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Restive masses grasp knowledge: outcome ?

Simputer : High tech meets extreme poverty
posted by troutfishing on Sep 29, 2005 - 22 comments

 

Can We Rebuild It? Yes, We Can!

David Brooks makes an interesting point. Rebuild New Orleans to ensure that the cycle of generational poverty is broken. Does this seem like social engineering? There is a precedent for this, though. Can it--should it?--be done on a citywide scale? Should the government meddle this much in the day-to-day lives of people?
posted by John of Michigan on Sep 13, 2005 - 30 comments

Being poor is people who have never been poor wondering why you choose to be so.

Being Poor ... what it actually entails. More from Body and Soul, and from Making Light, and from here's a whosit. And this article, in which ...they were trying to rescue people with a helicopter and the people were so poor they were afraid it would cost too much to get a ride and they had no money for a "ticket." Dupree was shaken telling us the story. He just couldn't believe these people were afraid they'd be charged for a rescue. ...
posted by amberglow on Sep 11, 2005 - 35 comments

From the If You Can't Beat 'Em Department

Is the former Republican mayor of New Orleans really blameless? Not by a long shot. From lefty blog Lenin's Tomb, which points to evidence that New Orleans officials "never put plans into place" to evacuate the poorest of the poor. [thanks, Aknaton]
posted by mediareport on Sep 4, 2005 - 70 comments

The real story behind Katarina

The real disaster in New Orleans. David Aaronovitch of the London Times observes, "It isn’t the failure to act in New Orleans that is the story here, it’s the sheer, uninsured, uncared for, self-disenfranchised scale of the poverty that lies revealed. It looks like a scene from the Third World because that’s the truth. It’s a quiet disaster that ’s been going on for years." The truth is the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans has a poverty level of 36.4 percent. A quarter of households have an annual income of less than $10,000, while half live on less than $20,000. Over half of the population in the ward is categorized as “not in the labor force,” mainly because they have ceased looking for work. The truth is that even on a normal day, New Orleans is a sad city. "Sure, tourists think New Orleans is fun: you can drink and hop from strip club to strip club all night on Bourbon Street, and gamble all your money away at Harrah’s. But the city’s decline over the past three decades has left it impoverished and lacking the resources to build its economy from within. New Orleans can’t take care of itself even when it is not 80 percent underwater." The National Review is already blaming it - predictably - on the breakdown of the family. Conservatives in America are already dismissing the problem, as they have for years. But to those outside the United States, the scale of poverty in the world's richest country comes as a shock.
posted by three blind mice on Sep 4, 2005 - 86 comments

7.9 million U.S. families in poverty

Poverty Rate Increases in 2004. The US Census Bureau announced yesterday that the number of Americans living in poverty increased in 2004 by 1.1 million, an increase from 12.5 to 12.7 percent of the population. 2004 also marked the second consecutive year in which real median household income showed no change. Full report here (85 page pdf). Census bureau links page here. President Bush's agenda for tax relief promised "an economics of inclusion. It is the agenda of a government that knows its limits and shows its heart." In the richest country in the world 13 million children under the age of 18 live in poverty. (scroll down to "Age.")
posted by three blind mice on Aug 31, 2005 - 36 comments

The Benefit Bank

The Benefit Bank is a project which uses technology to improve the lives of low income Americans. Through the use of software and trained volunteers the program allows the needy to fill out one application which can be generated to receive assistance from a wide range of public and private resources. During stops in the South this week the Congressional Black Caucus Institute and National Council Of Churches sought volunteers and partners to help expand the program. The program has so far been opened in 48 sites in Pennsylvania, Florida, and Kansas including ACORN Housing, Jewish Employment and Vocational Service, and Germantown Avenue Crisis Ministry.
posted by robliberal on Aug 13, 2005 - 4 comments

Why are the people there poor?

I recently received a letter from a friend of mine in a developing country. An article from a famous local poet was attached, and in this article the poet offered his explanations for the causes of poverty. The poet found, among other things, the people’s own laziness, their lacking industriousness and the indolence and corruption of the ruling politicians all to be at fault for this poverty.
posted by The Jesse Helms on Jun 23, 2005 - 10 comments

3rd world impact of western global warming politics

Western societies seem intent on maintaining standards of living with unsustainable consumption rates. The resultant world ecological debt has caused climate changes that arguably have greatest impact on the world's poorest nations. World Wildlife Fund-UK reviews the prospects for sustainable consumption while a Canadian academic group releases a paper identifying the top 10 areas in nanotechnology that could help reduce 3rd world poverty.[MI] previous
posted by peacay on May 13, 2005 - 49 comments

Class action!

