Poverty strategy and poverty measurement

"Poverty" is principally a rhetorical device. That is, there is not particular reason why an economist would want to take some particular point in the distribution of well-being and claim that concern increases across that point. I do not believe that either as a normative or positive matter a concern with "poverty" as it is usually measured is justified--that is a concern across some ultimately arbitrary threshold over and above being concerned with human well-being and more concerned for other people's well being the lower that level of well being is (in the traditional sense of a inequality averse social welfare function that satisfies all the usual criteria). But, "poverty" has become a powerful and universal rhetoric and so all arguments that would have formerly been structured as arguments for "increasing social welfare" are now rephrased as arguments for "reducing poverty."