From a Comment on Cafe Hayek: “Marxists must define poverty as a relative phenomenon. Otherwise, they couldn’t in good conscience be marxists.”
Or perhaps, better said, they wouldn’t have a semi-rational reason to justify class envy, and therefore attempt to obtain unearned social status through political power rather than through market service of others.
The left’s desire is not to end poverty, it is instead, the desire to alter one’s natural, biologically and environmentally determined social status either by gaining access to unearned income or by gaining status through access to political power.
And social status is not irrelevant. Social status is important. It’s a cognitive necessity. It tells us who to imitate.