Why Not a Negative Income Tax?
"What kind of program could help protect every citizen from destitution without granting excessive power to bureaucrats, creating disincentives to work, and clogging up the free-market economy, as the modern welfare state has done? [Nobel-prize winning economist Milton] Friedman’s answer was the negative income tax, or NIT."
posted by shivohum
on Mar 14, 2011 -
is a flash game (or an immersive online experience
depending on who you ask) that challenges players to survive poverty and see first-hand that homelessness is just a shortfall away. Created in partnership with Urban Ministries of Durham
and containing scenarios commonly faced
(pdf) by the working poor, it may not tell people anything they don't already know, but is a creative use of gaming and social media to raise awareness and bring in donors.
posted by ND¢
on Feb 15, 2011 -
Indeed, the comeback of the culture of poverty, albeit in new rhetorical guise, signifies a reversion to the status quo ante: to the discourses and concomitant policy agenda that existed before the black protest movement forced the nation to confront its collective guilt and responsibility for two centuries of slavery and a century of Jim Crow—racism that pervaded all major institutions of our society, North and South. Such momentous issues are brushed away as a new generation of sociologists delves into deliberately myopic examinations of a small sphere where culture makes some measurable difference—to prove that “culture matters.”
Stephen Steinberg on culture and poverty
posted by AceRock
on Jan 19, 2011 -
For all the faults of the poorhouse
, the system it replaced was perceived to be even worse. In post-Revolution America, if you were poor, you could be "farmed out" at public auction to the lowest bidder. [more inside]
posted by Knappster
on Dec 30, 2010 -
An ABC Investigative Unit team hit the streets of western Sydney, where young people are struggling to break a vicious cycle of unemployment and family breakdown, to find out what's being done to stop them from falling through the cracks. In a great article by ABC reporters Eleanor Bell and Ed Giles
, they found that the lack of resources, infrastructure and support for families in these communities is getting worse, not better but that despite this, many locals are still proud of their community.
posted by Effigy2000
on Sep 8, 2010 -
"[Bank robber Peter Barry] Lawrence, 71, made his getaway in his wheelchair, with $2,000 in cash on his lap... he took a meandering route down Seventh Avenue until the police caught up with him five minutes later. But that was all part of the plan.
" And an embedded reporter in Afghanistan notes that "many young soldiers told me that they actually live better in the army
, even when deployed, than they did in civilian life, where they couldn't make ends meet, especially when they were trying to pay for college or raise a family by working one or two low-wage jobs" (p. 1
). Meanwhile, "parents of means are now resorting to buying franchise businesses
to keep their adult children employed." Economic life in contemporary America.
posted by rkent
on Aug 3, 2010 -
...The development sector, just like any other business, needs revenue to survive. Too frequently, this quest for funding uses these kind of dehumanizing images to draw pity, charity, and eventually donations from a largely unsuspecting public...
This is not to say that people do not struggle, far from it, but the photos I was seeing only told part of the story. I thought that these images were robbing people of their dignity, and I felt that the rest of the story should be told as well.
, a Canadian volunteer with Engineers Without Borders
, is embarking on a photography project in which he photographs low-income rural Malawians as they'd be seen by Westerners, and as they prefer to see themselves.
posted by emilyd22222
on May 29, 2010 -
Eating local, organic foods may not be the best option
. The vast majority of greenhouse gas emissions
stem from food production, not transportation, and production inputs for organic food are typically higher. Third world countries that have a food system that is organic and local by default are suffering from lack of infrastructure and investment in basic production technologies that could improve nutrition for millions of people. [more inside]
posted by stinker
on Apr 28, 2010 -
"Welcome to the simplicity movement, the ethos whose mantras are "cutting back," "focusing on the essentials," "reconnecting to the land" - and talking, talking, talking about how fulfilled it all makes you feel."
Charlotte Allen of In Character about the Simplicity Movement, magazines, wild boars, virtue, and 350$ riding boots.
posted by The Whelk
on Apr 25, 2010 -
An unwilling Afghan bride's defiance leads to death.
'Frashta didn't want to marry her cousin, and she fled. In a land where tradition and family honor are everything, that sealed her doom. "So beautiful that no words could describe her face," said her uncle. A child of the provinces can never run far. She should have known this. Frashta, though, was headstrong. Two shots from a hunting rifle in the night, then they rolled her in cloth and tried to hide her, but some things cannot be hidden. She was found in the yard.
"A bad woman," said the cop. [more inside]
posted by VikingSword
on Mar 26, 2010 -
, the low-income community grassroots organisation, is set to close by April 1st
, citing "a series of well-orchestrated, relentless, well-funded, right-wing attacks that are unprecedented since the McCarthy era". Meanwhile the New York Times has issued a correction
on the stories which led to the 87-3 vote to remove ACORN's Federal funding (previously
), admiting that "while footage shot away from the offices shows one activist, James O'Keefe, in a flamboyant pimp costume, there is no indication that he was wearing the costume while talking to the Acorn workers."
posted by Artw
on Mar 22, 2010 -
Boston College sociology professor Lisa Dodson
does research on poverty, public policy, and low-income work and family life. Recently her research took a different turn, as she discovered through interviews with U.S. managers in charge of low-income workers that some of them feel "(a) sense of unfairness (...) as a supervisor, making enough to live comfortably while overseeing workers who couldn’t feed their families on the money they earned. That inequality, he told her, tainted his job, making him feel complicit in an unfair system that paid hard workers too little to cover basic needs." Professor Dobson talks about this phenomenon, and how it plays out in that some managers undermine the system, in interviews in the Boston Globe
and on public radio
. [more inside]
posted by Harald74
on Mar 2, 2010 -
"Indian country begins where the serene prairie of Custer county gives way to the formidable rock spires marking out South Dakota's rugged Badlands. The road runs straight until the indistinguishable, clapboard American homesteads fade from view and the path climbs into a landscape sharpened by an eternity of wind and water. At this time of year, the temperature slides to tens of degrees below freezing and a relentless gale sets the snow dancing on the road, a whirligig of white blotting out the black of the asphalt."
A sobering look at one Native American community
and their hopes during the Obama years, by The Guardian's Chris McGreal
posted by saturnine
on Jan 10, 2010 -
In an area where racial divisions are very stark, the relationships between the "haves" and the "have nots" are very illuminating. Leasse William is a cook at the Sigma Nu
fraternity house on the campus of the University of Mississippi. She makes ten dollars an hour
. For nine months of pay this equals out at about $15,000/year. This places her well within the over 20%
of the population in Mississippi that lives below the poverty line. This mini documentary by Ben Guest
about Leasse shines a light on the perspectives of the various actors involved in this drama of racial tensions and class disparity.
posted by anansi
on Sep 26, 2009 -
is a heartbreaking photo essay that follows the life of a 17 year old girl living in extreme poverty in Southeastern Ohio. [more inside]
posted by lunasol
on Aug 4, 2009 -