The U.S. Deep Poverty Problem/Why the Great Society Worked
May 14, 2018 8:08 AM   Subscribe

Problem:
...The Oxford economist Robert Allen recently estimated needs-based absolute poverty lines for rich countries that are designed to match more accurately the $1.90 line for poor countries, and $4 a day is around the middle of his estimates. When we compare absolute poverty in the United States with absolute poverty in India, or other poor countries, we should be using $4 in the United States and $1.90 in India. Once we do this, there are 5.3 million Americans who are absolutely poor by global standards. This is a small number compared with the one for India, for example, but it is more than in Sierra Leone (3.2 million) or Nepal (2.5 million), about the same as in Senegal (5.3 million) and only one-third less than in Angola (7.4 million). Pakistan (12.7 million) has twice as many poor people as the United States, and Ethiopia about four times as many.
The U.S. Can No Longer Hide From Its Deep Poverty Problem

Solution:
American liberals might view the presidency of Lyndon Baines Johnson as a modern version of the Icarus myth. On the wings of huge Democratic majorities in Congress and his own ferocious ambition, LBJ signed into law more extensive and progressive reforms than any president in history save Franklin D. Roosevelt, his quasi-paternal model for mastery both at home and abroad. To mention just the highlights of the Great Society requires a rather lengthy sentence: the Civil Rights, Voting Rights, and Fair Housing acts; Medicare and Medicaid; federal aid to schools and colleges; a complete overhaul of the discriminatory immigration law; Head Start; environmental protection; creation of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and public broadcasting—and, perhaps most remarkably, both a vow to abolish poverty and a modest program to launch that utopian mission.
Why the Great Society Worked
posted by y2karl (49 comments total) 78 users marked this as a favorite
 
They won't go for no more
Great mid-western hardware store
Philosophy that turns away
From those who aren't afraid to say
What's on their minds
The left behinds
Of the Great Society
S'long as you were white, yeah, it worked. Not necessarily because LBJ was racist, but because so many politicians and bureaucrats tasked with implementing the policies were. And certainly the voters, who even today still push back against any government program that would benefit them because they think it'll benefit the "wrong" people more. (Where wrong = PoC, women, and queer people, of course.)
posted by SansPoint at 8:16 AM on May 14 [8 favorites]


Um, ...the Civil Rights, Voting Rights, and Fair Housing acts; Medicare and Medicaid, to name but a few ?
posted by y2karl at 8:20 AM on May 14 [9 favorites]


Plenty of wrong people benefited there.
posted by y2karl at 8:20 AM on May 14 [12 favorites]


Once we do this, there are 5.3 million Americans who are absolutely poor by global standards. This is a small number compared with the one for India, for example, but it is more than in Sierra Leone (3.2 million) or Nepal (2.5 million), about the same as in Senegal (5.3 million) and only one-third less than in Angola (7.4 million). Pakistan (12.7 million) has twice as many poor people as the United States, and Ethiopia about four times as many.

Comparing the raw number of absolutely poor people in various countries seems like an add choice for a first-look metric, because while the U.S. may have "only one-third less" than Angola, because of the difference in total population, it turns out that less the absolutely poor are less than 2% of the U.S. but more than 25% of Angola.

More striking to me was the fact that in many European countries, less than one percent of the population is absolutely poor, while in the U.S., the number is close to two precent.
posted by layceepee at 8:22 AM on May 14 [26 favorites]


The U.S. Can No Longer Hide From Its Deep Poverty Problem


Wanna bet?
posted by BlueHorse at 8:22 AM on May 14 [69 favorites]


No wealth but commonwealth
posted by The Whelk at 8:24 AM on May 14 [21 favorites]


y2karl: And the Right has been trying to take it away from them, one way or another, ever since. The VRA has been dismantled, Fair Housing has been defanged and is being disassembled, and Medicare and Medicaid have been on the chopping block for ages. While they haven’t been destroyed, both have been whittled away at.
posted by SansPoint at 8:24 AM on May 14 [4 favorites]




I think it's possible that Medicare, Medicaid and Great Society programs both did benefit the "wrong" people and did not treat the "wrong" people fairly. I mean, the attacks on Great Society programs were pretty much predicated on the fact that they did benefit the "wrong" people.

