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jerryking : poverty   50

He Grew Up on a Farm. Now, He Helps Protect Them.
Oct. 3, 2019 | The New York Times | By Norman Mayersohn.

Books: Warren Buffett biography, “Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist,”

Few livelihoods offer as many paths to failure as agriculture. Throughout history, farmers have been at the mercy of nature — be it weather, pests or crop diseases — even as the survival of people and livestock depended on their success...... Thomas Njeru, is a co-founder and the chief financial officer of Pula, a four-year-old microinsurance firm that serves 1.7 million smallholder farms of 0.6 acres or less in 10 African countries and India. Microinsurance — think of it as an offshoot of the microloan programs that kick-start businesses in impoverished areas — provides protection for low-income individuals who do not have access to conventional coverage....Pula, based in Nairobi, Kenya, partners with government agencies and loan providers to cover the cost of the insurance, which is included in the price of seed and fertilizer; there is no direct charge to the farmer. Among the coverages Pula provides is weather index insurance to cover failures of seed germination, using satellite data to determine whether there has been sufficient rainfall. Longer-term coverage, called yield index insurance, compensates farmers with replacement supplies in the event of a poor harvest......People in Africa don't invest in agriculture because the chance of them losing their money due to the vagaries of the weather is huge.........Pula’s mission is to give farmers confidence by providing risk mitigation. Our solutions protect a farmer’s investment by pairing it with insurance. We build business cases to persuade Fortune 500 companies, seed and fertilizer suppliers, lending institutions, and governments in Africa, that embedded insurance will help deliver better results for both businesses and food security....The sad reality is that farmers are one drought or one disease outbreak away from sliding into absolute poverty......the penetration of agriculture insurance in Africa is less than 1 percent. The reason is that insurance companies’ business models are not set up to serve the unique needs of smallholder farmers......scaling Pula’s business model to the point that insured seed and fertilizer become ubiquitous in the market......The average annual insurance premium per farmer is about $3 to $5. This includes the cost of product development, pricing, underwriting, claim adjustment and, of course, the claim costs. We use artificial intelligence, mobile-based registration systems, remote sensing and automation tools...Agriculture insurance is a cemetery of pilots and trials..
Africa  agriculture  behavioral_change  books  Bottom_of_the_Pyramid  crop_insurance  farming  insurance  Kenya  low-income  microfinance  mobile_applications  poverty  precarious  Pula  seeds  smallholders  start_ups  risks  risk-mitigation  Warren_Buffett  weather 
october 2019 by jerryking
When algorithms reinforce inequality
FEBRUARY 9, 2018 | FT | Gillian Tett.

Virginia Eubanks, a political science professor in New York, undertakes academic research was focused on digital innovation and welfare claims. ......Last month, she published Automating Inequality, a book that explores how computers are changing the provision of welfare services in three US regions: Indiana, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh. It focuses on public sector services, rather than private healthcare insurance, but the message is the same: as institutions increasingly rely on predictive algorithms to make decisions, peculiar — and often unjust — outcomes are being produced. And while well-educated, middle-class people will often fight back, most poor or less educated people cannot; nor will they necessarily be aware of the hidden biases that penalise them....Eubanks concludes, is that digital innovation is reinforcing, rather than improving, inequality. ...What made the suffering doubly painful when the computer programs got it wrong was that the victims found it almost impossible to work out why the algorithms had gone against them, or to find a human caseworker to override the decision — and much of this could be attributed to a lack of resources....a similar pattern is described by the mathematician Cathy O’Neil in her book Weapons of Math Destruction. “Ill-conceived mathematical models now micromanage the economy, from advertising to prisons,” she writes. “They’re opaque, unquestioned and unaccountable and they ‘sort’, target or optimise millions of people . . . exacerbating inequality and hurting the poor.”...Is there any solution? O’Neil and Eubanks suggest that one option would be to require technologists to sign something equivalent to the Hippocratic oath, to “first do no harm”. A second — more costly — idea would be to force institutions using algorithms to hire plenty of human caseworkers to supplement the digital decision-making.

A third idea would be to ensure that the people who are creating and running the computer programs are forced to think about culture, in its broadest sense.....until now digital nerds at university have often had relatively little to do with social science nerds — and vice versa.

