Via Conor, William Easterly says no:

Who is depriving the poor of their right to an adequate income? There are many theories of poverty, but few of them lead to a clear identification of the Violator of this right. Moreover, human rights are a clear dichotomy -- someone violates your rights or they do not. But the line between poor and not-poor is arbitrary -- it is different in different countries, and on a global scale, many still argue what is the right dividing line that constitutes poverty. So calling poverty a "human rights violation" does not point to any concrete actions that the "violator" must stop in order to restore rights to the "violated."


Wilkinson wrestles with the question.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.