Tag Archives | Poverty

Money Makes Parenting Less Meaningful

310px-K.V.Lemoh_(d.1910)._Parent's_Joy

Pic: “Parents’ Joy” by Karl Lemoch (PD)

According to this study, having a higher socioeconomic status makes parents value the experience of raising children, particularly so for women. In contrast, poverty is associated with an increased risk of child abuse.

Via EurekAlert!:

Money and parenting don’t mix. That’s according to new research that suggests that merely thinking about money diminishes the meaning people derive from parenting. The study is one among a growing number that identifies when, why, and how parenthood is associated with happiness or misery.

“The relationship between parenthood and well-being is not one and the same for all parents,” says Kostadin Kushlev of the University of British Columbia. While this may seems like an obvious claim, social scientists until now have yet to identify the psychological and demographic factors that influence parental happiness.

New research being presented today at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) conference in Austin offers not only insight into the link between money and parental well-being but also a new model for understanding a variety of factors that affect whether parents are happier or less happy than their childless counterparts.

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Debating Poverty At The United Nations: Do The Media Hate The Poor?

United Nations, New York: One is always proud to be invited to speak at the United Nations, one of the few global institutions that is still taken seriously, and that can generate international resolutions and shape programs free of total domination by the big powers.  

When you are an outsider like I am, it’s a bit of an ego boost to think that the world might be listening to little old you, and that, at least for one session, you are among the chosen to hold forth on something serious in what critics deride as ‘The House of Babble.’

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I have been around the world body for years, even as recipient of a prize for a TV documentary from the UN Correspondents Association  (UNCA). In that case, the film offered a strong critique of the UN cockup in Bosnia, but then, the award was presented to me by the then (and sixth) UN  Secretary General Boutros-Boutros Ghali, who clearly hadn’t seen it

So, yes there is pretense and hypocrisy,  but there are also sincere and dedicated people—diplomats and international civil servents– working to improve the world.… Read the rest

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85 Wealthy Elites Have As Much Wealth As Half The World’s Population

rich peopleA group that could easily fit on a single subway car. Via the Guardian:

The extent to which so much global wealth has become corralled by a virtual handful of the so-called ‘global elite’ is exposed in a new report from Oxfam on Monday. It warned that those richest 85 people across the globe share a combined wealth of £1tn, as much as the poorest 3.5 billion of the world’s population.

The development charity fears this concentration of economic resources is threatening political stability and driving up social tensions.

The report found that over the past few decades, the rich have successfully wielded political influence to skew policies in their favor on issues ranging from financial deregulation, tax havens, to lower tax rates on high incomes and cuts in public services for the majority. Since the late 1970s, tax rates for the richest have fallen in 29 out of 30 countries for which data are available, said the report.

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Even a Short Visit to a Rough Neighborhood Can Alter the Psyche

Pic: Millicent_Bystander (CC)

Pic: Millicent_Bystander (CC)

A new peer reviewed study suggests that visiting a rough neighborhood for even a short while can leave the visitor feeling anxious and less trusting:

Via LiveScience:

Students who visited a poor, crime-ridden neighborhood only briefly exhibited less trust and more paranoia than students bussed temporarily to a well-off community, according to new research published today (Jan. 14) in the open-access journal PeerJ.

“What really surprised us is that the visitors, they looked [psychologically] just like the people in the place they visited,” said study researcher Daniel Nettle, a professor of behavioral science at Newcastle University.

Keep reading.

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Wal-Mart Holds Food Drive For Its Hungry Employees

walmartWal-Mart tries to show its concern for some of society’s most vulnerable and deprived: Wal-Mart workers. What seems like an Onion story come to life, reported via Cleveland.com:

It’s a food drive – not for the community, but for needy workers. “Please Donate Food Items Here, so Associates in Need Can Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner,” read signs affixed to the tablecloths at the Walmart on Atlantic Boulevard in Canton.