Computing has long been perceived to be a culture-free zone — this needs to change. But change will only occur when policymakers and voters understand the true scale of the problem. This is hard when we live in an era that likes to celebrate digitisation — and where the elites are usually shielded from the consequences of those algorithms.
Gillian_Tett  Cathy_O’Neil  algorithms  inequality  biases  books  dark_side  Pittsburgh  poverty  low-income 
february 2018 by jerryking
The Memo: Five Rules for Your Economic Liberation: John Hope Bryant: 9781523084562: Amazon.com: Books
True power in this world comes from economic independence, but too many people have too much month left at the end of their money. John Hope Bryant, founder and CEO of Operation HOPE, illuminates the path toward liberation that is hiding in plain sight. His message is simple: the supermajority of people who live in poverty, whom Bryant calls the invisible class, as well as millions in the struggling middle class, haven't gotten “the memo”—until now.

Building on his personal experience of rising up from economically disadvantaged circumstances and his work with Operation HOPE, Bryant teaches readers five rules that lay the foundation for achieving financial freedom. He emphasizes the inseparable connection between “inner capital” (mindset, relationships, knowledge, and spirit) and “outer capital” (financial wealth and property). “If you have inner capital,” Bryant writes, “you can never be truly poor. If you lack inner capital, all the money in the world cannot set you free.”

Bryant gives readers tools for empowerment by covering everything from achieving basic financial literacy to investing in positive relationships and approaching wealth with a completely new attitude. He makes this bold and controversial claim: “Once you have satisfied your basic sustenance needs—food, water, health, and a roof over your head—poverty has more to do with your head than your wallet.”

Bryant wants to restore readers' “silver rights,” giving them the ability to succeed and prosper no matter what very real roadblocks society puts in their way. We have more power than we realize, if only we can recognize and claim it. “We are our first capital,” Bryant writes. “We are the CEOs of our own lives.
African-Americans  books  economically_disadvantaged  economic_empowerment  individual_agency  individual_autonomy  It's_up_to_me  James_Baldwin  knowledge  mindsets  personal_economy  poverty  relationships 
august 2017 by jerryking
The Unexotic Underclass | The MIT Entrepreneurship Review
By C.Z. Nnaemeka in Analysis, Featured, Start-up Advice | 132 comments
May 19, 2013
poverty  business  entrepreneurship  start_ups  underclass 
january 2017 by jerryking
Small Factories Emerge as a Weapon in the Fight Against Poverty
OCT. 28, 2016 | The New York Times | By NELSON D. SCHWARTZ.

... small manufacturers like Marlin are vital if the United States is to narrow the nation’s class divide and build a society that offers greater opportunities for everyone — rich and poor, black and white, high school graduates and Ph.D.s.

“The closing of factories has taken the rungs out of the ladder for reaching the middle class in urban areas,” ....“Manufacturing jobs involve a skill base that you develop over time, and that fortifies your negotiating strength,” Mr. Johnson said. But in lower-skilled jobs, the competition is with someone who will do the same work for less. “The marketplace doesn’t give you any leverage,” he said.

Hope for Troubled Cities

Today, smaller plants are particularly important to job creation in factory work, said Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing. “Megafactories are the exception today,” Mr. Paul said. “Small manufacturing is holding its own — and you are seeing some interesting developments in urban centers.”....As the sociologist William Julius Wilson has written in his classic studies, “The Truly Disadvantaged” and “When Work Disappears,” the exodus of factories from high-cost, union-dominated cities to cheaper, less union-friendly locales in the South and West in the 1960s and 1970s played a major role in the breakdown of urban cores.

“The trends among non-college-educated, white Americans today look like a lot like the trends among black Americans in the 1970s that so worried policy makers and social scientists,” said David Autor, a professor of economics at M.I.T., who researches the connections among trade, labor and employment. “You see it in the falling labor force participation, the decline of traditional family structure, crime and poverty. It’s all there.”...
African-Americans  automation  Baltimore  blue-collar  deindustrialization  equality_of_opportunity  exodus  manufacturers  micro-factories  microproducers  poverty  robotics  Rust_Belt  tradespeople  urban  value_added  whites 
october 2016 by jerryking
Actually, Many ‘Inner Cities’ Are Doing Great - The New York Times
Emily Badger OCT. 11, 2016
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African-Americans  urban  cities  gentrification  poverty  Donald_Trump  Campaign_2016 
october 2016 by jerryking
J.D. Vance and the Anger of the White Working Class - WSJ
By ALEXANDRA WOLFE
July 29, 2016