Also, I've lived through welfare "reform", which was surely one of the worst and most destructive political acts of my lifetime, and I've definitely seen that the "wrong" people are far worse off now than they were pre-1996. I guess the way I understand it is that even a deeply flawed redistributive program does create benefits for most working people because it raises the floor - there's more cash in working class neighborhoods and that has a knock-on effect for everyone. The US welfare system was pretty garbage by world standards, but we're a lot worse off without it.

I dunno, it's like socialism - surely we can look at really-existing socialism and cheer its successes, acknowledge its failures and try to do better next time around?

I thought this, from the New Republic, was very interesting and a sharp description of how government programs change political calculus:

In fact, the funds committed to the program were far from massive. The original appropriation for the Office of Economic Opportunity, the new agency that coordinated the program, was a paltry $800 million. Nor were the funds directed mainly at black people: As Zeitz makes clear, the program was actually designed as a way for poor people of all races to build institutions to help themselves, with modest help from the federal government. But urban politicians, most of them fellow Democrats, did not like the way the OEO changed the balance of power in their districts. The OEO emboldened activists to improve city services without needing to appeal to local politicians for federal funds—which they’d previously doled out in return for loyalty at election time

I believe that the OED was the program that Tom Wolfe wrote about in the mean-spirited and ugly essay, "Mau-Mauing The Flak Catchers". He didn't like it much because it let the "wrong" people make demands on the state, and made very clear that he thought their demands were shocking and bullshit.
posted by Frowner at 8:30 AM on May 14 [28 favorites]


This is a different Angus Deaton to the one I was thinking of...
posted by trif at 8:34 AM on May 14 [1 favorite]




Comparing the raw number of absolutely poor people in various countries seems like an [o]dd choice for a first-look metric, because while the U.S. may have "only one-third less" than Angola, because of the difference in total population, it turns out that [...] the absolutely poor are less than 2% of the U.S. but more than 25% of Angola.

I was thinking the same thing, but then it does seem like there is some use to presenting the information this way. In terms of raw numbers it is kind of surprising that the U.S has that many people languishing at the bottom. Regardless of percentages, that’s 5.3 million people who aren’t getting fed in a country of plenty.

Addressing it in percentages allows us to say "Well we are doing pretty well comparatively." Which is nice but still: 5.3 million people.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 8:40 AM on May 14 [10 favorites]




Naberius: Which illustrates my point perfectly.
posted by SansPoint at 8:54 AM on May 14 [1 favorite]


Frowner: Also, I've lived through welfare "reform", which was surely one of the worst and most destructive political acts of my lifetime, and I've definitely seen that the "wrong" people are far worse off now than they were pre-1996.

I've been waiting for a 20-years-after-welfare-reform uptick in violence, as children who were raised in fear and need and scrabble-for-what-you-can reach maturity.
posted by clawsoon at 9:01 AM on May 14 [7 favorites]


In re welfare "reform", which is something that has made me angrier every time I think of it:

Welfare reform has made us all poorer. Public housing, cash payments and food stamps are an "employer" of last resort. If Joe Exploiter says to you, "hey, come work for me for $7 an hour on a forty mile commute, a precarious schedule and no benefits", with welfare you can tell him to go screw because at least you've got housing and food. Without welfare, you have to say "yes thank you Mr. Job Creator sir" and suffer. And that drags down wages for everyone else, because the floor is no longer "housing and food", the floor is "however low they can persuade workers to accept".

With welfare, bosses have to offer more just to get workers into the labor market. It provides security for all working people, even if you never need it, even if you are always able to get good jobs. This is why conservatives hate it.

Professional class people and white collar workers generally don't have the common sense or the solidarity to understand this, which is why Bill and Hillary were able to score political points by getting rid of it. Welfare was always positioned something provided to people of color by its enemies to appeal to racism even though most recipients were white, and positioned as a "culture of poverty" thing even though most people using it cycled on and off itand it was primarily something to help people through bad times.

(Although I've always thought that I'd much rather have a society where people just stay on welfare forever than have a society where people are homeless and immiserated - I don't really understand what's so bad about people getting benefits in the first place. I mean, if public housing is horrible, it's because we made it horrible, not because it is a priori horrible to live in public housing.)

The voting population were such unutterable fools and villains at the time - ignorant, selfish people voting on their feelings because it was fun rather than on the most elementary economic reasoning. If there's a continuity between Clinton and Trump, it's that same appeal to smugness, greed and stupidity, the same appeal to a vote-for-psychic satisfaction mentality to get people to vote against both common decency and their own interests.
posted by Frowner at 9:47 AM on May 14 [112 favorites]


I'll be contemplating this pair of tweets for a while.