Who here hasn't been a bit short before payday? Jacob Ayrton of Calgary took out a payday loan of $500. Two weeks later he owed Payroll Loan Canada $606.32 (a $95 "brokerage fee" and 59% interest for a whopping 15,000% per annum charge.) Yesterday, an Alberta judge certified a class-action suit against so-called payday lenders with Mr. Ayrton as lead complainant. "These companies really exploit people who are vulnerable," said his lawyer. A fast-growing franchise opportunity for investors, payday loan operations are facing increased scrutiny in Canada and the U.S. (NC, NV, IL.)
posted by docgonzo on Apr 27, 2005 - 43 comments

UN - In Larger Freedom

Kofi Annan has issued his recommendations for tackling poverty and promoting security and human rights, incorporating the greatest alterations to the UN and Security Council in history.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Mar 21, 2005 - 23 comments

Make Poverty History

MakePovertyHistory. "The gap between the worlds’s rich and poor has never been wider. Malnutrition, AIDS, conflict and illiteracy are a daily reality for millions." This seems like an interesting endeavour, with people like Nelson Mandela involved, as well. I'm a bit of a cynic about this because one of the biggest endorsements has come from Gordon Brown. He's a known quantity, and I wonder if this is another P.R. run to bolster his international credentials. Oh, and there's a possibility it could be blocked before it gathers enough steam -- so much for Soft Power.
posted by gsb on Jan 31, 2005 - 18 comments

And the food had to be satisfying and taste good too, otherwise, what's the point?

The Challenge: Purchase, prepare and eat healthy, mostly organic meals on a food stamp budget. These are the results.
posted by anastasiav on Jan 4, 2005 - 65 comments

men in power + women in need = bad

Meet the Landlord. Mr. Bobby Veal, a class act guy, decides to harass and rape mothers living alone on Section 8. Oh, but it gets better, when they refused sex and began to complain, he'd evict them, change the locks and keep their furniture inside. Even after an eventual trial and conviction, what are the women doing now? Living in cars, furniture stolen by Mr. Veal and waiting for the court settlement that many believe will never come. Poverty ain't pretty.
posted by geoff. on Dec 3, 2004 - 61 comments

Guaranteeing a Right to a Job at a Living Wage

Our nation so richly endowed with natural resources and with a capable and industrial population, should be able to devise ways and means of insuring to all our able-bodied working men and women a fair day's pay for a fair day's work . - Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1937

Chapter 1 [PDF] of Ending Poverty as We Know It - Guaranteeing a Right to a Job at a Living Wage. Here is a Q&A with William Quigley, its author.
posted by y2karl on Dec 2, 2004 - 29 comments

Peace, not gays most important

Liberal Christian groups start a poll war challenging the evangelicals claim to the Christian vote publishing findings that the war and poverty were more important moral issues voters than Iraq. Other views at The Washington Post (subscription required), and The Catholic News
posted by KirkJobSluder on Nov 11, 2004 - 18 comments

Roots of Terrorism

Poverty, Political Freedom and the Roots of Terrorism [pdf]. "In the past, we heard people refer to the strong link between terrorism and poverty, but in fact when you look at the data, it's not there," says Alberto Abadie, Associate Professor of Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.
posted by gyc on Nov 9, 2004 - 8 comments

Less than one percent

Driven, immodest, intense and abrasive, Jeffrey Sachs is clearly a man on a mission. That mission is ending global poverty in our lifetimes. Can the man who once administered "shock therapy" to a reeling Russia, with tragic if predictable results, redeem himself? And even if the developed world somehow comes to a consensus that this is a project worth undertaking, would it work? (Apologies for yet another NYT piece.)
posted by adamgreenfield on Nov 7, 2004 - 9 comments

woe is we

Bush's latest accomplishment may not be one that he's willing to brag about. The Census Bureau is reporting that an additional 1.3 million Americans are now living in poverty. They also offer a number of pretty graphs (all in pdf).
posted by bshort on Aug 26, 2004 - 113 comments

The death of Zheng Qingming

"All he has left now to remember the grandson he once carried on his back is a stack of workbooks -- trigonometry, politics, history. Mr. Zheng does not recognize enough Chinese characters to read them. But he keeps the books as memorials." The best human interest story of the year, and a look into the lives of China's rural poor.
posted by Tlogmer on Aug 1, 2004 - 11 comments