J.D. Vance credits his grandparents, religion and his time in the Marine Corps from 2003 to 2007 for helping him to get his life together. Whereas many of the people around him growing up seemed to have a feeling of “learned helplessness” and didn’t think their decisions mattered, he says, he learned the opposite in the Marines: “My decisions did matter and I did have some control over my own life.”.....“In the family life that I grew up in, the way you handled conflict resolution with your spouse or your partner was by screaming and yelling, and if things got really bad, maybe throwing stuff or hitting and punching them,” he says. He only later realized that rather than fighting to win, he should try to solve problems in a relationship. .....“Concretely, I want pastors and church leaders to think about how to build community churches, to keep people engaged, and to worry less about politics and more about how the people in their communities are doing,” he says. “I want parents to fight and scream less, and to recognize how destructive chaos is to their children’s future.”

He thinks that school leaders could help by being more cognizant of what’s going on in students’ home lives. But most of all he wants people to hold themselves responsible for their own conduct and choices. “Those of us who weren’t given every advantage can make better choices, and those choices do have the power to affect our lives,” he says.
books  Yale  working_class  Appalachia  Rust_Belt  poverty  hopelessness  social_mobility  resentments  grievances  values  habits  USMC  helplessness  conflict_resolution  whites  deindustrialization  industrial_Midwest  family_breakdown  underclass  J.D._Vance  faith_leaders  individual_agency  individual_autonomy 
july 2016 by jerryking
Trump nation: An insider’s tour - The Globe and Mail
MARGARET WENTE
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Jul. 19, 2016

What explains the appeal of Donald Trump? Many pundits have tried to answer this question and fallen short. But J.D. Vance nails it. His stunning new book, Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of A Family and Culture in Crisis, doesn’t even mention Mr. Trump.....It’s misleading to describe the problems of the white working class as an economic crisis. Above all, it is a cultural, spiritual and psychological crisis. The real challenge is not so much the loss of jobs as the loss of values, order and meaning. The yawning chasm between the working and the middle class isn’t about money. It’s about habits and attitudes and a sense of powerlessness.....Mr. Trump is “cultural heroin” – the newest opioid of the masses. He, too, offers an easy escape from problems that seem overwhelming and hopeless.

The issues described in Hillbilly Elegy – low social mobility, the yawning gap between the haves and the have-nots, the waning prospects and social decay experienced by people at the bottom of the ladder – are among the greatest challenges of our times. They can’t be fixed with technocratic or government solutions.
books  Margaret_Wente  working_class  J.D._Vance  Appalachia  Rust_Belt  poverty  Donald_Trump  resentments  grievances  values  habits  social_mobility  hopelessness  helplessness  industrial_Midwest  whites  family_breakdown  underclass 
july 2016 by jerryking
Divisions between pre-amalgamation cities making rich-poor gap worse: report - The Globe and Mail
ANN HUI
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Oct. 06, 2015

"The poverty is not caused by the neighbourhood. Other factors are at play--parenting, value systems. But it's just appealing to blame external factors, like city hall or the TTC (not enough buses! That's why I'm poor!) and so articles like this do."
Toronto  income_inequality  Scarborough  poverty  neighbourhoods  deindustrialization  disparities  value_systems 
october 2015 by jerryking
Education Gap Between Rich and Poor Is Growing Wider - The New York Times
SEPT. 22, 2015 | NYT | Eduardo Porter.

For all the progress in improving educational outcomes among African-American children, the achievement gaps between more affluent and less privileged children is wider than ever, notes Sean Reardon of the Center for Education Policy Analysis at Stanford. Racial disparities are still a stain on American society, but they are no longer the main divider. Today the biggest threat to the American dream is class.....Financed mainly by real estate taxes that are more plentiful in neighborhoods with expensive homes, public education is becoming increasingly compartmentalized. Well-funded schools where the children of the affluent can play and learn with each other are cordoned off from the shabbier schools teaching the poor, who are still disproportionally from black or Hispanic backgrounds.
poverty  African-Americans  income_inequality  racial_disparities  real_estate_taxes  education  achievement_gaps  social_classes  public_education  sorting  segregation  geographic_sorting  neighbourhoods  children  affluence  upper-income  super_ZIPs  compartmentalization  the_American_dream 
september 2015 by jerryking
Avoid the blame game and speak plainly about poverty - The Globe and Mail
HUGH SEGAL
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Jan. 12 2015
Hugh_Segal  poverty 
january 2015 by jerryking
Squeegee law hurts the poor. I should have abolished it - The Globe and Mail
MICHAEL BRYANT
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Nov. 27 2014
poverty  Toronto 
november 2014 by jerryking
Why some see big potential in tiny farms - The Globe and Mail
Doug Saunders

