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Tag: poverty

Racism in America

Racism in America

I. Introduction In August of 2014, a police officer shot dead Michael Brown, a black teenager from Ferguson, Missouri, blowing the lid off a debate about racism in America. Protesters filled the streets, yelling “Hands up, don’t shoot.” The hashtag “#blacklivesmatter” began trending on Twitter. A few weeks before, bystanders filmed a police officer in Staten Island choking to death Eric Garner, an African-American man who’d been arrested for selling untaxed cigarettes. When the grand jury chose not to bring…

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Why Do Some Countries Have It So Bad?

Why Do Some Countries Have It So Bad?

Open a newspaper today and you’ll be bombarded with a panoply of terrible news. Ebola is ravaging West Africa, with a projected 10,000 new cases per week and the possibility for 1.4 million people infected in Sierra Leone and Liberia alone. Two decades ago, those same countries were embroiled in one of the most horrific civil wars in modern history. A few thousand miles away, a possible genocide in the Central African Republic has been unfolding – largely unnoticed –…

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The Link Between Poverty and Terrorism

The Link Between Poverty and Terrorism

The link between poverty and terrorism is well-known.  In theory, one of the purposes of organizations like USAID is to complement the other “D’s” of the foreign policy apparatus – diplomacy and defense – to improve conditions for people most likely to be driven to desperation: the poor.  It is not surprising that the hotbeds of terrorism today – Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Indonesia – happen to be some of the poorest countries in the world.  Nor is it surprising…

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Are Conditional Cash Transfers Really the Answer?

Are Conditional Cash Transfers Really the Answer?

A while back I wrote about conditional cash transfers, which are the next biggest thing in development, in a post called “Where’s My Money, Fool,” titled so as an homage to the curler-wearing drug dealer Big Worm in the movie “Friday.” The most successful example of a good CCT program is Bolsa Familia, a government program in Brazil which has helped to increase incomes for poor families by 7 times as much as incomes for the rich (albeit, off a…

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The Problem of Rural Education in the Philippines

The Problem of Rural Education in the Philippines

In this journal, I have discussed the relationship between education, poverty alleviation, and economic development. The link is critical and the three are self-reinforcing.  Education creates greater opportunities for the youth, who go on to work decent jobs in cities like Bacolod, Manila, and Cebu.  The children remit money back to the parents, who spend on home improvements and the tuition fees for the younger siblings.  College-educated individuals are much less likely to end up impoverished (about 1 in 44). …

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Who is Poor? Defining Poverty

Who is Poor? Defining Poverty

This was written for the Kiva Fellows blog.  Read the original here. How do you define poverty?   A basic needs index looks at whether (and to what extent) fundamental needs are fulfilled – food, water, shelter, clothing – and whether people have access to critical services – education, information (newspapers, etc.), sanitation facilities, healthcare, financial services.  This is an absolute poverty calculation, which uses a standard threshold that can be compared across countries and continents.  Another method is to use…

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