Welcome to another bi-monthly roundup of news, research, events and more about poverty that we think you should know about.
First up, we reflect on a recent article in The Guardian about the UK’s public attitudes to poverty, and the notion that they have are harsher than ever. Comments are premised on findings from a YouGov poll about what type of expenses should be affordable to whom, suggesting that luxury items such entertainment aren’t considered essential for those on lower incomes.
A group of researchers from Bristol University and Cardiff University were less convinced by these results, as shown in their letter published in The Guardian a few days later. They noted methodological issues with how the data was collected and pointing to the Necessities of Life survey for a more reliable picture of people’s attitudes about a minimum acceptable standard of living.
Next, we discuss a recent article in Science Advances, called ‘Poverty, not the poor’. It’s a very accessible read in which Professor David Brady calls out the unhelpful focus on people’s behaviours, traits and cultures when it comes to explaining their poverty, especially in the US. Instead, he argues, we need a paradigmatic shift towards focusing on the political decisions and dynamics that underpin the systematically high levels of poverty in the US.
Finally, we talk about the film ‘Free Money’ that was screened by UBI Labs Network last week. It’s a fascinating documentary about GiveDirectly, an American NGO that provides Universal Basic Income (UBI) to the Kenyan village of Kogutu showing the power of giving cash without strings attached and some of the concerns about this model of international aid.
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