Oxford, England — The Globe and Mail

Published Saturday, Apr. 12 2014,

TechnoServe, a long-established Washington-based non-profit whose 1,400 employees provide technical assistance to small developing-world farmers....Those small farmers don’t produce much food in part because they can’t afford to buy decent seeds and fertilizer. They can’t afford seeds or fertilizer because they can’t borrow money based on their future crop sales. And, Mr. Masha notes, that’s because lending them money can be so expensive: Interest rates on tiny loans are already, by definition, very high; add to that the cost of servicing loans across regions, and the considerable cost of hedging those loans against volatile developing-world currencies, and, he says, “you’ve priced them right out of the credit market.”

Banks and micro-credit agencies are also reluctant to lend because small farmers often have no collateral: Property ownership is ambiguous and few countries have small-claims courts to deal with defaults. (Brazil, an exception, owes a lot of its development success to the creation of such institutions.)

While the potential in these farms is huge, few want to take the risk of building agricultural supply and value chains in the developing world. Such investments take many years to generate returns, which tend to be very modest – rendering them uninteresting to corporations and venture capitalists, but increasingly appealing to Chinese state enterprises and a few people with local knowledge.
smallholders  farming  agriculture  size  scaling  Doug_Saunders  TechnoServe  poverty  tacit_data  supply_chains  value_chains  fertilizers  seeds  SOEs  China  interest_rates  microfinance  microlending  property_ownership  developing_countries  institutions 
april 2014 by jerryking
What Drives Success? - NYTimes.com
JAN. 25, 2014 | NYT | By AMY CHUA and JED RUBENFELD.

the strikingly successful groups in America today share three traits that, together, propel success. The first is a superiority complex — a deep-seated belief in their exceptionality. The second appears to be the opposite — insecurity, a feeling that you or what you’ve done is not good enough. The third is impulse control.

Any individual, from any background, can have what we call this Triple Package of traits. But research shows that some groups are instilling them more frequently than others, and that they are enjoying greater success.

It’s odd to think of people feeling simultaneously superior and insecure. Yet it’s precisely this unstable combination that generates drive: a chip on the shoulder, a goading need to prove oneself. Add impulse control — the ability to resist temptation — and the result is people who systematically sacrifice present gratification in pursuit of future attainment.

Ironically, each element of the Triple Package violates a core tenet of contemporary American thinking....The same factors that cause poverty — discrimination, prejudice, shrinking opportunity — can sap from a group the cultural forces that propel success. Once that happens, poverty becomes more entrenched. In these circumstances, it takes much more grit, more drive and perhaps a more exceptional individual to break out.
brainpower  willpower  poverty  movingonup  Amy_Chua  Mormons  ethnic_communities  immigrants  ksfs  self-discipline  perseverance  achievement_gaps  paranoia  Sonia_Sotomayor  overachievers  sacrifice  delayed_gratification  impulse_control  insecurity  exceptionality  superiority_complex  dual-consciousness  cultural_values  hardships 
january 2014 by jerryking
Vanities, and Hungry New Yorkers - NYTimes.com
November 21, 2013 | NYT | By GINIA BELLAFANTE.
In NYC, cultural philanthropy vastly outpaces social-service philanthropy...Although it is one of the largest food banks in the country, supplying food to more than 1,000 pantries and soup kitchens, and although it has been in existence for three decades, the Food Bank received its first $1 million donation from a private citizen only two years ago, and it came from a foreigner who had moved here and become appalled at how little the affluent classes seemed to understand problems of native poverty and hunger....Even before the cuts went into effect, matching supply with demand presented wounding challenges....When the Food Bank was created in 1983, its founders foresaw a life span of merely a decade or so, in which the organization would primarily serve homeless men. Instead it functions today largely to assist working families....The study revealed that the majority of clients in the group’s network were visiting food pantries not for temporary assistance but for continuing sustenance....Further complicating matters in the world of food relief is the increased complexity of sourcing. In the early days of food pantries, much of what came in arrived in the form of canned goods, but the country’s growing investment in nutrition has meant that relief groups strive to supply more fresh fruits and vegetables now, which requires them to incur greater costs of refrigeration. At the same time, the buying patterns of grocers have become ever more sophisticated, meaning that they can more closely predict the number of pears, for instance, that they can sell, leaving less overstock available for donation....Another trend that has developed over the past decade is the diversion of food to secondary markets. Food close to its expiration date, which otherwise might have found its way to a food bank or pantry, is now sold to dollar stores or countries where regulation may be less stringent.
New_York_City  dilemmas  philanthropy  writers  hunger  food  taxonomy  poverty  food_pantries  overstock  grocery  supermarkets  refrigeration  social-services 
november 2013 by jerryking
African-Guyanese need to invest time and resources in agriculture
May 19, 2011 | Stabroek News | by Richard Drake.