Rural Appalachia still needs a

Backyard Third World

John F. Kennedy saw it and pronounced it a shame on our nation. Lyndon B. Johnson tried to change it. The "compassionate conservatives" have exacerbated it. I wanted to share it with you. Isn't it time for real change? Hasn't the exploitation of this place and these people gone on long enough?
posted by nofundy on Jul 26, 2004 - 34 comments

Indian slum-dwellers given voice

Indian slum-dwellers given voice Their pride is unmistakably justified - a team drawn from the ghettos is successfully running India's first news magazine about slum-dwellers.
posted by Postroad on Jul 12, 2004 - 4 comments

By Their Bootstraps

Consider the scorecard. During Clinton's two terms, the median income for American families increased by a solid 15% after inflation, according to Census Bureau figures. But it rose even faster for African Americans (33%) and Hispanics (24%) than it did for whites (14%). The growth was so widely shared that from 1993 through 1999, families in the bottom fifth of the income distribution saw their incomes increase faster than those in the top 5%. By comparison, under President Reagan in the 1980s, those in the top 5% increased their income more than five times faster than the bottom 20%. Likewise, the poverty rate under Clinton fell 25%, the biggest eight-year decline since the 1960s. It fell even faster for particularly vulnerable groups like blacks, Hispanics and children. Again the contrast with Reagan is striking. During Reagan's two terms, the number of Americans in poverty fell by just 77,000. During Clinton's two terms, the number of Americans in poverty plummeted by 8.1 million. The number of children in poverty fell by 50,000 under Reagan. Under Clinton the number was 4.1 million. That's a ratio of 80 to 1. Clinton's Biggest Gains Not on Conservative Critics' Radar
posted by y2karl on Jun 29, 2004 - 44 comments

Poverty in London

Charles Booth Online Archive. Charles Booth's survey of life and labour in London at the end of the Victorian era, with the famous poverty maps.
posted by plep on Jun 22, 2004 - 2 comments

Mad As Hell

Mad As Hell

First we had Al Gore letting loose with both barrels at NYU, and now Bill Moyers drops the bomb on the poverty gap in this country.

"The rich have the right to buy more homes than anyone else. They have the right to buy more cars than anyone else, more gizmos than anyone else, more clothes and vacations than anyone else. But they do not have the right to buy more democracy than anyone else."

P.S: Earth to Kerry: mebbe you want to talk to one of these guys, they seem to be on to something. Have one of your speech writers give them a call...
posted by piedrasyluz on Jun 18, 2004 - 47 comments

The City of God

The City of God (#29 IMDB top 250) is a film about life in Brazilian "favelas" (shantytowns) where poverty, drugs, violence and crime rule the streets. At murder rates of more than 40 per 100,000, one person shot every 30 minutes in the city, Rio ranks as the world's most dangerous places along with Cali, Colombia and Johannesburg, South Africa. Rio has over 600 favelas and the crime and violence is becoming so bad corporations are fleeing the city while the military is under direct assault and the prison system is breaking down. Favela guided tours available or see the movie available now on DVD.
posted by stbalbach on Jun 16, 2004 - 28 comments

What Can Be Done?

Low-Income Children At Risk "Low-income children are disproportionately exposed to a daunting array of adverse social and physical environmental conditions," according to Gary Evans of Cornell University. Evans reviewed almost 200 studies to document the environment of childhood poverty in the current issue of American Psychologist (Vol. 59:2, 77-92, 2004). Public policy also tends to consider just one "magic bullet" at a time, Evans says. "To make a difference, we need to take a broader perspective for intervention.” What public policy changes would you suggest to protect and enrich the lives of children in low-income communities?
posted by mcgraw on Apr 13, 2004 - 6 comments

Just Wall it Off

Brazil Wants to Build a Wall Social and economic problems out of control? No problem. Brazil plans to literally build a 10 foot wall to separate the haves from the have nots.
posted by muppetboy on Apr 12, 2004 - 27 comments

The Workhouse

The Workhouse 'is an institution that often evokes the harsh and squalid world of Oliver Twist, but its story is also a fascinating mixture of social history, politics, economics and architecture.'
posted by plep on Mar 3, 2004 - 3 comments

City of God

Cidade de Deus. Possibly the best Brazilian film ever made.
posted by the fire you left me on Feb 5, 2004 - 21 comments

global poverty solutions: consumerism

If the poor get richer, does the world see progress? The global "consumer class", defined by those who make $7,000 or more in local currency, is growing quickly but making it even more difficult for the worlds poor to get ahead. 1.7 billion belong to the consumer class while over 3 billion survive on less than $2 a day. Will the growing tide of new consumers in the developing world contribute to the solution of global poverty or simply add to the problem?
posted by stbalbach on Feb 3, 2004 - 26 comments

