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From Polio To Poverty To Sex Ed: 9 Predictions For 2018 (NPR)
January 3, 2018
From the article:
"More people will be guaranteed a "universal basic income"
That's the idea that a government pays each of its citizens — regardless of their income or employment — a minimum amount of money to live on. According to advocates, this is the fastest way to fight poverty and inequality. Pilot projects have been launched in Namibia, India, the Netherlands and elsewhere with positive results, including small-business growth, higher employment rates, reduced malnutrition and increased school attendance. Studies have also shown this practice can be less costly than existing welfare programs. Though governments have been slow to implement the idea, Anit Mukherjee, a fiscal policy fellow at the Center for Global Development, is "absolutely confident more countries will announce universal basic income" in 2018.
"The architecture for UBI transfers is now in place," Mukherjee said. "Essentially, every household in the world will be covered with a mobile phone in the next year, and they will be covered with some form of financial account. There will also be [fewer] than 500 million people without identification. There were no channels before to get that money to people, but now there's no holding back."
- Joanne Lu
The poor could get poorer
Anit Mukherjee of the Center for Global Development sees two reasons for pessimism. Curbs on global migration through counterterrorism measures mean fewer people from poorer countries will be able to work abroad and send remittances, or cash to families back home. And as the climate changes and makes it harder for, say, farmers to farm and communities to defend against natural disasters, the ability to travel to other places to earn money becomes more critical.
Remittances can be crucial "for housing, for school fees, for medical services," says Mukherjee. "But both in terms of human movement as well as financial movement, there's going to be a significant drop. The result is that people in the developing world who depend on remittances will be squeezed out."