I believe that what black communities lack the most is money and wealth. A causal observation of any black community will reveal that the stranglehold of poverty is affecting their growth and development. The high number of dilapidated buildings, poor roads, water and sanitation are manifest expressions of that poverty. There are a number of reasons for this I shall discuss two.

First, our attitude towards money is bad. Look at the way we spend our hard-earned money in entertainment. Almost every show at the Providence Stadium is filled to capacity with young and not so young African-Guyanese. Every show young Blacks spend thousands of dollars they can hardly afford. We entertain ourselves at the expense of everything else, even our development.

Second, a large percentage of African-Guyanese work in the public sector; they are public servants. The government controls the public purse. Therefore, it decides how much these servants will be paid and how much they should be taxed. In this way, they do exert a great deal of power over the development of Blacks and influence the quality of their lives and communities.

One can argue that there are trade unions which negotiate with government, wages and salaries for workers. However, given the behaviour of the unions demonstrated at the last May Day rally, the divisions among them, and the fact that some of their leaders appear to have been bought out by the government one can hardly expect a decent challenge by these organizations to the unfairness in the national pay system.

As a result, the average public servant lives from pay cheque to pay cheque. It is a vicious cycle.

What is clear is that African-Guyanese desperately need a paradigm shift. African-Guyanese must get out of the public sector now. We need to begin to ‘re-image’ ourselves not as servants (public or otherwise) but as entrepreneurs. This is absolutely necessary for wealth creation and development.

One area that is immediately available to us is agriculture. There is a lot of history in the black community in this industry and much aversion to it, particularly by our young people but, there is enormous potential in this industry. Export markets are available for all kinds of non-traditional produce. However, we are too busy sitting behind desks burdened with loads of paperwork that we cannot see and exploit the potential in this sector. We love the sound of the names and status of certain positions in the public sector. Some of those very positions retard our growth and progress. We have to change that.

As a people, we need to invest time and resources in the agriculture industry; we need to go back to the land en masse. Black families and communities must become efficient economic units, generating wealth for real development through large-scale crop and animal husbandry. This will make us self employed, reduce the amount we spend in purchasing food, decrease our dependence on others to supply us with food and free up money for other investment activities. It will help in wealth generation in black communities.
Guyana  letters_to_the_editor  Afro-Guyanese  agriculture  wealth_creation  ethnic_communities  economic_development  entrepreneurship  mindsets  public_sector  overrepresentation  farming  fresh_produce  non-traditional  generational_wealth  self-employment  frugality  downward_spirals  poverty  public_servants  paradigm_shifts  African_Guyanese_villages  young_people  psyche_of_dependency 
august 2013 by jerryking
An 'Ordinary Radical' and His Call to Action - WSJ.com
February 7, 2006 | WSJ| By PAUL BESTON.

THE IRRESISTIBLE REVOLUTION
By Shane Claiborne
(Zondervan, 367 pages, $12.99)
book_reviews  Christianity  churches  poverty 
january 2013 by jerryking
Liberate Africa From Its Political Elites - WSJ.com
July 5, 2005 | WSJ | By MOELETSI MBEKI.

African political elites have systematically exploited their positions in order to line their own pockets. They have given favors and won influence through the funding of huge loss-making industrialization projects. They have exploited the natural resources of their countries and then transferred profits, taxes, and aid funds into their own foreign bank accounts at the same time that they ran up enormous debts to finance their governments' operations.

What were the results of those predatory policies? According to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, which have become Africa's fairy godparents, Africans are poor and getting poorer.
Africa  political_elites  crony_capitalism  misrule  misgovernance  mismanagement  corruption  poor_governance  IMF  World_Bank  poverty 
august 2012 by jerryking
Africa Must Play a Part in Its Own Development - WSJ.com
August 15, 2003 |WSJ | Gralee Parr.

