In October 2021, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released a report that received barely any attention: the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2021, notably subtitled Unmasking disparities by ethnicity, caste, and gender. ‘Multidimensional poverty’ is a much more precise measurement of poverty than the international poverty line of $1.90 per day. It looks at ten indicators divided along three axes: health (nutrition, child mortality), education (years of schooling, school attendance), and standard of living (cooking fuel, sanitation, drinking water, electricity, housing, assets). The team studied multidimensional poverty across 109 countries, looking at the living conditions of 5.9 billion people.Continue reading
Here’s how the world should operate in simple terms: A certain country or region or city or township or Hobbit hole tries something in order to help their society or group or hovel — if it works, other places then do it. If it doesn’t work, other places don’t do it. It’s like when you were a kid and you saw your brother slide down the banister and rack himself on the newel post — You then thought, “Maybe that activity is not for me.” But if he didn’t nail himself in the jewels, you probably thought, “I think I’ll try that.”
That’s how the United States government should work, but it doesn’t. For-profit healthcare, corporate personhood, the drug war, funding terrorists overseas that we call “moderate rebels,” etc. — all of these things have been tried, they fuckin’ suck every time, and we keep doing them.Continue reading
Despite years of preparations, New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell said there was no time to issue a mandatory evacuation order as Ida rapidly intensified into a powerful Category 4 hurricane. She urged city residents to “hunker down.” Mass evacuations require coordination among multiple parishes and states, and there wasn’t enough time. In several surrounding parishes, people were told to evacuate, but in low-lying and flood-prone areas, many residents couldn’t afford to leave.
Hurricane Ida became the most destructive storm of the busy 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, which ended Nov. 30. It was one of eight named storms to hit the U.S. as the season exhausted the list of 21 tropical storm names for only the third year on record.Continue reading
On February 1, 2022, the relief student-loan borrowers have had since the start of the pandemic will be stripped away and they will be thrown back into repayment — whether they’re ready or not.
And most of them are not.
The Student Debt Crisis Center, in partnership with Savi — a social impact technology startup — released the results of the fourth installment of the Student Debt x COVID-19 series on Wednesday examining the impact of the pandemic on student-loan borrowers. It found that although student-loan company communication to borrowers has improved since June, 89% of fully-employed borrowers say they do not feel financially secure enough to resume payments in a few months.
One in five of the respondents said they will never feel financially-secure enough to restart their student-loan payments.Continue reading
The 2021 Global Hunger Index (GHI), published on Thursday, revealed soaring levels of hunger among the poor and working populations around the globe.
The foreword, written by the heads of Welthungerhilfe and Concern Worldwide, the organizations responsible for the GHI, stated that the report “points to a dire hunger situation, a result of the toxic cocktail of the climate crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, and increasingly severe and protracted conflicts.”
Rising food prices are a critical contributing factor in the growth of world hunger over the past year. Rapidly mounting inflation and the disruption of the supply chain networks of global capitalism are driving up the prices of all basic consumer goods. The U.S. Energy Information Authority reported that nearly half of all US households who use natural gas to heat their homes will pay an average of 30 to 50 percent more this winter for heating than last year.Continue reading
Organizations across the United States organized protests, cultural activities, community kitchens, teach-ins, and other actions about the issue of healthcare access in the US from September 13-20 as part of the Nonviolent Medicaid Army Week of Action. The diverse actions had the goal of uniting people directly impacted by healthcare denial and linking the different issues related to healthcare such as housing, police violence, access to clean water, and economic inequality. Actions were organized in the states of Alabama, California, Florida, Indiana, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Vermont.
The week of action organized by the Nonviolent Medicaid Army (NVMA) was cosponsored by the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, the National Union Of The Homeless, and the Party for Socialism and Liberation – PSL.Continue reading
A few days ago, I spoke to a senior official at the World Health Organisation (WHO). I asked her if she knew how many people lived their lives on our planet without shoes. The reason I asked her this question is because I was wondering about Tungiasis, an ailment caused by the infection that results from the entry of a female sand flea (Tunga penetrans) into the skin. This problem has a variety of names in many different languages – from jigger or chigoe to niguá (Spanish) or bicho do pé (Portuguese) to funza (Kiswahili) or tukutuku (Zande). It is a terrible problem that disfigures the feet and makes mobility difficult. Shoes prevent these fleas from burrowing into the skin. She was not sure about the number but presumed that at least a billion people must live without shoes.Continue reading
In 1965, in response to President Lyndon B. Johnson’s anemic War on Poverty legislation, the labor and civil rights leaders A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin joined with Leon Keyserling, the former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, to draft “A Freedom Budget for All Americans.” Their $180 billion proposal ($1.4 trillion adjusted for inflation) would have established a living wage and guaranteed employment through public works projects and urban revitalization initiatives. Randolph and Rustin were socialists who viewed racial inequality through the lens of capitalist labor and housing markets. They correctly anticipated that neither the 1964 Civil Rights Act’s antidiscrimination measures nor the War on Poverty would be capable of eliminating black poverty.Continue reading
Ivan Acosta is Nicaragua’s minister of housing and public credit, with responsibility for key aspects of government planning. In July, he presented the country’s new “National Plan for the Fight against Poverty and for Human Development.” This builds on the achievements of Nicaragua’s Sandinista government since it returned to power in 2007 and sets out how they will continue if Daniel Ortega’s government is returned at November’s elections. Ivan Acosta is currently subject to personal US sanctions, along with many other Nicaraguan government officials and their family members.
