Climate Change, Rich-Poor Gap, Conflict Likely to Grow: U.S. Intelligence Report

Ecology, Poverty, Threats

Climate Change, Rich-Poor Gap, Conflict Likely to Grow: U.S. Intelligence Report

Disease, the rich-poor gap, climate change and conflicts within and among nations will pose greater challenges in coming decades, with the COVID-19 pandemic already worsening some of those problems, a U.S. intelligence report said on Thursday.

The rivalry between China and a U.S.-led coalition of Western nations likely will intensify, fueled by military power shifts, demographics, technology and “hardening divisions over governance models,” said Global Trends 2040, produced by the U.S. National Intelligence Council (NIC).

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A Novel Effort to See How Poverty Affects Young Brains

Poverty, Threats

A Novel Effort to See How Poverty Affects Young Brains

An emerging branch of neuroscience asks a question long on the minds of researchers. Recent stimulus payments make the study more relevant.

New monthly payments in the pandemic relief package have the potential to lift millions of American children out of poverty. Some scientists believe the payments could change children’s lives even more fundamentally — via their brains. It’s well established that growing up in poverty correlates with disparities in educational achievement, health and employment. But an emerging branch of neuroscience asks how poverty affects the developing brain.

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Who is hungry in America? The pandemic has changed the answer.

Poverty, Threats

Who is hungry in America? The pandemic has changed the answer.

Before the pandemic, rates of food insecurity in the United States had been declining during the longest economic expansion in the country’s history. The percentage of households that were food insecure for at least some portion of the year had dropped from 14.9% in 2011 to 10.5% in 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

But within those households, that still represented 35.2 million Americans worried about a low-quality diet or even when they would get their next meal.

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Extreme poverty isn’t natural, it’s created

Poverty, Threats

Extreme poverty isn’t natural, it’s created

Over the past few years, this graph has become a sensation.  Developed by Our World In Data and promoted widely by Bill Gates and Steven Pinker, the graph gives the impression that virtually all of humanity was in “extreme poverty” as of 1820 (i.e., living on less than $1.90 per day, PPP; less than is required for basic food).

OWID has used this figure to claim that extreme poverty was the natural or baseline condition of humanity, extending far back into the past: “in the thousands of years before the beginning of the industrial era, the vast majority of the world population lived in conditions that we would call extreme poverty today.”

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The pandemic recession has pushed a further 9.8 million Americans into food insecurity

Poverty, Threats

The pandemic recession has pushed a further 9.8 million Americans into food insecurity

The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed hardship on millions of vulnerable Americans through unemployment and reduced work hours. And this has increased food insecurity across the nation.

There is no official figure yet for how many more families are struggling to provide regular meals around the table – the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s next annual report on food insecurity, defined as a lack of access to sufficient food due to limited financial resources, won’t be out until the fall.

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Five myths about poverty

Poverty, Threats

Five myths about poverty

Millions of Americans have found themselves struggling this past year with the economic aftershocks of the covid-19 pandemic. In 2021, the poverty line for a family of three was approximately $22,000. Families that once thought of themselves as solidly middle class are now straining to pay for the basics.

Food banks have seen record lines outside their doors, and job security for many has vanished. Yet poverty is still shadowed by misperceptions.

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The American Rescue Plan: Giant strides forward on child poverty

Poverty, Threats

The American Rescue Plan: Giant strides forward on child poverty

The “seed experiment” is a favorite science project from preschool on up: A child plants identical seeds in two pots. She places the first pot inside a dark closet and leaves it there. She then puts the second one in a sunny spot and waters it every day, and waits to see what will happen. It’s very easy for even the youngest children to figure out that their seedlings need the basics — sunlight and water — if they are going to survive and thrive.

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United States: Pandemic Impact on People in Poverty

Poverty, Threats

United States: Pandemic Impact on People in Poverty

The United States government has made little progress in stemming the rise in poverty and inequality during the Covid-19 pandemic, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should take urgent action to address the rights of millions of people suffering the compounded economic and social impacts of the pandemic.

A Human Rights Watch analysis of public-use microdata from the Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey shows that the pandemic’s economic fallout has had a devastating and disproportionate impact on the rights of low-income people who were already struggling.

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What we don’t understand about poverty in America

Poverty, Threats

What we don’t understand about poverty in America

It is the first book to systematically address and confront many of the most widespread myths pertaining to poverty. What if poverty is an experience that touches the majority of Americans? What if hard work does not necessarily lead to economic well-being? What if the reasons for poverty are largely beyond the control of individuals?

“Within the United States, we tend to view poverty as an issue of ‘them’ rather than ‘us,’” said Rank, the Herbert S. Hadley Professor of Social Welfare at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis and author of numerous books on poverty and the American dream.

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Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism

Poverty, Threats

Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism

In the last two decades, free markets have swept the globe, bringing with them enormous potential for positive change. But traditional capitalism cannot solve problems like inequality and poverty, because it is hampered by a narrow view of human nature in which people are one-dimensional beings concerned only with profit.

In fact, human beings have many other drives and passions, including the spiritual, the social, and the altruistic. Welcome to the world of social business, where the creative vision of the entrepreneur is applied to today’s most serious problems: feeding the poor, housing the homeless, healing the sick, and protecting the planet. Continue reading “Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism”