗(Beppe Grillo)则同样要求发放“公民收入”。

这两项建议——都需要每月向弱势人群慷慨地发放一笔钱——在其制度设计上都有点站不住脚,但它们至少揭示了欧洲地区急剧恶化的普遍贫困问题。

贫穷是收入两极化现象的一种极端形式,但并不等同于不平等。即使在一个严重不平等的社会中,那些收入少一些的人也不一定会缺乏体面而充实的谋生手段。但那些生活在贫困中的人却并非如此,因为它们遭受了彻底的社会排斥,甚至完全无家可归。即使在发达经济体中,穷人也往往无法获得金融体系的帮助,拿不出钱支付食品或水电租金,并且过早地死亡。

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