The working poor

the working poor A new book by Beth Shulman called The Betrayal of Work” argues that hard work is just not cutting it in America anymore. According to Shulman, even in the go-go ’90s one out of every four American workers made less than $8.70 an hour, an income equal to the government’s poverty level for a family of four. Many, if not most, of these workers have no health care, sick pay or retirement provisions. more inside.....
posted by jbou on Nov 30, 2003 - 52 comments

Famine Foods

Barely Edible, But Sometimes Life-Saving: Famine Foods are valiantly being documented in Ethiopia in an effort to spread knowledge and alleviate disaster. The research into famine foods is also a stark reminder of the starving millions of this world and, quite probably, of the continuing failure of the fight against extreme hunger and poverty. The highly restrictive policies and generous subsidies of the fat Western nations come to mind. That's if inveterate foodies don't start pouring over the list in search of possible new trendy vegetables...
posted by MiguelCardoso on Oct 11, 2003 - 13 comments

The full Mayhew online

The Bolles Collection on the History of London at the Tufts University Perseus Digital Library contains, among other transcripts, the searchable text of all four volumes of the Henry Mayhew's classic 19th century account London Labour and the London Poor: Volume 1 (costermongers and street-sellers); Volume 2 (more street-sellers, cleansing, and sewer work); Volume 3 (vermin destroyers, street entertainers, labourers, cabbies, vagrants); and the Extra Volume (vice and beggars). Read of the sellers of fake pornography; snail-sellers; death and fire-hunters; a depressed street clown; "pure" (i.e. dog dung) finders; and more. The past really is another country.
posted by raygirvan on Sep 29, 2003 - 11 comments

Race to the subsidies!

In events not suprising to anyone, the WTO's "development round" ends without agreement. The IHT published an interesting dissent from the leftist hope of poor nations climbing out of poverty by using sustainable agriculture as unrealistic. Likely industrial ag businesses would eventually dominate, just as they did in the developed world.
posted by raaka on Sep 14, 2003 - 6 comments

IHateMyLife.Us

IHateMyLife.Us. Homeless advocacy and support, from someone who's been there.
posted by PrinceValium on Sep 7, 2003 - 26 comments

Human Development Report, 2003

Did you know that... Aid fell in the 1990s—by nearly a third on a per capita basis in Sub-Saharan Africa? In Sub Saharan Africa, half the population lives on less than 1$ a day? At current rates Sub-Saharan Africa will not meet the poverty Goal until 2147? If all the food produced worldwide were distributed equally, every person would be able to consume 2,760 calories a day (hunger is defined as consuming fewer than 1,960 calories a day)? These and more facts can be found in the 2003 UN Human Development Report.
posted by stonerose on Jul 8, 2003 - 25 comments

The Economy of Policy

No Tax Relief for Married Poor. Because they, presumably, are not American.
posted by the fire you left me on Jun 23, 2003 - 27 comments

Microcredit, microfinance, village banking and empowering the world's poor

What could you do with $27? - Microcredit or microfinance provides working capital through small loans to the working poor. Read some of the wonderful accounts of people who built thriving businesses and new lives with from a jumpstart of as little as a $100 loan. Read the remarkable story of the Grameen Bank, and learn about Village Banking, and other inspiring efforts to bring dignity and help to the more than 1.2 billion people who live on less than one dollar a day. - more -
posted by madamjujujive on Jun 8, 2003 - 10 comments

Look, Mommy! Raw Sewage and Rabid Vermin!

"Visitors can imagine children sleeping in shacks infested with scorpions or snakes."

Come on down to scenic Americus, Georgia, and take in an eyeful of filth and despair! I've always been a big supporter of Habitat for Humanity, but is a poverty theme park really a good idea?
posted by grabbingsand on Jun 3, 2003 - 10 comments

The view is nice from the yacht

The bait and switch. A last-minute revision by House and Senate leaders in the tax bill that President Bush signed today will prevent millions of minimum-wage families from receiving the increased child credit that is in the measure.
posted by four panels on May 29, 2003 - 21 comments

Beer for the Homeless

From crematorium scandals to pimp suits and Ben Curtis in between, the Chattanooga area has it all. Enter our latest wonder: Beer for the Homeless.com. Created by a local Talk Radio DJ or two, the site is a serious attempt (ok, it's kinda tongue-in-cheek) to stop homeless citizens from hassling people for beer money. Well, they made their first delivery last week and have some photos and quote from their "clients".
posted by mkelley on May 23, 2003 - 4 comments

