Poverty

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The poor and the middle class will be the hardest hit if the South African government increases the value-added tax. Shutterstock

South Africa needs to raise taxes: why a VAT increase would be a bad idea

The South African government should weigh its decision carefully whether to increase value added tax (VAT) as indirect taxes fall most heavily on the poor and the middle class.
Older Australians, women and people with disabilities are at high risk of being excluded from society by poverty and disadvantage. from www.shutterstock.com

Who’s on the outer? Uncovering poverty’s many faces

Measures of household wealth don't go far enough in identifying those most at risk of being excluded from society, or in explaining the level of exclusion they face.
A concerted drive to develop the technology sector has transformed Mauritius into a cyber island. Shutterstock

Better connectivity has economic spinoffs for Africa

Increased internet connectivity can spur economic growth throughout Africa. But the continent has a long way to go before it can reap any broadband dividend.
The gulf between the world’s poorest people and the rest of us is, if anything, widening despite global gains in lifting millions out of poverty. Wikimedia Commons/hris1johnson

Global progress on poverty is slowest for the poorest of the poor

Despite progress in lifting people above poverty lines around the world, the picture is bleaker for people at the very bottom of the ladder. They have largely missed out on the gains of recent decades.
New African economic history is challenging earlier wisdom by showing, for example, that railways have had profound effects, both positive and negative on African societies. Reuters/Thomas Mukoya

The renaissance in understanding Africa’s economic past

African economic history has had a renaissance and its most valuable contribution has been to show that Africans have not always been poor, nor are current poverty levels an inevitable destiny.
The MDG for eradicating poverty and hunger has been helped through new high-yielding varieties of rice (right) that can withstand drought in Africa. Reuters/Erik de Castro

The role of science in reaching development goals

Science has had a crucial role in helping to meet the targets of the Millennium Development Goals. But there's much more to do.
Making a comeback Boston Public Library

Is Newark the next Brooklyn?

The fashionistas aren't flocking there yet but things are happening in Brick City – especially when it comes to education policy.
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.

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