Archive

Archive for the ‘poverty’ Category

CRS — Poverty: Major Themes in Past Debates and Current Proposals (September 18, 2014)

October 28, 2014 Comments off

Poverty: Major Themes in Past Debates and Current Proposals (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty, but poverty remains a difficult policy challenge. The Obama Administration and some in Congress have offered proposals that seek to address poverty, with the proposals differing considerably in their focus and content. However, the themes reflected in these proposals echo prior efforts to address the issue of poverty.

The terms “poverty” and “welfare” (commonly thought of as cash assistance for the poor) are often intertwined, but federal policies affecting poverty are broader than a single program or set of programs. In fact, the social insurance program of Social Security may be the nation’s most important antipoverty program. The incidence and character of poverty is affected by many facets of public life.

About these ads

Urban Poverty in Asia

October 28, 2014 Comments off

Urban Poverty in Asia
Source: Asian Development Bank

The phenomenon of urban poverty in Asia is pervasive, severe, and largely unacknowledged. In several Asian countries, the numbers of the urban poor have risen over the 1990–2008 period, lending strength to the proposition that as Asian economies become more urbanized, they may face increasing urban poverty with some urban scholars labeling it as “urbanization of poverty.”

Unlike rural poverty, urban poverty is complex and multidimensional—extending beyond the deficiency of income or consumption, where its many dimensions relate to the vulnerability of the poor on account of their inadequate access to land and housing, physical infrastructure and services, economic and livelihood sources, health and education facilities, social security networks, and voice and empowerment.

In most of developing Asia, urbanization has been accompanied by slums and shelter deprivation, informality, worsening of the living conditions, and increasing risks due to climate change and exclusionary urban forms. According to the UN-HABITAT, Asia has 60% of the world’s total slum population, and many more live in slum-like conditions in areas that are officially designated as nonslums. Working poverty and informality are high in Asian cities and towns. Recent years have witnessed, almost universally, increasing urban inequalities and stagnating consumption shares of lower-percentile households, with Hong Kong, China registering one of the highest Gini-coefficients observed in any other part of the developing and developed world.

UK — State of the Nation 2014 Report

October 23, 2014 Comments off

State of the Nation 2014 Report
Source: Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, Cabinet Office, Department for Education and Department for Work and Pensions

This is the Commission’s second annual State of the Nation report to be presented to Parliament. The Commission was created by the UK Government in 2012 as an independent and statutory body to monitor and report on what is happening to child poverty and social mobility in our country.

The report assesses what the UK government, the Scottish government and the Welsh government are doing (the Commission’s remit does not cover the Northern Ireland government), what progress is being made, and what is likely to happen in future. The report also examines the role of employers and professions, councils and colleges, schools and universities, parents and charities. The report makes a number of recommendations for action.

This is the last State of the Nation report prior to the 2015 UK General Election. As such it presents a verdict on the past and provides a window into the future. The central conclusion is that the next government will have to adopt radical new approaches if poverty is to be beaten, mobility improved and if Britain is to avoid becoming a permanently divided society. We define that as the 2020 challenge.

Poverty Rate Declines, Number of Poor Unchanged, Based on Supplemental Measure of Poverty

October 17, 2014 Comments off

Poverty Rate Declines, Number of Poor Unchanged, Based on Supplemental Measure of Poverty
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

The nation’s poverty rate was 15.5 percent in 2013, down from 16.0 percent in 2012, according to the supplemental poverty measure released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. The 2013 rate was higher than the official measure of 14.5 percent, but similarly declined from the corresponding rate in 2012.

Meanwhile, 48.7 million were below the poverty line in 2013 according to the supplemental poverty measure, not statistically different from the number in 2012. In 2013, 45.3 million were poor using the official definition released last month in Income and Poverty in the United States: 2013.

These findings are contained in the Census Bureau report The Supplemental Poverty Measure: 2013, released with support from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and describing research showing different ways of measuring poverty in the United States.

The supplemental poverty measure serves as an additional indicator of economic well-being and provides a deeper understanding of economic conditions and policy effects.

Raising the Federal Minimum Wage to $10.10 Would Save Safety Net Programs Billions and Help Ensure Businesses Are Doing Their Fair Share

October 17, 2014 Comments off

Raising the Federal Minimum Wage to $10.10 Would Save Safety Net Programs Billions and Help Ensure Businesses Are Doing Their Fair Share
Source: Economic Policy Institute

More than five years have passed since the federal minimum wage was raised to its current level of $7.25 per hour. Over that time, the value of a minimum-wage income has fallen nearly 10 percent due to rising prices. Yet this decline is small in comparison to the drop in value of the minimum wage over the past four decades. After rising in line with economy-wide productivity in the three decades following its inception in 1938, the federal minimum wage has been raised so inadequately and so infrequently since the late 1960s that today’s minimum-wage workers make roughly 25 percent less in inflation-adjusted terms than their counterparts 45 years ago. Indeed, a full-time, full-year minimum-wage worker with one child is paid so little that income from her paycheck alone leaves her below the federal poverty line.