Freely Traded Opinion

I was wrong. Free market trade policies hurt the poor. “As leader of the delegation from the United Kingdom [to Seattle in 1999], I was convinced that the expansion of world trade had the potential to bring major benefits to developing countries and would be one of the key means by which world poverty would be tackled... I now believe that this approach is wrong and misguided.”
posted by raaka on May 19, 2003 - 37 comments

A Special Kind of Poverty

A Special Kind of Poverty This great article appeared in yesterday's Washington Post Sunday Magazine. Its subject: the trials and tribulations of the poor seeking treatment for their infertility. I don't think I have to list the whole raft of issues this subject raises. As touching as it is thought-provoking.
posted by tommyspoon on Apr 21, 2003 - 77 comments

Slouching towards Sierra Leone?

US income distribution moves towards 3rd world profile? - US Census Bureau data on growing family income inequality, 1947 to 2001. Also see: The "L Curve" (for a graphic depiction of current US wealth distribution). "The most egalitarian countries have a Gini index in the 20s. European countries like Germany, Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Poland, Norway, and Sweden all fall in that range, according to World Bank figures. Canada and Australia are just over 30. The United States is around 40...Once inequality reaches 50 percent, disparities become glaringly obvious, to the point where they undermine a society's sense of unity and common purpose....Sierra Leone takes the prize. At 63 percent, it offers the world's most extreme example of inequality." By multiple measures, income inequality in the US is rapidly increasing, and a substantial percentage of middle class Americans may be gradually sliding into poverty..
posted by troutfishing on Jan 15, 2003 - 137 comments

Misconceptions about the Welfare State in the U.K.

Poverty and the Welfare State: Dispelling the myths This working paper (PDF file) states that "debates on poverty and welfare in Britain are full of myths." Among them (culled from the exec summary, since I'm still reading the paper): 1. The belief that poverty is long term and is passed from generation to generation is not consistent with the evidence. 2. Poverty is not caused by people behaving differently (although people act differently after they become poor), or by people having too many children, or by racial differences. 3. Scare stories about spiraling costs and abuse are greatly exaggerated. 4. Welfare does not encourage dependency. Just in case anybody's writing a major paper over the holidays or anything. I found this via the fantastic Canadian Social Research Links web site. (And if this came up in a previous post, I apologize; I searched on just about every relevant term I could think of.)
posted by 314/ on Dec 30, 2002 - 32 comments

For Richer: the first in a New York Times series on class in the United States. Princeton economics professor Paul Krugman declares the death of the middle class, pointing out disparities between the rich and the poor, examining efforts to cover up class makeup with quantile data, and probing the transformation of corporate executive ethics and influence. Even Glenn Reynolds is taken to task for his Sweden-Mississippi per capita GDP comparison. Krugman's sources are on the slim side, but the question must be asked: Are we living in a new Gilded Age? And, if so, how can citizens and government work to change things?
posted by ed on Oct 20, 2002 - 53 comments

Mike Males, Ph.D.,

Mike Males, Ph.D., professor of Sociology at UC Santa Cruz, author and pro-youth advocate, thinks kids are getting a bad rap these days. He is very fond of pointing out that poverty and grown-ups are the biggest threats to teens today. His latest book, "Kids and Guns", is available for free online (HTML version on his homepage, PDF version at Common Courage Press). He even knocks the drug policy reform movement for making the same "save the children" diatribes as their opponents. His site isn't exactly the prettiest thing I've ever seen, but I haven't been so engrossed by something on the web in a long, long time.
posted by botono9 on Oct 13, 2002 - 10 comments

Constructive Debate on World Poverty ?

Constructive Debate on World Poverty ? It's depressing that certain groups seem to think that the only way to get their message across is to jeer and heckle Colin Powell at the World Summit.
posted by daveg on Sep 4, 2002 - 40 comments

Beverly Hillbillies, Redux!

Beverly Hillbillies, Redux! No... not a new movie, but a reality series under development by the shiny and shimmering Tiffany Network. CBS scouts are scouring for a "rural, rustically telegenic" family to be whisked to a brand new home in Beverly Hills, and have a life of luxury bestowed upon them for a period of a year... cameras following them all the way. Crass exploitation of the poor when the gap between rich and poor gets larger and larger? Fun idea to see what happens when someone's dreams come true? Somewhere in the middle? What do people think?
posted by tittergrrl on Aug 28, 2002 - 33 comments

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