No surprise that people are languishing at the bottom in the US, there are camps of people experiencing homelessness all over our city, with a lot of handwringing about what to do. All of that smashed by NIMBY-ism and the approval of massive, higher-end housing projects.

I saw the other day people ask if there are really such things in America. Yep, we have that, no guaranteed sick leave, no parental leave, and a host of other things because... um... reasons? I forget.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:58 AM on May 14 [3 favorites]


There's quite a bit of debate about how to compare poverty in developed and less-developed countries, e.g., Millions of Americans as destitute as the world’s poorest? Don’t believe it., and Angus Deaton and the Location of Poverty, and Is Extreme Poverty Being Neglected in the U.S.?.

There is broad agreement that the extent of deep poverty in the U.S. is shocking and shameful and could and should be addressed. The most effective and moral approach would be to spend more money everywhere. However, when choosing where to direct limited resources (and again, it's shameful how limited our resources to fight poverty are), it matters where the money is spent.

The Vox article worries that Deaton's article could lead "policymakers to reduce international aid, or cause charitable donors to redirect their money away from the world’s most impoverished people." I agree that shouldn't happen, but neither should any counterarguments lead to a reduction in overall support for the poor, wherever they are.

Still, I direct the vast majority of my personal charitable giving to international organizations that help the truly poor, because I think that does the most good.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 10:36 AM on May 14 [5 favorites]


I truly don't know if either political party in America actually cares about this problem. Certainly Trumpists are interested in making it worse, but it's not clear that Democrats are interested in making it better. Hell, the best presidential candidate we could field was instrumental in implementing welfare reform so long ago and never really recanted it.
posted by TypographicalError at 10:42 AM on May 14 [4 favorites]



(Although I've always thought that I'd much rather have a society where people just stay on welfare forever than have a society where people are homeless and immiserated - I don't really understand what's so bad about people getting benefits in the first place. I mean, if public housing is horrible, it's because we made it horrible, not because it is a priori horrible to live in public housing.)


After working in public housing, I couldn't agree more. I always explain it so: the Democratic party, especially under Lyndon Baines Johnson, the last New Dealer President, gave and gave. The Republicans took away and took away and what they could not expressly take, they erected around it a thorn fence of reviews and regulations, which the employees of said Housing Authorities use to exact blood from stones, er, tenants in a by the book bureaucratic torment.

Often I have said here that in my most dystopian prognostications of the future made when I was in my twenties, what I feared would come to pass has been left in the dust by what has already passed.

And every year, it has gotten worse and worse. It is the heartbreak beyond belief.
posted by y2karl at 10:49 AM on May 14 [25 favorites]


Regardless of percentages, that’s 5.3 million people who aren’t getting fed in a country of plenty.

And there's another way to spin the difference in percentages: When so many of your people live in absolute poverty, like in Angola, poverty is a much harder problem to solve. You have fewer resources, and more people who need help.

The fact that the US has "only 2%" of its people living in poverty shouldn't be seen as an excuse not to act. It should be seen, instead, as shameful that we clearly have the resources to help but do not.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 11:16 AM on May 14 [16 favorites]


The rebooted Poor People's Campaign is holding a rally outside my office window even as I type this.
posted by JanetLand at 11:19 AM on May 14 [14 favorites]


Comparing the raw number of absolutely poor people in various countries seems like an [o]dd choice for a first-look metric, because while the U.S. may have "only one-third less" than Angola, because of the difference in total population, it turns out that [...] the absolutely poor are less than 2% of the U.S. but more than 25% of Angola.

Another thing to take into account when making these comparisons is that the USA has the largest economy in the world (at $20.4 trillion, according to data from the International Monetary Fund), so the fact that ~2% of the population lives in devastating poverty, comparable to the poverty one finds in countries that were pillaged by centuries of Colonialism, and then predatory World Bank/IMF loans, not to mention wars, military dictatorships etc. is shameful (for example Sierra Leone's GDP is 3.6 billion - how many individuals in the US have a greater net-worth?).
posted by nikoniko at 11:54 AM on May 14 [8 favorites]


yeah, there is a difference between having plentiful resources (USA) and just choosing not to use them for the common good of all vs a "really" poor country that lacks sufficient resources. the gov't of Angola could have the best intentions (I have no idea) but lack the goods. we know very well the intentions of the US government: tax breaks for wealthy and corporate, trillions for killing brown people and stealing their stuff, jack-diddily for families, children, those who are struggling and left by the wayside of an increasingly grim economy and job market.
posted by supermedusa at 12:05 PM on May 14 [4 favorites]


...Walmart's low-wage workers cost U.S. taxpayers an estimated $6.2 billion in public assistance including food stamps, Medicaid and subsidized housing, according to a report published to coincide with Tax Day, April 15.

