A pessimistic view of microcredit. The net of it is: debt is still debt. This line is the kicker:
“It assures us that we – the rich world – can [fight] poverty in the global South without any cost to us, and without any threat to existing arrangements of political and economic power.”
From MIT Technology Review: algorithms are making American inequality worse. My takeaway from this piece is not that it is the algorithms themselves but the thought processes behind them. Algorithms simply optimize the achievement of the goals you set out for. Based on unfair and unjust starting premises, algorithms just make the injustice more efficient.
Oxfam’s annual report for 2018 shows a dismally widening inequality gap.
Last year saw the biggest increase in billionaires in history, one more every two days. Billionaires saw their wealth increase by $762bn in 12 months. This huge increase could have ended global extreme poverty seven times over. 82% of all wealth created in the last year went to the top 1%, while the bottom 50% saw no increase at all.
A global map of travel time to cities to assess inequalities in accessibility in 2015:
Our results highlight disparities in accessibility relative to wealth as 50.9% of individuals living in low-income settings (concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa) reside within an hour of a city compared to 90.7% of individuals in high-income settings. By further triangulating this map against socioeconomic datasets, we demonstrate how access to urban centres stratifies the economic, educational, and health status of humanity.