Joining the conversation from Merida, Venezuela are episode guests Felipe Vanegaz and Hilmar Rodriguez of the Comuna Che Guevara and the Unión Comunera. On August 1, WTF returned to Venezuela to participate on a 13 day delegation to study the Venezuela Commune System. While on assignment, each week we will share with you a WTF episode related to Venezuela's fight against US economic warfare including ending 200 years of US foreign policy based on domination of the hemisphere, as well as, the creation of socialist means of production for food and services which are helping alleviate the effects of unilateral coercive measures (economic sanctions).
2023 legislative sessions saw strong momentum toward creating and expanding child tax credits. Three states created a new permanent child tax credit, one created a one-time child tax credit payment, and seven states improved existing child tax credits. These efforts build on the success of the federal Child Tax Credit in reducing child poverty and improving outcomes for children in the near and long term. Many states this year have also improved their earned income tax credits (EITCs). State EITCs, like the federal EITC, boost incomes for people paid low wages and provide greater support for people caring for children, helping them better make ends meet and thrive in the long run, research has found.
Between 1948 and 1950, the United Auto Workers and General Motors negotiated an agreement that shaped what later became known as the post-World War II social contract. The Treaty of Detroit provided a wage increase tied to the rate of inflation and a 2 percent “annual improvement factor” to ensure workers shared in the economy’s productivity growth. That bargain subsequently became the new norm that companies across the economy were expected to follow. It ensured that as firms prospered and the economy grew, workers would get their fair share of the prosperity they helped to generate.
New evidence continues to pour in, showing how the cost of living crisis in the United Kingdom is devastating child health. A recent survey conducted among school nurses from the School and Public Health Nurses Association (SAPHNA) and members of the British Dental Association (BDA) revealed that 65% of the respondents noticed a deterioration in children’s health and wellbeing, which can be attributed to the worsening of living standards over the past year. Out of the 313 health workers surveyed, 180 (57%) reported working with children experiencing lower energy levels than usual, while 167 (53%) observed slower weight gain in children compared to previous reports.
25 years ago, in May 1998, the Left Democratic Front government of the Indian state of Kerala started the Kudumbashree program as part of the State Poverty Eradication Mission. The program aimed to socially and financially emancipate women by providing them employment opportunities and space to enter decision making bodies. Today, 25 years on, the program has been a massive success with a notable rise in women’s presence in legislative bodies, as well as a large number of women working in various micro enterprises and agricultural projects. TN Seema, a former member of parliament from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) talks about the journey of the program and where it stands today.
In Brooklyn, one of the country’s first community development corporations has announced its plans to transform its historic and much-beloved public plaza into a walkable “innovation campus” that supports wealth creation for local Black residents, amid rising gentrification in the neighborhood. The Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation was established in the Brooklyn neighborhood in 1967. One year later, Restoration purchased an abandoned milk bottling plant in Bed-Stuy’s heart to serve as its new headquarters. Completed in 1972, Restoration Plaza became a community and business hub responding to the needs of residents. A desire for local arts and culture resulted in the Billie Holiday Theatre and Skylight Gallery.
I was born in Nalerigu village in northeastern Ghana. For most of my life, I watched as my mother, Mariama, worked as a trader and used Susu to meet her financial needs. My mother used money from susu to pay my school fees and to carry out her trade business. Ghana’s Susu system is widely used by the people. Susu means “small small” in the Twi language (Amankwah et al. 2019:2). I only knew about Susu as a banking tradition in Ghana. I did not know that I would come to learn of its activity in a ‘developed’ country when I moved to Toronto, Canada to carry out my doctoral studies in anthropology. In the Spring 2022 I was hired as a research assistant to work on a project to understand rotating savings and credit associations – known as ROSCAs.
Of the 8.3 metric tons of plastic produced in this world to date, 6.3 billion tons of that is trash, and less than 10% of it is recycled, which has created a global crisis, not just with the environment, but our health. Microplastics — tiny pieces of plastic debris, which result from the disposal and breakdown of consumer products and industrial waste — are now ever-present pollutants now found to be in most places in the world, from marine life to the top of Mt. Everest, and now our bloodstreams. Plastic pollution also disproportionately affects marginalized communities and communities living near plastic waste sites. According to a report from the United Nations, polluting facilities and industries — particularly the companies drilling for the oil that helps make plastic — are often placed in vulnerable communities, who are now subject to toxins from plastic incineration as well as other hazards from disposal.
Germany is about to become the latest country to trial a universal basic income, starting a three-year study of how it affects the economy and recipients' well-being. As part of the study, 120 people will receive €1,200, or about $1,430, each month for three years — an amount just above Germany's poverty line — and researchers will compare their experiences with another group of 1,380 people who will not receive the payments. The study, conducted by the German Institute for Economic Research, has been funded by 140,000 private donations. All participants will be asked to complete questionnaires about their lives, work, and emotional state to see whether a basic income has had a significant impact. Universal basic income is the idea that a government should pay a lump sum of money to each of its citizens, usually once a month, regardless of their income or employment status, effectively replacing means-tested benefits.
A two-year basic income experiment was carried out in Finland in 2017-2018. The evaluation study is now available. The register data on employment now cover both years of the experiment and a more thorough analysis has been made of the results of the survey. In addition, the interview-based survey of basic income recipients complements the overall picture. In accordance with the preliminary plan for the evaluation, the employment effects of the basic income experiment were measured for the period from November 2017 to October 2018. The employment rate for basic income recipients improved slightly more during this period than for the control group. During the reference period, the basic income increased the number of days of employment by 6 days and the basic income recipients were employed for 78 days on average.