The food drive tables are tucked away in an employees-only area. Is the food drive proof the retailer pays so little that many employees can’t afford Thanksgiving dinner?

Kory Lundberg, a Walmart spokesman, said the food drive is proof that employees care about each other. “This is part of the company’s culture to rally around associates and take care of them when they face extreme hardships,” he said.

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Financial Insecurity Causes Temporary IQ Drop Of 13 Points

moneyHow poverty impacts people, via the Seattle Times:

People worrying about having enough money to pay bills tend to lose temporarily the equivalent of 13 IQ points, scientists found when they gave intelligence tests to shoppers at a New Jersey mall and farmers in India.

Dealing with financial strain consumes so much mental energy that people struggling to make ends meet often have little brainpower left for anything else, leaving them more susceptible to bad decisions that can perpetuate their situation, according to the new study.

Mullainathan and colleagues tested the same 464 farmers in the sugar-cane fields of India before and after the harvest and their IQ scores improved by 25 percent when their wallets fattened. Before the harvest, the farmers take out loans and pawn goods. After they sell their harvest, they are flush with cash.

In the New Jersey part of the study, the scientists tested about 400 shoppers at Quaker Bridge Mall, presenting them with scenarios that involved a large and a small car-repair bill.

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Irish City Hosting The G8 Summit Gets Fake Storefronts To Create Appearance Of Prosperity

ireland

Located in a region devastated by austerity and the global financial crisis, fascinatingly, Enniskillen will be turned into a movie-set-style simulation of a thriving town when global leaders pass through for the G8 Summit next month. Via PRI’s The World, Irish Times reporter Dan Keenan says:

These are basically empty shops that are being now made to look as if they are thriving businesses – what they’ve done is they have filled the shop front window with photographs in the windows of what was the business before it went bankrupt or closed. In other words, grocery shops, butcher shops, pharmacies, you name it. It’s an attempt to make the place look as positive as possible for the visiting G8 leaders and their entourages, and it’s really tried to put a mask on a recession that has really hit this part of Ireland really very badly indeed.

This initiative is stemming from the Foreign Office in London.

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‘Spaceballs’ Is Now: Air, Water And The Monetization of Human Life

perri-airImagine going for a walk in the park with your family, your child runs up to the water fountain and presses the button for some a bit of refreshment.  Nothing comes out.  At first she’s confused, but sees the coin slot/card swipe that will sell you 15 second of flowing water for just 50 cents.  You as a loving dad, pull out your card and swipe it so she can have a drink.  Think this image is impossible?  Do you imagine this to be something only a mad man would think of, to deprive humans of the right to water?  Unfortunately there are interests buying up rights to all clean water sources.  People like oil baron, T. Boone Pickens and Nestle chairman, Peter Brabeck see water as a commodity like any other, not a right.  The Nestle chairman explains his stance in light of his goal to treat water as a foodstuff and the outrage his views have caused:

 “The fact is they [activists] are talking first of all only about the smallest part of the water usage,” he says.

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The United States’ Capitals Of Inequality

inequalityPueblo Lands on the areas of the U.S. pushing economic disparities to new extremes:

Welcome to the San Francisco Bay Area. The epicenter of the tech industry. The global vortex of venture capital. One of the most brutally unequal places in America, indeed the world.

In the distribution of income and wealth, California more resembles the neocolonial territories of rapacious resource extraction than it does Western Europe. The only states that compare to California’s harsh inequalities are deep southern states structured by centuries of racist fortune building by pseudo-aristocratic ruling classes, and the East Coast capitals of the financial sector.

It’s a strange club, the super-inequitable states of the U.S. This list pairs the bluest coastal enclaves of liberal power with the reddest Southern conservative states. In terms of wages and wealth these places have a lot in common.

The economies of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama remain bound by racial inequalities founded in slavery and plantation agriculture; the wealthy elite of all three states remain a handful of white families who control the largest holdings of fertile land, and own the extractive mineral and timber industries, and the regional banks.

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