The authors cite Uganda as a modest success story, writing that President Yoweri Museveni is "authoritarian," but "seeks to run a rule-based society, not one run by mercurial fiat." In the book "Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa," author Keith Richburg recalls asking Mr. Museveni why Africa hadn't developed. Mr. Museveni ascribed it to "discipline." He added, "I tend to find more discipline among the Ugandan Asians than among the Africans," though he couldn't fully explain why. Cultural differences clearly are key.

Prosperous societies can't exist in a vacuum. As economist Thomas Sowell has shown, the cultural values of a people strongly influence their skills, choices of work and level of success. So the real question for Africans must be, "How can we change our cultural values in order to promote freedom and prosperity?" Unfortunately, until those values do change, Africa will continue to be poor.
letters_to_the_editor  Africa  Uganda  poverty  economists  values  Thomas_Sowell  self-help  economic_development  authoritarian  self-discipline  cultural_values  books  rules-based 
august 2012 by jerryking
If Economists Are So Smart, Why Is Africa So Poor? - WSJ.com
July 30, 2003 | WSJ | By STEPHEN HABER, DOUGLASS C. NORTH and BARRY R. WEINGAST
economists  Africa  Zimbabwe  Liberia  Congo  poverty 
august 2012 by jerryking
Africa's Poverty Trap - WSJ.com
March 23, 2007 | WSJ |By WILLIAM R. EASTERLY.

Economists involved in Africa then and now undervalued free markets, instead coming up with one of the worst ideas ever: state direction by the states least able to direct.

African governments are not the only ones that are bad, but they have ranked low for decades on most international comparisons of corruption, state failure, red tape, lawlessness and dictatorship. Nor is recognizing such bad government "racist" -- this would be an insult to the many Africans who risk their lives to protest their own bad governments. Instead, corrupt and mismanaged governments on the continent reflect the unhappy way in which colonizers artificially created most nations, often combining antagonistic ethnicities. Anyway, the results of statist economics by bad states was a near-zero rise in GDP per capita for Ghana, and the same for the average African nation, over the last 50 years....The cowed IMF and the World Bank never mention the words "free market" in thousands of pages devoted to ending poverty. Even the World Bank's 2005 World Development Report "A Better Investment Climate for Everyone" doesn't mention the forbidden words.World Bank economists are so scared of offending anyone on Africa that they recite tautologies.
William_Easterly  Africa  economists  IMF  World_Bank  foreign_aid  free_markets  failed_states  lawlessness  corruption  poverty  mismanagement  misrule  governance  poor_governance  misgovernance 
august 2012 by jerryking
The Microinsurance Revolution - NYTimes.com
June 6, 2012 | NYT | By TINA ROSENBERG.

Insurance is a peculiar product, unavailable to those who need it most. One group is people likely to make claims — if you want health insurance, for example, best not to be sick. The other underserved group is the poor.

Poor people need insurance more than wealthier people do, because they have no other cushion. Few people are always in a state of poverty. Most are cyclically poor. They work and save, but then something happens and they fall into poverty : a crop failure, a loss of a job, the death of a breadwinner. Often, the trigger for poverty is illness....Insurance offers a safety net, of course, but it is more than that. If you know you are covered, you’ll be more likely to invest in the future. “Your whole capacity to take risks changes,” says Andrew Kuper, president and founder of LeapFrog Investments, which helps to scale up companies worldwide that provide insurance to the underserved. “A daughter can go to school rather than work, the farmer can plant crops that can triple his income. We’re used to thinking of insurance as a safety net, but it’s also a springboard.”
smallholders  insurance  microfinance  Bottom_of_the_Pyramid  poverty  safety_nets  risk-taking  scaling  risk-preferences  risk-tolerance  underserved 
june 2012 by jerryking
Poverty News Blog: [Book Review] When the Bottom Line Is Ending Poverty
February 29, 2008
[Book Review] When the Bottom Line Is Ending Poverty
from Business Week

By Steve Hamm
social_entrepreneurship  Grameen  Bangladesh  microfinance  Danone  yogurt  poverty  book_reviews 
may 2012 by jerryking
Climate Feedback: A new adaptation tool: climate insurance : Climate Feedback
22 Jul 2009 | 15:54 BST | Posted by Jeff Tollefson.

climate insurance is by no means a magic bullet. But clearly the tools of modern finance could certainly help make poor nations prepare for and respond to all manner of natural disasters big and small.

