Archive for ‘Latin America & Caribbean’

18/01/2017

Inequality (III): Less Employment… and More ‘Junk’ Jobs

Human Wrongs Watch

 

Article III of of this three-part series on inequality tackles the issue of the future and quality of jobs. Part II focused on the impact of inequality on women. Part I dealt with the alarmingly deepening inequality worldwide.

Cost of a plate of beans in Switzerland: 0.4 per cent of daily income. Cost of same meal in Malawi: 41 per cent of daily income, according to new World Food Programme (WFP) data. Photo: WFP West Africa

Cost of a plate of beans in Switzerland: 0.4 per cent of daily income. Cost of same meal in Malawi: 41 per cent of daily income, according to new World Food Programme (WFP) data. Photo: WFP West Africa

ROME, Jan 18 2017 (IPS) – While just eight men are enjoying their huge wealth, equivalent to that of half the world, new forecasts project darker shadows by predicting rising unemployment rates, more precarious jobs and worsening social inequality. To start with, there will be more than 1.4 billion people employed in vulnerable working conditions.

18/01/2017

2017 World Economy and Economists

Human Wrongs Watch

By  Johan Galtung* 

16 January 2017 – TRANSCEND Media Service – Two closely related points, as a starter.

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Johan Galtung

This column has argued Lifting the Bottom Up as economic approach in all weathers, bad, fair, good, to mitigate any suffering, and for them to enter the economy as producers and consumers, not as “cases”.

This column has also argued judging Trump not by his poisoning words, nor by commentators’ words, but by his deeds.

White-male-workers-no college is not the US bottom, but they were heading down. Now lifted up the Trump way, by keeping/bringing back industry to the “Rust Belt”. Ford Motor Company just did that, GM may be next.

If outsourcing to Mexico–under the euphemism “trade” served poor Mexican workers, maybe–but it serves rich elites in both countries.

45 percent tariff on Chinese goods: a non-starter. US homes are filled with affordable “Made in China”.

To de-industrialize was US stupidity; to re-industrialize will take time.  Keep what is, bring back what was. Other countries may learn from Trump and not trade themselves away.

16/01/2017

We Must Not Demonize and Threaten Russia

Human Wrongs Watch

By John Scales Avery*

OSLO, 13 January 2017 – In his famous farewell address, US President Dwight Eisenhower eloquently described the terrible effects of an overgrown military-industrial complex.

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John Scales Avery

Here are his words:

“We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions…. This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience.

“The total influence, economic, political, even spiritual, is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government…[and] we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

16/01/2017

Inequality (I): Half of World’s Wealth, in the Pockets of Just Eight Men

Human Wrongs Watch

 

Article I of a three-part series focuses on the alarmingly deepening inequality. Part II deals with the staggering impact of inequality on women, and Part III with the future and quality of jobs.

Credit: Marianela Jarroud / IPS

Credit: Marianela Jarroud / IPS

ROME, Jan 16 2017 (IPS) – Just eight men own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity, according to a major new report by an international confederation of 19 organisations working in more than 90 countries.

15/01/2017

Is Cash Aid to the Poor Wasted on Tobacco and Alcohol?

Human Wrongs Watch

 

ROME, Jan 14 2017 (IPS) – Not at all. Or at least not necessarily. The fact is that cash transfer programmes –regular money payments to poor households—are meant to reduce poverty, promote sustainable livelihoods and increase production in the developing world. One in four countries on Earth are applying them. But are they effective?
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Zambia’s Social Cash Transfer Programme is implemented by the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health and has been operating since 2003. As of December 2014, it reached 150,000 households and there are concrete plans to scale it up nation-wide in the near future. Photo: FAO

Zambia’s Social Cash Transfer Programme is implemented by the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health and has been operating since 2003. As of December 2014, it reached 150,000 households and there are concrete plans to scale it up nation-wide in the near future. Photo: FAO

That depends. In some countries, like Brazil, the so-called Bolsa Família is cited as one of the key factors behind the positive social outcomes this Latin American giant has achieved in recent years.

