Children’s focus group room. (Copyright Sarah Brooks-Wilson, 2014)
In this guest post Sarah Brooks-Wilson examines whether the UK government’s latest consultation on child poverty is likely to be accessible to those most affected.
What a huge relief that as adults, we no longer need to speak on behalf of children. Last week the UK Government launched a child poverty e-consultation which invited the views of children as well the usual selection of interested parties. As the importance of children’s participation was also very recently restated, consideration of the way they access, understand and respond to strategic discussions remains of key importance. Usefully, the Government’s consultation principles concur, favouring broad, inclusive processes where the ‘hard to reach’ become part of a robust policy solution. Yet despite these mandatory commitments, government consultations often remain inaccessible to those who may be impacted. Continue reading
I’m just now getting around to reading Joseph Stiglitz’s book from last year The Price of Inequality. There’s lots of interesting stuff in there, some of which I may end up talking about here on the blog. But as I was reading the other day, there was one particular section that struck me. He’s talking about some of the things that classical economic theory (with its ruthless devotion to efficiency) has trouble with, and the example he brings up is human beings’ strange preoccupation with fairness.
According to classical economics, in any transaction people should only be interested in maximising their personal gain (properly understood). Continue reading
We don’t usually just post links to other articles here, but I was really impressed by this honest description of privilege from the side of the privileged. He really nails how his path into his career was so much easier and smoother because he ‘looked the part’:
Sorry for the extended holiday hiatus everyone. Both Brendan and I have been really busy and have struggled to find time for blogging. But now we’re back, so why not let us start the year with something horribly depressing and infuriating – Happy 2014 everyone!
This is something I saw at the end of last year, and have been meaning to write about since. It’s a list of comparisons of the habits of the rich and poor compiled by a US money guru called Dave Ramsey, culled from a book by fellow money advice guy, Tom Corley. I wouldn’t normally write about the witterings of random “Biblically inspired” American financial advisers, but this list got a lot of coverage last year in the States. Admittedly, a lot of the coverage was negative; but with 470,000 Facebook likes, it obviously struck a chord somewhere. Continue reading
Conference on Complex Systems, Health Disparities & Population Health: Building Bridges
February 24-25, 2014
Natcher Conference Center
NIH Campus, Bethesda, MD
Presented by the University of Michigan Network on Inequality, Complexity and Health
Improving population health and eliminating health disparities is a critical task, yet our efforts are stymied by the complexity of the task, involving as it does causes of poor health that range from public policy to the nature of our neighborhoods to how we behave to biology. On February 24-25, 2014, at the National Institutes of Health Natcher Conference Center in Bethesda, Maryland, join scholars and practitioners from the United States and abroad to learn about and see examples of how complex systems science can help guide our research and policy efforts to eliminate health disparities and improve the health of our population.
For additional information: http://tinyurl.com/complexitydisparitiespophealth
A college degree is more than a wall ornament – it represents immense financial benefits for graduates. These rewards have become even more apparent during the long financial downturn, which have seen widening wage and employment gaps between college graduates and those with only a high school degree. Studies also illustrate that getting students to attend more selective colleges puts them on a trajectory to perform better in the labor market after graduation.
In spite of the benefits of college, low-income and minority high school graduates are much less likely to attend any college – and selective colleges specifically – than are higher-income, white counterparts that have similar test scores and grades. Encouraging more disadvantaged youth to increase their application pool turns out to be a very inexpensive way to increase their college attendance rates and attendance of selective colleges in particular.
In a recent paper, Amanda Pallais studies the effect of a change to the ACT, a popular college entrance exam, that increased the number of free score reports sent to colleges from three to four starting in the fall of 1997. Continue reading
Low pay is a huge problem in the UK. Of the 11 million people currently living in poverty, 6 million have jobs. Some of this is due to under-employment – people who work, but can’t get full-time hours – but not all. For example, three quarters of children in working poor families have a parent who works full-time (see the Earnings section on page 97 of this report). It is entirely possible to have a full-time job and still not be earning enough to live on.