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The growing inequality that triggered the Occupy protests, such as this one in Bennington, Vermont, is now registering as an issue with politicians at the highest level. Wikimedia Commons/Daniel Case

The growing opportunity gap facing American children

The opportunity gap between well-off and poor American children is vast and, more alarmingly still, it is growing. Some political leaders are starting to take note of the grim consequences.
Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten are united in condemning violence against women and children, but both overlook the young people who are victims too. AAP/Lukas Coch

Sidelined and scorned: young people are set up to be soft targets

Responses to family violence by Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten and the terms of reference for Victoria's royal commission fail to mention young people. Such a lack of recognition has dire consequences.
The killing of polio workers in Pakistan by the Taliban is a tragic illustration of why no development program can ignore the political problems associated with poverty. EPA/Arshad Arbab

Gates Foundation is too big to ignore the politics of poverty

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s 2015 annual letter outlines their vision for global development and poverty reduction. The letter outlines four areas where they expect breakthroughs over the next…
We need to bear a few things in mind before we listen too closely to Oxfam. Christian Guthier

Oxfam should beware idealistic solutions to complex problems

Oxfam is making what might appear to be a manifestly sound moral case when it urges political leaders at the global economic conference at Davos to adopt particular policies to reduce economic inequality…
Getting the latest. Neil Palmer/CIAT

Will the Millennium Development Goals hit their targets?

At the dawn of the 21st century, 189 UN member states adopted the Millennium Declaration as the first common framework for promoting global development, committing to eight goals (six covering health and…
Bianca Rodriguez, one of nation’s nearly 600,000 homeless at a Chicago underpass. Andrew Nelles/Reuters

Did we lose the War on Poverty?

This year marks the 51st anniversary since Lyndon Johnson launched his War on Poverty and made poverty reduction the centerpiece of his Great Society domestic agenda. Whether we won this war, however…
Dee and Deirdre featured on Channel 4’s Benefits Street. Joe Giddens/PA Wire

It’s easy to hate ‘poverty porn’ but harder to fight inequality

George Osborne’s recent announcement that households would receive personalised “annual tax statements” allowing them to track how their taxes are spent has been heavily criticised as manipulative and…
Uncritically invoking neuroscience is a risky proposition. Image of head via www.shutterstock.com

Why brain science won’t cure poverty

Recently I’ve seen news reports with headlines like this one: “Can Brain Science Help Lift People Out Of Poverty?” This particular article described the near miraculous recovery of a woman who grew up…
Is anything less acceptable? LIVING WAGE

The living wage may cut poverty, but not by very much

In the UK, according to the Living Wage Foundation, some 1,000 firms have pledged to offer a living wage, including household names like RBS, ITV and SSE. Earlier this week the annual rate increase was…
Poverty is about more than just the living wage. Shutterstock

The living wage on its own won’t win the war on poverty

The living wage won’t eradicate poverty in the UK. It may seem churlish to make the point as Living Wage Week draws to a close, but it’s a point well worth making. Don’t get me wrong, the living wage campaign…
Despite a fall in our rate of child poverty, there is reason to be concerned about recent changes and future trends in Australia. AAP/Joe Castro

Australia bucks child poverty trend but the future looks a lot bleaker

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has just released its latest report card on child well-being in 41 rich countries. In particular, the report looks at the effects of the economic crisis on children…
In office and in opposition, Gough Whitlam’s advocated for the Commonwealth Commission of Inquiry into Poverty. AAP/Dean Lewins

Whitlam’s forgotten legacy: a voice for the poor

Former prime minister Gough Whitlam, whose death at age 98 was announced on Tuesday, left significant legacies from his short time in office. Whatever their condition today, many of his government’s initiatives…

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