This failure to adequately raise the wage floor has contributed strongly to the stagnation of wage growth at the bottom of the wage distribution. This wage stagnation has, in turn, been the single greatest impediment to making rapid progress in poverty reduction in recent decades. Indeed, all of the decline in poverty reduction in recent decades can be accounted for by safety net and income-support programs (Bivens et al. 2014). In fact, managers at some of the largest and most profitable corporations in the United States today actively encourage their employees to seek public assistance to supplement meager paychecks (Eidelson 2013). All of this has led many to conclude that American employers are too often dodging their responsibilities as partners in the social contract—the understanding that Americans who work hard should be paid enough to make ends meet. Instead, too many low-wage employers are leaving both taxpayers and, more importantly, low-wage workers themselves to pick up the slack.

Recent protests calling for higher wages at many of these companies have highlighted this widening rift between what businesses are paying and what workers need to survive. Among the protesters’ demands is that employers begin paying workers adequately, instead of relying upon public funds to give their workers a decent standard of living even as corporate profits reach record highs.

This issue brief examines the use of public assistance programs by low-wage workers and assesses how raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 over three years—as proposed by the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2014, a bill introduced by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.)—could affect utilization rates, benefit amounts, and government spending on these programs.

Impact of socioeconomic deprivation on rate and cause of death in severe mental illness

October 13, 2014 Comments off

Impact of socioeconomic deprivation on rate and cause of death in severe mental illness
Source: BMC Psychiatry

Background
Socioeconomic status has important associations with disease-specific mortality in the general population. Although individuals with Severe Mental Illnesses (SMI) experience significant premature mortality, the relationship between socioeconomic status and mortality in this group remains under investigated. We aimed to assess the impact of socioeconomic status on rate and cause of death in individuals with SMI (schizophrenia and bipolar disorder) relative to the local (Glasgow) and wider (Scottish) populations.

Methods
Cause and age of death during 2006-2010 inclusive for individuals with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder registered on the Glasgow Psychosis Clinical Information System (PsyCIS) were obtained by linkage to the Scottish General Register Office (GRO). Rate and cause of death by socioeconomic status, measured by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD), were compared to the Glasgow and Scottish populations.

Results
Death rates were higher in people with SMI across all socioeconomic quintiles compared to the Glasgow and Scottish populations, and persisted when suicide was excluded. Differences were largest in the most deprived quintile (794.6 per 10,000 population vs. 274.7 and 252.4 for Glasgow and Scotland respectively). Cause of death varied by socioeconomic status. For those living in the most deprived quintile, higher drug-related deaths occurred in those with SMI compared to local Glasgow and wider Scottish population rates (12.3% vs. 5.9%, p?=?<0.001 and 5.1% p?=?0.002 respectively). A lower proportion of deaths due to cancer in those with SMI living in the most deprived quintile were also observed, relative to the local Glasgow and wider Scottish populations (12.3% vs. 25.1% p?=?0.013 and 26.3% p?=?<0.001). The proportion of suicides was significantly higher in those with SMI living in the more affluent quintiles relative to Glasgow and Scotland (54.6% vs. 5.8%, p?=?<0.001 and 5.5%, p?=?<0.001).

Conclusions
Excess mortality in those with SMI occurred across all socioeconomic quintiles compared to the Glasgow and Scottish populations but was most marked in the most deprived quintiles when suicide was excluded as a cause of death. Further work assessing the impact of socioeconomic status on specific causes of premature mortality in SMI is needed.

Global Monitoring Report 2014/2015 : Ending Poverty and Sharing Prosperity

October 11, 2014 Comments off

Global Monitoring Report 2014/2015 : Ending Poverty and Sharing Prosperity
Source: World Bank

The Global Monitoring Report 2014/2015 will, for the first time, monitor and report on the World Bank Group’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting shared prosperity, while continuing to track progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

This Global Monitoring Report examines how a select set of policies in the areas of human capital and the environment can create jobs and make development more inclusive and sustainable, while highlighting how social assistance policies can help end poverty and improve growth prospects. It discusses most of these issues across a full spectrum of countries. This means the Report not only addresses low- and middle-income countries but also, for the first time, includes a discussion of high-income countries as well.

The Report will contain quantitative information about the World Bank Group’s twin goals: It will provide an assessment on how far the world has to go to end extreme poverty by 2030 and how much of prosperity has been shared with the bottom 40 percent of a country’s population.

The report is prepared in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 944 other followers