Codepinks’s Teri Mattson spoke to the minister in a Zoom call and asked him to explain the plan and its background.Continue reading
Exactly two years ago, I walked with my colleagues from Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research through the Camp Marielle Vive (‘Marielle Lives’) outside of Valinhos in the state of São Paulo, Brazil with a great sense of déjà vu. The camp resembles so many other communities of the desperately poor on our planet. The United Nations calculates that one in eight people on our planet – one billion human beings – live in such precariousness. The homes are made of a jumble of materials: blue tarpaulin sheets and bits of wood, corrugated iron sheets and old bricks. A thousand families live in Camp Marielle Vive, named after the Brazilian socialist Marielle Franco, who was assassinated in March 2018.Continue reading
On 25 February 2021, the Chinese government announced that extreme poverty had been abolished in China, a country of 1.4 billion people. This historic victory is a culmination of a seven-decade-long process that began with the Chinese Revolution of 1949. The early decades of socialist construction laid the foundation that was deepened during the reform and opening-up period. During this time, 850 million Chinese people were lifted and lifted themselves out of poverty; that is to say, 70 percent of the world’s total poverty reduction took place in China. In the most recent ‘targeted’ phase that began in 2013, the Chinese government spent 1.6 trillion yuan (US$246 billion) to build 1.1 million kilometres of rural roads, bring internet access to 98 percent of the country’s poor villages, renovate homes for 25.68 million people, and build new homes for 9.6 million others.Continue reading
Due to limited program funding, families struggling to afford housing that manage to get off the waiting list for a Housing Choice Voucher must typically wait for years before receiving a voucher, CBPP analysis of Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) data shows. Among the 50 largest housing agencies, only two have average wait times of under a year for families that have made it off of the waiting list; the longest have average wait times of up to eight years.Continue reading
On February 25, 2021, China’s President Xi Jinping announced that his country of 1.4 billion people had pulled its people out of poverty as it is defined internationally. Since 1981, 853 million Chinese people have lifted themselves out of poverty thanks to large-scale interventions from both the Chinese state and the Communist Party of China (CPC); according to the data of the World Bank, three out of four people worldwide who were lifted out of poverty live in China. “No country has been able to lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty in such a short time,” Xi said.
When UN Secretary-General António Guterres visited China in September 2019, he gushed over this accomplishment, calling it the “greatest anti-poverty achievement in history.”Continue reading
Nor is Nicaragua news for being the country with the highest level of direct ownership of the means of production by the working class in the Western Hemisphere (more than 50% of GDP and nearly 80% of economic units); nor for being one of the countries in the world that has most reduced illiteracy in the same period of time (from 35% to 3%); or for being one of the countries with the largest increase in per capita investment in health (from U$32 to U$70) and with the largest reduction in infant mortality (from 29 to 11.4 per 1,000 live births).
Nicaragua is not news for being the country in the world that has most reduced the gender gap (from 90th to 12th), the country with the highest presence of women in its cabinet (58.82%), as well as having the fourth highest presence of women in the legislative branch (48.4%) and being the country that most radically applies the criterion of gender equity across its social policies.Continue reading
China’ overwhelming objective is clearly economic development, a policy to which it has hewed closely and which it declares for its future. That is no surprise; it is the dream of every developing nation. It is “The Chinese Dream.”
If such goals were no more than words on paper, there would be no problem. But China is succeeding as is widely acknowledged now. Its economy surpassed the U.S. in terms of GDP (PPP) in November of 2014 according to the IMF and is growing faster. Over 700 million have been brought out of poverty, with extreme poverty eliminated in 2020. The middle class now comprises over 400 million people. The retail market is enormous and the ecommerce market by far the world’s largest. China is the world’s largest manufacturer and trader.Continue reading