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 -
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 -
US income distribution moves towards 3rd world profile?
- US Census Bureau
data on growing family income inequality, 1947 to 2001. Also see: The
(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
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 -
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
(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 -
: 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 -
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 -
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 -
So the rich get richer? Or just another bleeding heart.
EU and US selling poor down the river
Oxfam report accuses west of double standards on trade
The European Union and the United States are robbing the world's poor of billions of dollars each year in export earnings by preaching free trade while protecting their own markets, development campaigners claim today.
posted by onegoodmove
on Apr 11, 2002 -
was mentioned briefly in another thread several days ago, but I thought it was time it had its own forum, since it's quite possibly the stupidest, most infuriating article you'll read all year (and it's only February). Let's see: poverty is positive because, "hey, I'm a writer!" Right. Now go get a job. (Scalzi
has a fine piece about the article).
posted by sassone
on Feb 10, 2002 -
Gates, Bono, unveil 'DATA Agenda' for Africa
"We have an agenda," said Bono at a news conference, "which we're calling the 'DATA Agenda': 'Debt, AIDS and trade for Africa, in return for democracy, accountability and transparency in Africa.'
As bracing as it is to see a picture of Bono with Bill Gates, there is an interesting message here. Bono compares Africa today with post-WWII Europe, describing it as vulnerable to extremism. Bill Gates is fronting the cash to improve health care and raise living standards in third-world countries.
posted by planetkyoto
on Feb 2, 2002 -
America the Polarized
NYT's Paul Krugman says that Congress is polarized because Republicans have moved to the right, while Democrats have remained fairly constant. He (and a political scientist) attribute the change to economic polarization, the sharply widening inequality of income and wealth.
posted by pmurray63
on Jan 6, 2002 -
A flood of homeless at city shelters. '"I think that there must be a greater segment of our population that has tenuous connections
to family and friends, and therefore has fewer resources to fall back on when something very bad happens like when they lose their job," he said.' How can there be so many people, who have no one to count on? Are we getting some serious payback from the nuclear family society?
posted by mmarcos
on Dec 18, 2001 -
Terror and Liberalism
I have found this piece in The American Prospect to be one of the most balenced pieces I have yet come across. It considers all aspects of the terrorist groups--Israel, American policy, poverty, Iraq, fundamentalisim, history of the area, westernization, etc and finds the rights and wrongs in each, offering finally a way to cope with things in the future while at the same time dealing with present needs.
In other words, it avoids the overly simplistic formulas offered by so many stalwarts of the far Right or far Left.
posted by Postroad
on Oct 5, 2001 -
A Cure for Poverty?
(NYT, free registration required. It's worth it this time, really). "The depressed poor perceive themselves to be supremely helpless -- so helpless that they neither seek nor embrace support. This means that most people who are poor and depressed stay poor and depressed. Poverty is depressing, and depression, leading as it does to dysfunction and isolation, is impoverishing. "
posted by frykitty
on May 9, 2001 -
- The Bowling family has lived in the same rural hollow in Kentucky for seven generations. The Washington Post tells their story using the Bowlings' own words (including audio clips) and photographs with a Web site you might expect from PBS. Urban Americans (and others, too) might be surprised to learn that there are many, many families in the U.S. who still live like the Bowlings.
"It's 1998 and we just last year put running water in the house, into my kitchen sink. We did it ourselves. We bought line, hooked into Iree's well, dug up a ditch and ran it to the house. But I still need a bathroom and a septic tank. I got a rinse tub that we take a bath in. I'd rather have a bathtub, but meanwhile I can make do."
posted by ewagoner
on Apr 27, 2001 -
In the end, what is the ethical distinction between a Brazilian who sells a homeless child to organ peddlers and an American who already has a TV and upgrades to a better one — knowing that the money could be donated to an organization that would use it to save the lives of kids in need?
Does Peter Singer have the solution to world poverty?
posted by Sean Meade
on Apr 2, 2001 -
When Headlines Go (Nearly) Right
The world's most unfortunately named cleric makes a cameo appearance in a row over sex scenes in a film. Can someone persuade me that the Pope didn't make Bishop Sin a cardinal just for these moments?
posted by holgate
on Mar 27, 2001 -
John Gilmore on the implications of copy protection
"If by 2030 we have invented a matter duplicator that's as cheap as copying a CD today, will we outlaw it and drive it underground? So that farmers can make a living keeping food expensive, so that furniture makers can make a living preventing people from having beds and chairs that would cost a dollar to duplicate, so that builders won't be reduced to poverty because a comfortable house can be duplicated for a few hundred dollars? Yes, such developments would cause economic dislocations for sure. But should we drive them underground and keep the world impoverished to save these peoples' jobs? And would they really stay underground, or would the natural advantages of the technology cause the "underground" to rapidly overtake the rest of society? -- I think we should embrace the era of plenty and work out how to mutually live in it."
posted by aurelian
on Mar 16, 2001 -
Iraq to Donate $94 Million to Poor Americans
But more interestingly - disregarding the donor, would the US ever accept such a donation? (How could we admit a need for charity at home when we send billions in aid abroad?)
And what's next? We're not of a mindset to accept foreign meddling. What about UN relief efforts? International peacekeeping forces?
posted by Tubes
on Jan 15, 2001 -
"The knowledge of the poor is being converted into the property of global corporations, creating a situation where the poor will have to pay for the seeds and medicines they have evolved and have used to meet their own needs for nutrition and health care." -- Vandana Shiva lectures on globalization and poverty
posted by sudama
on Sep 11, 2000 -
Cash for birth control - if you're a junkie.
Came across an ad for this organization while riding a train that serves a number of low income Chicago projects. I'm hard pressed to figure out what this is about. On first glance, it seems to be an effort to help drug addicted mothers avoid unwanted pregnancies. However, upon further reflection, it takes on the guise of a frightening genetic engineering program.
posted by aladfar
on Jun 11, 2000 -