The article below, which is reprinted with permission of the author, is a working paper currently being carried on the website (USBIG.net) of the US Basic Income Guarantee network. It is to be published in a new book being edited by Richard Pereira. Financing Basic Income in Switzerland – state of the debate before the … More Financing Basic Income in Switzerland
There is reason to be optimistic about today’s youth, as well to take pride in how society encourages positive youth development. All in all, youth in North America seem to be doing quite well. But there is also reason to be concerned about how well the complex system of programs for “youth at risk” is … More Systemic Problems in Youth Services?
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Much of social theory has tended in the past to paint revolutions against rulers as uprisings of oppressed classes albeit often with leaders from more privileged backgrounds. However, the spread of education to large populations, when combined with new and widely accessible information technology, seems to be democratizing revolutionary capacity. The middle classes, especially if … More Revolution of the Middle Classes?
The OECD has introduced an international survey of problem-solving skills among students, involving 84000 students in 44 countries. The first survey results place students in Singapore, Korea, Japan and China (Macao, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Taipei) at the top of the list for problem-solving skills. Students in Canada, Australia, Finland, France, Germany, England and the … More Results of a New International Survey of Problem Solving Skills
Pharmaceutical costs are taking up an increasing proportion of overall health costs. They pose a serious risk for people without insurance, and an increasing cost to those with it. When medicare was introduced in Canada, medicines provided outside of hospitals were excluded and left to the private insurance market. At that time, they represented only … More Another look at Pharmacare?
We are often told by political leaders that our aging populations will place such demands on social programs – social security, medicaid, medicare, old age security, guaranteed income supplement, chronic and graduated care, etc. – that these programs are “unsustainable” and therefore need to be “reformed,” which usually means reducing benefits. This reasoning tends to … More Aging Societies and Sustainability of Social Costs: Learning from older societies
We mentioned in the January issue that US President Obama has announced a program targeting “Opportunity Zones,” socio-economically disadvantaged areas where efforts would be concentrated to improve conditions. This could be a challenge, since some kinds of disadvantage, especially poverty, unemployment and social exclusion, seem to be resistant to geographic targeting. The French experience with … More Targeted geographic anti-poverty interventions: France’s “Sensitive Urban Zones”
If nothing else, the OECD comment that students in Shanghai, as well as other Chinese cities, may be functioning at levels as much as three years higher than their age counterparts in other OECD countries, should get our attention. Canada gets a “middling-good” grade, while the USA is at about the OECD average. Of the … More PISA results provide some eye-openers
We used to think it was pretty straightforward to rank countries on how much they spend on their “welfare state” – or social programs. Scandinavian countries on top, western Europe next, followed by the Anglo countries and southern Europe. Sweden was the ultimate welfare state – “high tax – high transfers.” The USA generally came … More Lessons about National Social Spending