Americans for Tax Fairness, a coalition of 400 national and state-level progressive groups, made this estimate using data from a 2013 study by Democratic Staff of the U.S. Committee on Education and the Workforce.

"The study estimated the cost to Wisconsin’s taxpayers of Walmart’s low wages and benefits, which often force workers to rely on various public assistance programs," reads the report, available in full here.

"It found that a single Walmart Supercenter cost taxpayers between $904,542 and $1.75 million per year, or between $3,015 and $5,815 on average for each of 300 workers."

Americans for Tax Fairness then took the mid-point of that range ($4,415) and multiplied it by Walmart’s approximately 1.4 million workers to come up with an estimate of the overall taxpayers' bill for the Bentonville, Ark.-based big box giant's staffers.

The report provides a state-by-state breakdown of these figures, as well as some context on the other side of the coin: Walmart's huge share of the nationwide SNAP, or food stamp, market.

"Walmart told analysts last year that the company has captured 18 percent of the SNAP market," it reads. "Using that figure, we estimate that the company accounted for $13.5 billion out of $76 billion in food stamp sales in 2013."
Report: Walmart Workers Cost Taxpayers $6.2 Billion In Public Assistance
posted by y2karl at 12:54 PM on May 14 [31 favorites]


supermedusa: There's three factors at play in the US.

1. Racism and sexism that inspires poor and middle-class whites to cut off their nose to spite poor and middle-class people of color.
2. The "Shareholder Theory of Value" whereupon the first and highest priority of all corporations is to their shareholders, and so they need to keep having increasing quarter-over-quarter profits, which necessitates keeping costs at a minimum, including worker salaries.
3. The mind-virus of American Individualism, wherein it is one's own responsibility to better themselves, and if someone else has to be taken down to do so, that's just the cost of business.
posted by SansPoint at 12:57 PM on May 14 [17 favorites]


"If we exclude all of the benefits that people get, like food stamps, medicaid, and housing assistance, people in the US are as poor as poor people in third world countries."

Fine, but they should have at least made the predicate clear.
posted by jpe at 2:18 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]


I'm not poor, those people are poor.
posted by aramaic at 2:37 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]


armaic: I deserve a little help. Those people are lazy and entitled mooches.
posted by SansPoint at 3:24 PM on May 14 [2 favorites]


NYTimes: The U.S. Can No Longer Hide From Its Deep Poverty Problem
Current US Administration: Hold my beer.
posted by theora55 at 3:39 PM on May 14 [10 favorites]


In case you're like me and wanted a more apples-to-apples comparison:
1.35% of people in the EU live on under $4/day
1.68% of people in the US live on under $4/day
That's 24% more extremely poor people per capita.

Meanwhile GDP per capita in the US is 61% higher than in the EU.

Also remember that the EU includes places like Romania that were controlled by murderous dictators not very long ago, and that doesn't apply to poor parts of the US like Alabama.

I think part of the explanation is that benefits in the US are mostly non-cash (like food stamps and Section 8), while benefits in the EU are more likely to be cash -- and the non-cash benefits don't count at all in the World Bank's studies. But I'm not sure how to go about determining how much is cancelled out by non-cash benefits.
posted by miyabo at 5:30 PM on May 14 [2 favorites]


I don't know how to quantify this study, but anecdotally, I can tell you that I live in what is now one of the wealthiest counties in Texas, but out here on the perimeter, 25% of our school kids qualify for free breakfast and lunch, and without them, those kids will go hungry. The government's plan to eliminate snap and free school food will kill people.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 6:15 PM on May 14 [12 favorites]


I’d love to see US deep poverty rates broken out by race.