We explore some of these ideas in this week’s issue of Nature, taking a quick look at how the insurance debate is playing out in the ongoing United Nations climate talks. The upshot is that some kind of insurance mechanism is likely to make it into whatever climate deal is struck in Copenhagen and beyond.

One commonly cited option is index insurance, which is tied to things like rainfall that can be measured objectively. This cuts down on costs by eliminating the need for audits and investigations. In the case of something like crop insurance, moreover, it could put money in the hands of farmers immediately after the rains fail – and before the hunger sets in....Today these programs are being paid for largely by the farmers and nations buying the insurance, but industrialized nations would likely subsidize any insurance program deployed as part of an international climate agreement. The logic is that extreme weather variations – including droughts and heavy storms – are likely to increase in a warmer world, which means that both costs and premiums will rise as well.

A key challenge moving forward is how to scale up programs that benefit the world’s poorest farmers and communities. Dan Osgood, a researcher at Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society, points out the pilot programs that are under way today have generally been deployed in areas where information – regarding weather, crops and the like – is available. This means it will only get more difficult moving forward....Osgood says the insurance question could also increase pressure on scientists and insurance companies to tease out the long-term impacts of global warming at very local scales.
insurance  crop_insurance  climate_change  natural_calamities  data  farming  poverty  hyperlocal  indices  microtargeting  audits  pilot_programs 
april 2012 by jerryking
Lunch with the FT: Esther Duflo - FT.com
March 17, 2012 1:11 am
Lunch with the FT: Esther Duflo

By John Gapper
randomized  MIT  economists  economic_development  poverty  Esther_Duflo 
march 2012 by jerryking
Globalization, Alive and Well - New York Times
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
September 22, 2002
the most important reason why globalization is alive and well post-9/11 is that while pampered college students and academics in the West continue to debate about whether countries should globalize, the two biggest countries in the world, India and China -- who represent one-third of humanity -- have long moved beyond that question. They have decided that opening their economies to trade in goods and services is the best way to lift their people out of abject poverty and are now focused simply on how to globalize in the most stable manner. Some prefer to go faster, and some prefer to phase out currency controls and subsidies gradually, but the debate about the direction they need to go is over.
globalization  China  India  flat_world  Infosys  Tom_Friedman  free_trade  poverty 
january 2012 by jerryking
Even in the city, it takes a village to raise a child space space
November 29, 2005 | The Globe and Mail – Page A21 | By WILLIAM THORSELL

