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Jakarta Post

From vicious poverty cycle to virtuous social mobility

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Jakarta   /   Mon, August 28, 2017   /  10:32 am
From vicious poverty cycle to virtuous social mobility Beggars in Indonesian capital city Jakarta. (Shutterstock.com/Daxiao Productions)

No person can choose the parents they are born to. You stand an equal chance of being born to the family of the richest 20 percent or the poorest 20 percent. If you were born to a family that belongs to the poorest 20 percent, you would have a 50 percent chance of being developmentally stunted, in contrast to a 30 percent chance if they belonged to the richest 20 percent (World Bank, 2017). When your childhood development is stunted, your cognitive abilities and your future educational development will be adversely affected. You will earn a low wage and become trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty. As Prof. Robert Frank of Cornell University puts it in his book, Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy, luck plays a very important role in a person’s successes and failures in life. The need to clearly distinguish between inequality of effort and inequality...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.