Non hispanic white people are still 60% of the population which among 320M people obscures the level of poverty among non whites when you blend it all together. These stats, by state, are for regular old non-deep poverty but they show dramatic racial inequality.
posted by mrmurbles at 9:33 PM on May 14 [3 favorites]


I don't understand how y'all can remember LBJ well when most of what we're taught about him here is in regard to the Vietnam war, that he was keen on it, that our own government's policy was "All The Way with LBJ". It wouldn't really matter if he'd literally been the Robin Hood of politics, he'd still be damned for his imperialist aggressions against people overseas. You can't be lauded for helping your own people if you're killing people elsewhere to secure your country's economic interests.
posted by AnhydrousLove at 10:52 PM on May 14 [2 favorites]


You can't be lauded for helping your own people if you're killing people elsewhere to secure your country's economic interests.

What else is there to do when an otherwise bad person does something good, if not be glad for it? You don't have to laud him or remember him well or un-damn him.
posted by value of information at 1:57 AM on May 15


What else is there to do when an otherwise bad person does something good, if not be glad for it?

If there's anything the left does well, it's tear down any positive examples from the past and replace them with baseless utopias.

I mean, if we're going to do that ...

Also remember that the EU includes places like Romania that were controlled by murderous dictators not very long ago, and that doesn't apply to poor parts of the US like Alabama.

I beg to differ.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 4:05 AM on May 15 [3 favorites]


The Vox article worries that Deaton's article could lead "policymakers to reduce international aid, or cause charitable donors to redirect their money away from the world’s most impoverished people."

That’s a dispiriting assumption - it’s not immediately obvious that the US should tackle domestic poverty using its international aid budget (~50 billion USD in 2017, including, er, “military aid”) rather than, for instance, its military budget (~600 billion USD in 2017).

I must be missing something obvious which dictates that trying to improve people’s lives is a zero-sum game, and blowing people up is an entirely separate issue that also happens to be 12 times more important.
posted by chappell, ambrose at 5:46 AM on May 15 [6 favorites]


You can't be lauded for helping your own people if you're killing people elsewhere to secure your country's economic interests.

Oh, bullshit on that. Even the most cursory reading of Johnson's involvement in Vietnam shows he felt trapped into backing a losing war, the peace talks of which were torpedoed by Richard M. Nixon, in an act of treason, pure and simple, so as to facilitate his own election, setting a template for further acts of such treason by said Republicans up until this very day.

If Johnson's peace talks had survived, his face would be on our money -- tl/dr: Benjamins would be Lyndons by now.
posted by y2karl at 7:18 AM on May 15 [10 favorites]


It’s worth noting the political genius of this, which goes well beyond favoring whites over blacks. It’s also guaranteed to provoke a lot of blowback—like this post, for example. Republicans can then sigh and throw up their hands: You liberals have to make everything about race, don’t you? We just wanted to encourage able-bodied welfare recipients to find jobs. They don’t mention that they did this deliberately and were probably hoping for exactly this blowback since it does nothing but help them with their base, which thinks the exact same thing.

The alternative is that they’re all so innocent that they didn’t even notice the racial impact of their handiwork. I leave it to you to decide how likely that is.
Medicaid Work Requirements and the Politics of Whiteness
posted by y2karl at 7:28 AM on May 15 [3 favorites]


One of the absolute fucks of the "work requirements" for welfare thing is that the majority of welfare recipients already work. I saw this myself while working as a welfare clerk, processing applications. Most of the applications I dealt with had some form of income provided, even under-the-table jobs where people were paid cash for stuff like babysitting and elder care, sweeping up hair at a salon, or piecemeal work. Those who didn't have jobs were either on unemployment, the elderly, the disabled, students, or minor children.
posted by SansPoint at 8:09 AM on May 15 [4 favorites]


Or mentally ill. In my experience.
posted by y2karl at 8:13 AM on May 15 [2 favorites]


he felt trapped

Bringing up Nixon's sabotage is legit but absolving Johnson this way is reminding me of the please stop calling the cops on people of color thread. We're talking about a war where, according to our own military, more than a million people died.

I deserve a little help. Those people are lazy and entitled mooches.

Obligatory Craig T. Nelson quote: “We are a capitalistic society! Okay—I go into business, I don't make it, I go bankrupt! They're not going to bail me out. I've been on food stamps and welfare. Did anyone help me out? No!” (alt link)
posted by XMLicious at 8:41 AM on May 15 [3 favorites]


I profoundly disagree with your first contention. He was very much a creature of his time.

Mark my words: he would be on our money.

And don't give me this bullshit that the Voting Rights act or the Civil Rights Act have been eviscerated. Millions of black voters might disagree.

