After high lead levels were uncovered by a local pediatrician, the state of Michigan makes changes amid lawsuits and blame.
Nearly 2 years ago, the state of Michigan tried to save money by switching Flint's water supply. Soon after the switch, the water started to look, smell and taste bad. Despite public concern, city and state officials told the residents of the struggling industrial town that the water was fine. It took skeptical researchers from Virginia Tech to prove otherwise. Residents were literally being poisoned by lead poising in the water, with significant long-term health consequences. After reading this article, who would you say is to blame? Why? Should residents be compensated for the depletion of their health?
The most selective colleges are failing to enroll more low-income students, so the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is calling for a "poverty preference" in college admissions.
A new report found suggests that students from low-income families often fail to understand how financial aid works, as a result, high-achieving, high-income students are twice as likely to apply to at least one selective college as are their low-income peers. There areincreasingly separate and unequalinstitutions in higher education. If wealthy colleges spent more of their endowment money on financial aid would it resolve the equity gap? Why / Why not?
The fruits of technology are being reaped by the top 1 percent.
The old bell curve with the middle class bloating comfy in the middle is being replaced by what’s called the power curve, in which something called the 80/20 rule applies: 20 percent of the participants in an online venture get 80 percent of the rewards. This article suggests that the fruits of automation, computerization and outsourcing are being reaped by the top 1 percent — do you agree or disagree? Is technology disrupting the American Dream?
Unemployment and poverty levels of native populations greatly exceed those of the overall population.
Native Americans grapple with unemployment levels nearly double that of the overall population, have higher poverty rates and lag behind in education attainment. Though their problems are severe, there has only been three presidential visits to Indian country in U.S. history. Besides money, what do you think would assist economic development within Indian nations?
Though college recruiters repeatedly tried contacting Bobby Limon, the burly lineman had no idea any universities were interested in him. The homeless Texas teen had moved around so many times that there was no fixed address where he could be reached...
Campaigns against pollution that causes climate change often focus on reducing energy usage, when poor countries desperately need that energy to give their citizens freer and fuller lives. A new ethical framework for evaluating environmental issues is needed.
Energy poverty is an endemic and crippling problem. In Africa, nearly 600 million people live without an energy source to study at night, run their businesses, heat their food or properly power their hospitals. Energy and fuel diversity, a catchphrase among those who argue that energy supplies shouldn't be dominated solely by oil and gas, is at the core of an economy's ability to compete. With the growing recognition of the dangers of global pollution from fossil fuels, the attractions of nuclear power have been quite strong in recent years. The author of this article argues that nuclear energy is both a political and economic issue. What do you think? Should the environmental movement consider nuclear expansion or is it too expensive? Identify some of the social costs on both sides of this debate.
The funding to fix our crumbling roads and bridges is running out, and only Congress can reauthorize it. Find out what will happen if Congress doesn't act, and see how the President's plan would rebuild our infrastructure in a smarter way:
65% of America's major roads are rated in less than good condition, and upwards of 25% of bridges require significant repair. Every major survey shows that citizens desire a good road network, and any business looking at relocating places a solid transportation network near the top of its lists of needs. If there were a sales and vehicle tax increase of just 1-cent that could produce approximately $719 million a year for roads and bridges, would voters pass it? Why/Why not?
Did you know that one in five Jewish persons in New York lives in poverty? If you didn't, you are not alone: the common stereotype all around the world is that "Jews got money." This is exactly the cliché that our upcoming documentary by the same title hopes to debunk.
If it's true that one in five New York Jews live in poverty then why isn't this information mainstream? How do stereotypes and taboos depict a specific population group?
According to the World Bank, nearly two thirds of global poverty exists in India, China, Nigeria, Bangladesh and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
While global poverty as a whole is in decline, the World Bank Group is aiming to end extreme poverty by 2030. To end extreme poverty, the vast numbers of the poorest -- those earning less than $1.25 per day have to decrease by 50 million people each year by 2030. Do you think this is an achievable goal? Doing the math, that means that 1 million people each week will have to lift themselves out of poverty for the next 16 years.