The programme is an innovative social initiative taken by the Brazilian Government, says the World Bank (WB), which has provided technical and financial support to it.

13/01/2017

Demagogues Threaten Rights – Trump, European Populists Foster Bigotry, Discrimination

Washington, DC, January 12, 2017 – Human Rights Watch*

The rise of populist leaders in the United States and Europe poses a dangerous threat to basic rights protections while encouraging abuse by autocrats around the world, Human Rights Watch on January 12 said in launching its World Report 2017.

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Asylum seekers behind a metal fence in the ‘Hangar 1’ detention center, in Röszke, Hungary. September 9, 2015. © 2015 Zalmaï for Human Rights Watch

Donald Trump’s election as US president after a campaign fomenting hatred and intolerance, and the rising influence of political parties in Europe that reject universal rights, have put the postwar human rights system at risk.

13/01/2017

Free Trade Agreements Promote Corporate Interests

Human Wrongs Watch

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 12 2017 (IPS) – So-called free-trade agreements (FTAs) are generally presumed to promote trade liberalization, but in fact, they do much more to strengthen the power of the most influential transnational corporations of the dominant partner involved. While FTAs typically reduce some barriers to the international trade in goods and services, some provisions strengthen private monopolies and corporate power.

Trump's ‘Put America First’ alternative of negotiating bilateral trade deals will be problematic for its negotiating partners, especially smaller and developing countries with modest negotiating capacity. Credit: IPS

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Trump’s ‘Put America First’ alternative of negotiating bilateral trade deals will be problematic for its negotiating partners, especially smaller and developing countries with modest negotiating capacity. Credit: IPS

13/01/2017

Global Food Prices Fall for Fifth Year – Economic Uncertainties Remain

Human Wrongs Watch

Data from 2016 reveals that for the fifth year in a row, the prices of food around the world have declined, in some cases 1.5 per cent below 2015 levels, a monthly United Nations report revealed.

Farmers beat rice to release grains near the village of Kamangu, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo: FAO/Olivier Asselin

According to a press release released on 12 January 2017 by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), bumper harvests – or harvests that have been remarkably plentiful – as well as promising prospects for staple cereals, helped to offset pressure on tropical commodities like sugar and palm oil, whose production was adversely impacted by El Niño.

13/01/2017

Syria and Aleppo – Old News Media alling

Human Wrongs Watch

By Jan Oberg*

I was in Aleppo December 10-14, 2016 and the Eastern part was finally liberated on the 12th.

Beyond any doubt, this was a world historic moment: because of Aleppo’s importance as city in Syria and the Middle East, its status as UNESCO World Heritage site, as turning point in the soon 6 year long war in and on Syria.

And because of the almost 100.000 people who came out of 4,5 years of hell-like occupation and because of the sheer proportions of the destruction.

Remarkably, there were no leading Western media present, also not those who were in Damascus and thus had a media visa. Most reported from very far away or from Beirut in neighbouring Lebanon, Istanbul or Berlin.

11/01/2017

When Your Healers Become Your Killers

Human Wrongs Watch

 

ROME, Jan 11 2017 (IPS) – There is a major though silent global threat to human and animal health, with implications for both food safety and food security and the economic well-being of millions of farming households. It is so-called anti-microbial resistance.

Since the introduction of penicillin in the middle of the 20th century, antimicrobial treatments have been used not only in human medicine but in veterinary care as well. But their excessive use in livestock (and aquaculture) contaminates the environment and contributes to a rise of resistant microorganisms, posing threats to human health, animal health, food security and people’s livelihoods.

Since the introduction of penicillin in the middle of the 20th century, antimicrobial treatments have been used not only in human medicine but in veterinary care as well. Their excessive use in livestock (and aquaculture) contaminates the environment and contributes to a rise of resistant microorganisms, posing threats to human health, animal health, food security and people’s livelihoods | FAO

The problems arise from the indiscriminate, excessive use of synthetic products, such as anti-microbial medicines, to kill diseases in the agricultural and food systems, which may be a major conduit of the anti-microbial resistance (AMR) that causes 700,000 human deaths each year and has the potential to raise this number to up to 10 million annually.

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