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Taking on inequality – Cash in the News

This week the World Bank released a comprehensive report on fighting global poverty and increasing global prosperity. One of their six policy recommendations: cash transfers to poor families. In a speech, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim repeated the call for cash in policy proposals. In India top economist Arvind Subramanian voiced his support for another form of cash: universal basic income.

GIVEDIRECTLY IN THE NEWS AND BLOGS

1. VIDEO: Robert Reich on Basic Income
Basic Income news, Kate McFarland, October 10, 2016
Former US Secretary of Labor Robert B. Reich (now Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at University of California, Berkeley) has produced a short video on basic income. In the video, Reich argues that a universal basic income is a solution to job loss and inequality caused by developments in technology and automation.


CASH TRANSFER NEWS

2. Nine Countries Pledge Greater Investments in Children, Powering Economies for Long-Term Growth
The World Bank, October 6, 2016
Indonesia: Indonesia has a number of efforts to improve results for the early years, including a conditional cash transfer program to incentivize behavior change and promote child development; and an earmarked fund to support early childhood education. Indonesia will also improve institutional effectiveness through harmonized policies and better coordination among different government institutions and civil society.

3. Making Microfinance More Effective
Harvard Business Review, Dean Karlan et al., October 5, 2016
While meeting this challenge is a clear priority for policy makers and donors, it is also a major profit opportunity for commercial players who can solve market failures and create real value. Personal savings, insurance, credit, cash transfers from family and friends and other financing mechanisms offer promising opportunities to create security and steady employment but they require a nuanced understanding of product design and the local market conditions in order to be effective.

4. No end to poverty without reducing inequality, World Bank says
Humanosphere, Tom Paulson, October 4, 2016
The World Bank, based on its analyses of successful efforts at reducing poverty in Brazil, Tanzania, Peru, Mali and Cambodia, recommends six areas to focus on: improving child nutrition; universal access to basic health; universal access to basic education; better roads and access to energy; direct cash transfers to the poor; and progressive taxation of the rich aimed at better ‘sharing’ of prosperity.

5. ​Speech by World Bank President Jim Yong Kim: The World Bank Group’s Mission: To End Extreme Poverty
The World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, October 3, 2016
Today’s report identifies strategies to address inequality that even the poorest nations can adopt – whether through conditional cash transfers, connecting farmers to markets or rural electrification. The lesson is that inequality is not an unsolvable mystery. Pro-equality policies are not luxury goods and can work in any country.


BASIC INCOME

6. India’s Top Economist Announces His Support For Universal Basic Income
Futurism, Dieter Holger, October 8, 2016
It’s only a matter of time before robots and AI dominate our workplaces and replace the need for human laborers. That’s partly why some futurists and economists argue for a basic income — guaranteed government-provided money to support your expenses and help stimulate the consumer market. The chief economic advisor to the Indian government, Arvind Subramanian, has now voiced support for a universal basic income (UBI) to end poverty.

7. Nixon-era proposal to give “basic income” to all people springs back to life
Denver Post, Aldo Svaldi, October 8, 2016
“A tsunami of labor-market disruption is coming and nobody wants to talk about it,” Stern told a crowd gathered for the Colorado Center on Law and Policy’s Pathways from Poverty Awards Breakfast on Thursday morning in Denver. Stern is now a leading advocate for universal basic income (UBI), a policy that President Richard Nixon promoted, but which is seeing a revival of interest from the political left and right and is making its way into social policy discussions.

8. Universal income of €470 proposed
The Connexion, October 5, 2016
Every citizen in France would be paid a universal basic income of €470 a month and be taxed at a flat 20% under plans revealed by a right-wing presidential candidate. The proposal comes on the heels of similar plans by ecology and socialist candidates. It would mean that a single person earning €1,500 a month would be taxed at 20% – paying €300 – and after receiving the €470 basic income would be €170 better off.