The world produces enough to feed the entire global population of 7 billion people. And yet, one person in eight on the planet goes to bed hungry each night. In some countries, one child in three is underweight. Why does hunger exist?
This article by the World Food Programme examines 6 inter-connected causes for hunger:
Lack of Investment In Agriculture
Climate + Weather
War + Displacement
Hunger and malnutrition are the number one risk to health worldwide — greater than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Can you think of what causes hunger in your community and what you can do to end it?
Higher education should be promoted to all students as an opportunity to experience an intellectual awakening, not just increase their earning power.
All students should learn that privilege is connected to the pursuit of passions. People are privileged to follow their hearts in life, to spend their time crafting an identity instead of simply surviving. Access to higher education means that your values and interests can govern your choices. Do/Did your parents/school encourage you to attend college? Did they encourage college so that you could secure a career with a good salary or did they urge you to go to college to pursue a passion and get paid?
"Statistically, children go hungry at twice the rate of other children; are sick four times more often; are four times more likely to have asthma..."
"Part of the issue with homelessness is a lack of communication between different entities that are dedicated to combating homelessness. Two or three agencies or nonprofits could be working with the same individual and not realize it because there is no centralized system for reporting or resources. It costs some states as much as $40,000 to assist one homeless child across 7 categories of resources. What do you think might help solve the issue of homelessness in the United States? If you were "in charge" of fixing this, what would you do first?"
For the young and unemployed in the world's big cities, dreams of opportunity and wealth do come true -- but too often because they're heavily recruited by terrorist groups and other violent organizations. Human rights advocate Mohamed Ali draws on stories from his native Mogadishu to make a powerful case for innovation incubators for our cities' young and ambitious.
After watching this TED talk do you believe there is a link between youth unemployment and terrorism or is it more about lack of opportunity in a society of oppression? Or something else? Describe why Mohamed believes entrepreneurship is a pathway to peace? In your answer ideate what systems you could put into place within countries struggling with peace and/or youth employment.
Income inequality has reached record highs in most OECD countries and remains at even higher levels in many emerging economies. The richest 10 per cent of th...
Income inequality has reached record highs in most OECD countries and remains at even higher levels in many emerging economies. The richest 10 per cent of the population in the OECD now earn 9.6 times the income of the poorest 10 per cent, up from 7:1 in the 1980s and 9:1 in the 2000s, according to a new OECD report. Youth are most affected: 40% are in non-standard work and about half of all temporary workers are under 30. They are also less likely to move from a temporary job into a stable permanent one. How does this kind of inequality affect the wellbeing of society as a whole?
Bill Gates recently got to drink a glass of water from the Omniprocessor, an ingenious machine which turns human waste into water!
The World Economic Forum recently asked: Why would anyone want to turn waste into drinking water and electricity? The answer: because diseases caused by poor sanitation kill some 700,000 children every year, and they prevent many more from fully developing mentally and physically. Today, in many places without modern sewage systems, truckers take the waste from latrines and dump it into the nearest river or the ocean—or at a treatment facility that doesn’t actually treat the sewage. After watching the video, do you think the Omniprocessor could successfully turn waste into a commodity with real value in the marketplace?
The underlying causes of the Ebola crisis -- extreme poverty and a lack of investment in basic health, and health systems -- as every bit as urgent as the painful images on TV, and the realities they represent.
Extreme poverty has fallen by half since 1990 and could nearly reach the "zero zone" by 2030. If the world really gets focused, we can have not just an absence of Ebola and other killers, but an abundance of opportunity, good governance, economic growth, and brighter futures, even in the places that today are the poorest. Explain how tackling the big issues of poverty are responsible for the spread of Ebola.
