Poverty and Prosperity

//Poverty and Prosperity

Rising homelessness requires a new approach to fighting poverty

House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Trump have pledged to revamp our nation’s welfare system for the first time since 1994. These changes could not come soon enough. The War on Poverty, which was launched in 1965, has cost three times as much as all our wars combined since the American Revolution. Yet, after spending

Can The World’s Underbanked Leapfrog On To A New Blockchain Financial System?

While cryptocurrencies are rocking the whole world at the moment, you can make a case that the impact of the underlying technology–blockchain–may be felt more in emerging nations than developed ones. At least in the next year or so. In New York or Singapore, it’s easy to buy a toaster with a credit card. It’s

Poverty: American Style

In December last year, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Professor Philip Alston, issued a statement on his 15-day fact-finding mission of some of the U.S.’s poorest neighborhoods.   Alston, the author of the quoted phrase in the excerpt, is an Australian who is a professor of law at New York University.  During his mission,

America’s poor subsidize wealthier consumers in a vicious income inequality cycle

The less money you have, the more you spend to just be able to use money. Being poor is expensive. This problematic paradox is evident with basic financial services. And judging by Bank of America’s recent decision to impose fees of almost $150 a year on what were free checking accounts, the problem is getting worse. Too

Where Americans have the best chances of going from poor to rich

America is known as the land of equal opportunity ... but as it turns out, some parts of the country are more equal than others. In 2013, Harvard economics professor Raj Chetty calculated upward mobility across the United States. By analyzing anonymous earnings records from million of people born from 1980 to 1982, he could track how

How blended capital can help entrepreneurs make it through the missing middle

Alloysius Attah started Farmerline, a social enterprise in Ghana that connects small scale farmers with information, services, and markets, with just $600 in prize money from a mobile app competition. Since then, he has found that he needs to travel outside of Ghana to attract the capital he needs to scale up his operations. When

2018-02-09T03:57:51+00:00 Tags: |

Business Group Aims to Lift 1 Million People Out of Poverty

Economic inequality is one of the most pressing matters in Los Angeles, with people debating what to do about a rise in homelessness and a shortage of affordable housing. This week, a local group unveiled plans to address the situation, though specifics steps remain sparse. On the morning of Tuesday, Jan. 30, the Los Angeles

2018-02-02T09:22:03+00:00 Tags: |

Do Financial Inclusion Efforts Really Have an Impact on Poverty?

Several years ago, a senior person at a large foundation (let’s call him Fred) asked us if we thought financial inclusion—creating and supporting financial products and services designed for low-income communities—really made a difference to the poor. We took his question very seriously, and answered that we honestly weren’t sure whether it was as high

2018-01-29T16:19:29+00:00 Tags: |

Health care financing system deepens poverty and income inequality

Households' payments for medical premiums, copayments and deductibles pushed more than 7 million Americans into poverty in 2014, according to a study appearing in the American Journal of Public Health. Such payments also dramatically worsened overall income inequality. The researchers analyzed data on household medical payments from the Census Bureau's 2010-2015 Current Population Survey, the

2018-02-02T03:53:56+00:00 Tags: |

Why is India’s wealth inequality growing so rapidly?

An Oxfam report released on the eve of the World Economic Forum at Davos underscores the dramatic increase in wealth inequality in India in recent years. In 2017 alone, the top 1 percent of the population owned 73 percent of the addition to wealth that occurred. A year ago, the top 1 percent owned 58 percent of the stock

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

You might think that the kind of extreme poverty that would concern a global organization like the United Nations has long vanished in this country. Yet the special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, recently made and reported on an investigative tour of the United States. Surely no one in the United States today

Income Inequality Debates Churn as Rich Get Richer: QuickTake

The pope has deplored it. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has said it’s a destabilizing issue in the euro zone. It’s shifted Chinese economic goals and fueled voter anger in the U.S. presidential election. And a 700-page book about it by a French economist became a surprise best seller. It is inequality, a gap between rich and poor that has been

Inequality gap widens as 42 people hold same wealth as 3.7bn poorest

The development charity Oxfam has called for action to tackle the growing gap between rich and poor as it launched a new report showing that 42 people hold as much wealth as the 3.7 billion who make up the poorest half of the world’s population. In a report published on Monday to coincide with the gathering of

Investors ignore income inequality at their peril

You've heard of the wealth gap. And you probably know it's growing worldwide, including in the U.S., where the measure is now as wide as it is in Russia. But did you know how wide? According to a recent study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, almost 40 percent of U.S. households have zero or negative wealth.

The American Health-Care System Increases Income Inequality

For most people, a single doctor’s visit can be a financial obstacle course. Many patients throughout the year pay hundreds or thousands of dollars in premiums, most often through workplace contributions. Then, at the doctor’s office, they are faced with a deductible, and they may need to pay coinsurance or make a copayment. If they

Honor Dr. King’s Memory: Rethink What You Know About Poverty

“There is no excuse for living in poverty in this great country other than refusing an education, making poor decisions.” If we’re ever to move past this divisive point in time, it’s critical to engage in discussion, especially with those far from us on the ideological spectrum. I had been discussing poverty with a man

The cure for income inequality lies in the voting booth

A recent Deutsche Bank note on inequality confirmed what millions of American already know: Despite a soaring stock market and reassuringly low unemployment, the gap between Americans’ finances continues to widen. The data tell a stark picture. The top 10 percent used to capture about one-third of all income, now it gets over half. Wage disparities have

Massive new data set suggests economic inequality is about to get even worse

The “endless inegalitarian spiral” may be coming for us sooner than we think. In his best-selling 2014 book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” French economist Thomas Piketty warned that if the already rich were able to accumulate wealth faster than economies were able to grow, inequality would skyrocket in the coming decades, potentially destabilizing societies in the

Is Poverty Sexist?

Last weekend’s Golden Globes saw a whole host of political statements thanks to certain celebs bringing along their activist friends. From helping victims of Hurricane Maria to advocating Native Treaty Rights, everyone was trying to have their voice heard. Connie Briton, however, chose to have her message seen not heard. The slogan ‘poverty is sexist’