We can agree, however, both need to be strengthened.
posted by y2karl at 8:57 AM on May 15


Jesus, dude—he said “I don’t think it’s worth fighting for and I don’t think we can get out” in 1964, on tape, and still killed hundreds of thousands of people or more in a colonialist war anyways. He finished an eight-month-long process of halting bombing operations for the sake of a peace process on October 31st 1968.

That is one hell of alot of blood you want to wash off his hands because his portrait might have ended up on some colonial power's money. His name could be written in big gold ten-foot-tall letters everywhere and that wouldn't matter either.

We shouldn't derail your thread, but this is not the point in history (is it ever?) to be generously pardoning American presidents for their war dead.
posted by XMLicious at 10:05 AM on May 15 [4 favorites]


I am sorry I cannot live up to your exalted standards.
posted by y2karl at 11:59 AM on May 15


....Does anyone really believe that RT has done more to distort Americans’ understanding of — and faith in — their political system than Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News? Or that Sputnik has had a more corrosive influence on American discourse than Robert Mercer’s Breitbart? Or that Putin’s oligarchs have done more to disconnect American policy from the popular will than the funders of the Koch network? Or that the Kremlin’s interference in our politics has done more to damage public confidence in our institutions than K Street’s?

Such claims are facially absurd. The furor over Russia’s election hacking is justified. But the discrepancy between how seriously our political elites take the threat that Russian meddling poses to our democracy — and how blithe they are about the one that concentrated wealth poses to it — is not.
Inequality Is a Bigger Threat to Our Democracy Than Putin Is
posted by y2karl at 2:01 PM on May 15 [5 favorites]


"Or that Putin’s oligarchs have done more to disconnect American policy from the popular will than the funders of the Koch network?"

Strange to try to posit this as an either-or. Russian money poured into the NRA; there's reason to believe plenty of US right-wing orgs accepted Russian funding. Putin's oligarchs might've helped fund the Koch network. At the least, both Russian oligarchs and the Koch brothers share an interest in keeping oil prices high, since that's the main source of their wealth in both cases.

Inequality has been growing for decades in the US and of course it's dangerous to our politics & society... but the recent rise in authoritarianism isn't just affecting America where inequality reigns. It's also finding footholds in European countries where wealth is distributed more equally. And in both Europe and the US, the rise of authoritarianism and anti-immigrant fascism correlates to an international flood of Russian funding for any political force that looks likely to destabilize democracy.

It's like global warming vs. a hurricane. Global warming and inequality have done and will do more harm over the long term. But a hurricane, and Russian-funded attacks against democracy, is a more immediate danger that's doing more severe damage now, and that damage impairs our ability to fix larger problems. (Cf. Trump's policies worsening both inequality and global warming vs. Clinton's platform goals to address both problems.)
posted by wiremommy at 3:52 PM on May 15 [9 favorites]


fwiw!
How the Civil-Rights Movement Aimed to End Poverty - "'A Freedom Budget for All Americans' proposed spending billions of federal dollars to provide jobs and basic welfare to all citizens."
In the fall of 1965, after the Voting Rights Act passed, the coalition of black, socialist, and progressive leaders who had come together to organize 1963’s March on Washington joined together again to create an ambitious policy document with no less a goal than ending poverty in the United States without cost to taxpayers. First released in 1966, it proposed using strong economic growth to provide a federal jobs guarantee, universal health care, and a basic income. This executive summary of the full report, published in 1967, was endorsed by more than 100 signatories and was distributed in black neighborhoods.
also btw :P
Getting Past Capital - "One of my fundamental claims is that capital is no longer scarce. There is enough capital in the world to meet everyone’s basic needs. That means meeting the individual needs of 7 billion or more people, the collective needs of the societies they live in and the collective needs of humanity at large. Using the language introduced earlier, capital is sufficient. And because population growth is decelerating, while technological progress is accelerating (due to digital technology), capital will no longer be the binding constraint for humanity going forward."
posted by kliuless at 5:49 PM on May 15 [3 favorites]


...There’s this double-edged sword of system integration. On one level, it’s incredibly difficult to navigate the public services system. You have to fill out a million applications. If you want home heating assistance, food stamps, cash assistance, you have to fill out a separate application for each of these.

Integrating these systems could be a very positive thing for people if it were set up to provide people with the resources they need to meet basic human needs, but that’s not what we have. The system we have has been set up to pass moral judgment on people because it works on the assumption that poor people are poor because of some personal failure on their part.
How big data is helping states kick poor people off welfare
posted by y2karl at 1:48 PM on May 17 [1 favorite]


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