It was wonderful last week to hear a pastor at another Toronto funeral for a young murdered black man demand that dysfunctional families and communities accept responsibility themselves for the trauma. Stop laying most of the blame on others, he said; face the fact that much of the pathology comes from within the home. The mourners in the church applauded. Many people who might try to help these troubled communities defer, waiting for the communities themselves to speak honestly about their own condition. At the core, it is a matter of values
William_Thorsell  Toronto  African_Canadians  funerals  murders  silence  killings  deaths  dysfunction  poverty  family_breakdown  values  face_the_facts 
november 2011 by jerryking
Why We're Fasting - NYTimes.com
March 29, 2011 | NYT | by MARK BITTMAN who stopped eating on
Monday and joined around 4,000 other people in a fast to call attention
to Congressional budget proposals that would make huge cuts in programs
for the poor and hungry.
poverty  Mark_Bittman  solidarity  fasting  budgets 
march 2011 by jerryking
Breaking the Silence - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com
Aug. 1, 2004 | New York Times | By HENRY LOUIS GATES JR. Why
has it been so difficult for black leaders to say such things in
public, without being pilloried for ''blaming the victim''? Why the huge
flap over Bill Cosby's insistence that black teenagers do their
homework, stay in school, master standard English and stop having
babies?...Yet in too many black neighborhoods today, academic
achievement has actually come to be stigmatized. ...Making it, as Mr.
Obama told me, ''requires diligent effort and deferred gratification.
Everybody sitting around their kitchen table knows that.''...the causes
of black poverty are both structural and behavioral. Think of structural
causes as ''the devil made me do it,'' and behavioral causes as ''the
devil is in me.'' Structural causes are faceless systemic forces, like
the disappearance of jobs. Behavioral causes are self-destructive life
choices and personal habits. To break the conspiracy of silence, we have
to address both of these factors.
African-Americans  Henry_Louis_Gates  silence  Obama  self-destructive  anti-intellectualism  poverty  values  Bill_Cosby  delayed_gratification  structural_change  academic_achievement 
september 2010 by jerryking
How slums can save the world
Sept. 25, 2010 | The Globe & Mail | Doug Saunders.
Thorncliffe Park, despite having the outward trappings (family incomes
average $20K and the poverty rate est. @ 44 %) of an ethnic ghetto, is,
and has always served as a highly successful engine of economic &
social integration, churning people out as fast as it takes them in,
constantly renewing itself with fresh arrivals. Unlike nearby Flemingdon
Park which remains isolated and violence-plagued. In neglected
neighbourhoods, people are poor because they are trapped. In a thriving
arrival city/spring-board/ or gateway communities like Thorncliffe Park,
they are moving onward--the trick being to look not at the wealth of
the residents, but at their trajectories.
Doug_Saunders  immigrants  arrival_cities  social_integration  Thorncliffe_Park  Toronto  migrants  urban  Flemingdon_Park  isolated  violence  poverty  geographic_segregation 
september 2010 by jerryking
No 'culture of poverty' here
June 18, 2010 | The Globe and Mail | Doug Saunders
poverty  Brazil  Rio_de_Janeiro  Doug_Saunders 
june 2010 by jerryking
: The Politically Incorrect Guide to Ending Poverty
July/August 2010 | The Atlantic Magazine | By Sebastian
Mallaby. In the 1990s, Paul Romer revolutionized economics. In the
aughts, he became rich as a software entrepreneur. Now he’s trying to
help the poorest countries grow rich—by convincing them to establish
foreign-run “charter cities” within their borders. Romer’s idea is
unconventional, even neo-colonial—the best analogy is Britain’s historic
lease of Hong Kong. And against all odds, he just might make it happen.
noughties  poverty  economic_development  Paul_Romer  rules_of_the_game  neocolonialism  recolonization  analogies  unconventional  city-states  political_correctness  enclaves  Hong_Kong  economic  economists 
june 2010 by jerryking
Op-Ed Contributor - Moynihan’s Message - NYTimes.com
May 28, 2010 | NYT | By JAMES T. PATTERSON. FORTY-FIVE years
ago this month, Assistant Secretary of Labor Daniel Patrick Moynihan
began quietly circulating a report he had recently completed, “The
Negro Family: The Case for National Action” , about the “tangle of
pathology” — out-of-wedlock births, fatherless households — damaging
low-income black families...."Meanwhile Moynihan’s pessimistic
prophecies have come true. In 1965, a quarter of nonwhite births in the
United States were out of wedlock, eight times the proportion among
whites. Today the proportion of nonmarital births among non-Hispanic
blacks exceeds 72 %, compared with a proportion among non-Hispanic
whites of around 28 %.

Only 38 % of black children now live with married parents, compared with
three-quarters of non-Hispanic white children. Many boys in fatherless
families drop out of school, fail to find living-wage work and turn to
idleness or crime. Many girls become poverty-stricken single mothers
themselves. "
op-ed  African-Americans  race_relations  public_policy  Daniel_Moynihan  poverty  fatherhood  out-of-wedlock  family_breakdown  low-income 
may 2010 by jerryking
The Protocol Society
Dec. 22, 2009 | NYT | By DAVID BROOKS. A protocol economy has
very different properties than a physical stuff economy. The success
of an economy depends on its ability to invent and embrace new
protocols, its' “adaptive efficiency,” -- how quickly a society can be
infected by new ideas. Protocols are intangible, so the traits needed to
invent and absorb them are intangible, too. First, a nation has to have
a good operating system: laws, regulations and property rights. Second,
a nation has to have a good economic culture: attitudes toward
uncertainty, the willingness to exert leadership, the willingness to
follow orders. A strong economy needs daring consumers (China lacks
this) and young researchers with money to play with (N.I.H. grants used
to go to 35-year-olds but now they go to 50-year-olds). See “From
Poverty to Prosperity,” by Arnold Kling and Nick Schulz and Richard
Ogle’s 2007 book, “Smart World,” When the economy is about ideas,
economics comes to resemble psychology.
David_Brooks  innovation  books  culture  adaptability  ideaviruses  risk-taking  R&D  N.I.H.  property_rights  regulations  rule_of_law  institutional_integrity  services  digital_economy  rules-based  intellectual_property  demand-driven  psychology  customer-driven  intangibles  behavioural_economics  protocols  poverty  prosperity 
december 2009 by jerryking

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