India's Gir forest - the last abode of the Asiatic lion - is turning into a death trap for the big cat, writes Ankur Jain from Ahmedabad.
Lions are territorial animals and they live in prides. A male needs an area of 50 sq km and a female needs 26 sq km. In Gir, India 256 Asiatic lions have died in the past five years -- some have been run over by speeding trucks and trains, others have been killed by farmers seeking to protect their cattle, and due to the rampant illegal sand and limestone mining in the region, which has dried the rivers, too many have moved out of the forests in search of food and water. Describe how animal welfare is linked to issues of poverty, such as access to natural resources.
In the recession, the American Dream is alive, if not entirely well, according to a poll by The New York Times and CBS News.
The American Dream is a crucial thread in this country's tapestry, woven through politics, music and culture. Though the phrase has different meanings to different people, it suggests an underlying belief that hard work pays off and that the next generation will have a better life than the previous generation. But faith is faltering, especially among the poor. According to the Census Bureau, an average man working full time made 10 percent less money last year than he did a decade ago.
Can the dream be restored? And if it can't, what does that mean for our identity as Americans? Or, as the poet Langston Hughes put it, "What happens to a dream deferred?"
Satellites orbiting the Earth can help economists gauge poverty rates around the world.
Because light is a critical input in many production processes and consumption activities (e.g. outdoor lighting, consumption activities at night in private homes or public places, transportation of goods and people, productive activity in factories and office buildings, and evening consumption of mass media), researchers are offering that this technique of measuring poverty is better than survey data from the field. Do you agree that night time lighting reflect economic activity why / why not?
Investment and policies must support cheap, clean energy technologies to cut both poverty and climate change, say Reid Detchon and Richenda Van Leeuwen.
Nearly 1.3 billion people, mostly in Africa and south Asia, lack access to electricity and the development benefits it can provide to improve health, education and economic opportunity. Almost as many people have power only intermittently. And around 2.6 billion people use solid fuels — mostly biomass, dung and coal — for cooking and heating, including one-third of the population of China1.
Energy inequality falls most heavily on rural women and girls, who may spend many hours a week collecting firewood far from home, risking their personal safety. Inhaling smoke from conventional cooking fires and kerosene lamps causes respiratory disease, heart disease and burns, and led to 4.3 million premature deaths2 globally in 2012 — more than malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS combined.
How can we help those countries at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid leap to more advanced technologies rather than extend conventional infrastructure?
Drought conditions are compounding the impacts of civil war on Syria's agricultural sector, leaving the country little access to the natural resources that would otherwise sustain them. During the decade preceding the conflict, drought had been the main event causing significant losses in the production of key crops. As a result the country has experienced an increased dependency on food imports. In reading this article, do you agree or disagree with the government's decision to support or ban certain products? Should cross-border trade be controlled by politicians in times of war?
The White House is calling for support for low-income students to improve access to higher education. But what is being done?
"President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are prioritizing the affordability of and access to higher education with a vision of more and more low-income students enrolling in – and graduating from – US colleges. This ambition aims at motivating colleges across the US to focus on improving the accessibility of their courses and programs, and also making sure all high school graduates with the academic potential to go on to college are aware of their options.
"Statistics show that between 2010 and 2013, nearly 30,000 girls in primary school and 4,000 girls in secondary school dropped out due to early marriage."
"Chief Chitera, Malawi's senior tribal chief introduced bylaws against early marriages. The bylaws penalize any traditional leader or parent who authorizes the marriage of a girl younger than 21 years of age. The chiefs are penalized by paying seven goats to Chief Chitera and parents who force their children into marriage are fined to pay three chickens to their village headman and a goat to Chief Chitera,” There have been no cases of child marriage since the adoption of the bylaws in 2012. Try to imagine girls as young as 9 getting married, before they even hit puberty. Do you agree with the punishments of the bylaws? Do you think there are other ways to ensure rights to these Malawi girls?"
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