Multidimensional Poverty

 Multidimensional Poverty: My new word for the day. 

As I surf the web, my 🏄🏼‍♂️ surfboard often bumps into things that tweak my interest. So I go off on a rabbit trail, a new surfing spot. 

Poverty is a thought-provoking subject that I have studied, experienced, and experimented with much.

The definition of poverty, ever since childhood, had puzzled me and piqued my interest.

"Helping" a neighbor dry rice. 

My experience of growing up in Taiwan in the ’60s among much “poverty” puzzled me. My parent’s missionary salary was what anyone would consider very poor, even in a country with a low cost of living. But we lived like kings and never felt poor. 

My 3 sister and brother got around in Taiwan

How my 3 sisters and brother got around in Taiwan.

My Chinese friends were even 10x’s poorer, but we played together, had fun, and enjoyed life, and neither of us was aware we were disadvantaged kids living in “poverty.”

So at age 19, I decided to try an experiment, not knowing it would last half a century. The question I asked was, Can you deliberately live under the income poverty level and not be in “poverty?“

The answer, with 51 years of testing it out, is a resounding, Yes! As I experimented in big cities, small towns, rural areas, big houses, and tiny apartments. In Japan, Pakistan, SanFransico, Chicago, South Carolina, Florida, and Wisconsin.

In my publications, I go into more detail on how this was done.

Now, what is this Multidimensional Poverty the pundits talk about?

If we surf over to the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative web page, they will tell us: “Monetary-based poverty measures can miss a lot. In most cases, not all individuals who are income poor are Multidimensional poor, and not all Multidimensional poor individuals are income poor.”  Yep, I agree wholeheartedly.

They also state. “Money does not always reduce economic poverty or deprivation.“ Yep! So why is that always the emphasis? Being a Frugal Prosumer does a much better job of reducing economic poverty or deprivation. It is used to solve the issue of the standard one-dimensional measurement based on income.  

It encompasses more measurements we have found and are addressed in our 7 Pillars of the Frugal Prosumer.

  • Poor health and nutrition Pillar #4 Health
  • Lack of education Pillar #3 Education Why we are trying to get information out and started our own school
  • Inadequate living standards Pillar #6 Being a Frugal Prosumer
  • Lack of adequate sanitation and clean water ~~Read about our saw-dust toilet
  • Disempowerment ~~Pillar #1 Spiritual
  • Poor quality of work ~~Read about our philosophy of UnIncome familiar to all “poor” people 
  • Threat of violence ~~Pillar #7Security
  • Social exclusion ~~we call it lack of One-Another
  • Bad housing conditions ~~Frugal Prosumer's know how to overcome this
  • Violence ~~Pillar #7 Security
  • Shame ~~Pillar #2 Psychological
  • Disempowerment ~~Pillar #2  Psychological
  • And more

Unfortunately, the main emphasis is looking at people who are not well off because of low monetary income. It is progress looking at what makes people Multidimensional poor. Still, I think a more positive and helpful way is to look at what people are doing that makes them Multidimensional Rich.

Am I Multidimensional Rich yet?