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A new report rated countries on ‘sustainable development.’ The U.S. did horribly.

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For Jeffrey Sachs, the Columbia University economist and U.N. adviser, the poor score of the United States underscores that, while we’ve done exceedingly well economically, we’ve neglected the social and the environmental dimensions of progress — issues ranging from equality to ecosystem preservation.

Chris Mooney, Washington (DC) Post

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https://img.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_960w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2015/09/25/Local-Enterprise/Images/2015-09-25T151615Z_01_NYK202_RTRIDSP_3_UN-ASSEMBLY.jpg&w=1484 Pope Francis addresses attendees in the opening ceremony to commence a plenary meeting of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015 at the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan, New York September 25, 2015. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

July 21, 2016 | Last September, urged on by Pope Francis, the United Nations and its 193 member states embraced the most sweeping quest yet to, basically, save the world and everyone in it — dubbed the Sustainable Development Goals. It’s a global agenda to fix climate change, stop hunger, end poverty, extend health and access to jobs, and vastly more — all by 2030.

The goals comprise no less than 17 separate items and 169 “targets” within them. And this isn’t just an airy exercise — the targets are quite specific (“By 2030, progressively achieve and sustain income growth of the bottom 40 per cent of the population at a rate higher than the national average”). That means that at least in many cases, countries can actually be measured on how they’re faring in meeting these goals, based on a large range of sociological, economic and other indicators.

 

Chris Mooney writes about energy and the environment at The Washington Post. He previously worked at Mother Jones, where he wrote about science and the environment and hosted a weekly podcast. Chris spent a decade prior to that as a freelance writer, podcaster and speaker, with his work appearing in Wired, Harper’s, Slate, Legal Affairs, The Los Angeles Times, The Post and The Boston Globe, to name a few.

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Related:

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Earth%20Floating%20on%20the%20Sea.jpg Global Warming Threatens the Material Basis of the Global Economy, Tim Radford, Climate News Network  / TruthDig

 

Special Report | New Economic Perspectives: Economic Policy That Doesn't Confront the Rise in Inequality Head-On Will Do Nothing to Help the Vast Majority of American Families

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Using policy to shift economic power and make U.S. incomes grow fairer and faster. Boosting income growth for the bottom 90 percent requires a policy agenda that explicitly aims to halt or reverse the rise in inequality. Finding no relationship between rising inequality and faster growth means raising living standards for the bottom 90 percent can likely be better for overall growth.

Related: 35 soul-crushing facts about American income inequality

Josh Bivens, Economic Policy Institute

https://portside.org/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/inequality_cartoon.jpg?itok=KeWke_gvCartoon: John Darkow, Cagle Cartoons, Columbia (MO) Daily Tribune

June 9, 2016 | In Progressive redistribution without guilt, EPI Research and Policy Director Josh Bivens explains why income growth for the bottom 90 percent will continue to disappoint unless policymakers put fighting the rise of inequality at the top of their agenda. Bivens argues that the rise in inequality in recent decades has been essentially zero-sum, with gains at the top of the distribution coming almost directly from gains at the bottom and middle. The zero-sum character of the rise in inequality means that policies aimed at progressively redistributing income can benefit the vast majority of working people without harming overall economic growth.

The rise of inequality over recent decades has been largely driven by a host of discrete policy changes that have regressively redistributed income to those at the very top. Many of these policy changes were championed by claims that they would boost overall growth rates, but Bivens argues that they have clearly failed on that front. The outcome of these policy changes have been a steadily rising “inequality tax” that has stunted income growth for the bottom 90 percent of households relative to what the economy had to the potential to deliver.

Josh Bivens joined the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) in 2002 and is currently the director of research and policy. He has authored or co-authored three books (including The State of Working America, 12th Edition) while working at EPI, edited another, and has written numerous research papers, including for academic journals.

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35 soul-crushing facts about American income inequality, Larry SchwartzAlterNet  / Salon

The money given out in Wall Street bonuses last year was twice the amount all minimum-wage workers earned combined

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UN Officially Declares that UK's Austerity Policies Violate Human Rights

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  • 'It is clear that since 2010, ministers were fully aware that their policies would hit lower income groups hardest.'
  • Women, minorities, young people, and people with disabilities were disproportionately affected, the authors said.
  • Related: The Real Meaning of Brexit: Cry of Pain by the World's Working People

Nadia Prupis, Common Dreams

 

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http://www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/cd_large/public/headlines/austerity_3.jpg?itok=KxqR6zyFProtesters march against austerity in London in June 2015. (Photo: Jason/flickr/cc) 

Thursday, June 30, 2016 | The UK government's austerity policies violate international human rights, and growing inequality in the nation is cause for "serious concerns," a damning new report by the United Nations has found.

The UN Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights found that six years after the Conservative party took power and extended the previous Coalition's stringent economic practices, UK residents have faced an increased reliance on food banks, rising unemployment rates, a housing crisis, and growing racism and discrimination, among other impacts.

Women, minorities, young people, and people with disabilities were disproportionately affected, the authors said.

Nadia Prupis, staff writer, Common Dreams

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Related:

https://www.project-syndicate.org/default/library/b71da4aa7fcc049ed6f3f525bb4acda6.landscapeLarge.jpgThe Real Meaning of Brexit: Cry of Pain by the World's Working People, Michael Lerner, editor, Tikkun magazine & Chair, the (interfaith and secular-humanist-and-atheist-welcoming) NSP: Network of Spiritual Progressives

Tikkun Editor’s Introductory Note:  The vote by a majority in the UK to exit from the European Union  (Britain exiting, now called Brexit) is actually a cry of pain by the working people of Britain, and a reflection of the growing pain that will shape the social and political lives of our world in the coming decades till that pain is fully addressed.

 

Paul Krugman: The “free-market fantasy” has “always and everywhere proved delusional”

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You can't just "deregulate and unleash the magic of the markets," Krugman warned

Scott Kaufman, Salon

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Paul%20Krugman.jpgPaul Krugman (Credit: AP/Heribert Proepper)

Friday, Jun 17, 2016 | In his Friday New York Times column, Paul Krugman discussed the upcoming “Brexit” vote, in which the British will decide whether or not to remain in the European Union.

He argued that despite the fact that “the E.U. is deeply dysfunctional and shows few signs of reforming,” he would vote to remain in it for the simple reason that “Brexit would make Britain poorer.”

Scott Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it.

Global Warming Threatens the Material Basis of the Global Economy

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Tim Radford, Climate News Network / TruthDig

http://www.truthdig.com/images/eartothegrounduploads/CROP-typhoon-palms-800x400.jpgTyphoon Haiyan in the Philippines destroyed half the world’s production of coconut oil in 2013. (Henry Donati/UK Department for International Development via Flickr)  

June 17, 2016 Climate change is likely to affect the global economy—and it may already have begun to affect raw material supplies from tropical regions, according to new research.

That is because, in a global economy, the flow of wealth depends on a secure supply chain, and productivity that depends on outdoor work in the tropics could become more precarious in a warming world.

Even in a temperate zone country such as Australia, researchers have linked heat extremes with economic losses. And climate-related disasters are on the increase, claiming not just lives but a growing economic toll.

Tim Radford worked for the Guardian for 32 years as science editor. He has been covering climate change since 1988. He won the Association of British Science Writers award for science writer of the year four times, and a lifetime achievement award in 2005. 

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Related:

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/No%20Shame%3F%20Donate%21.jpgWhat Corporate America Would Do If It Really Cared About Climate Change, Joe Conason, In These Times 

 

  • CEOs are professing to care about the climate. But they’re still funding Republican climate-change deniers.
  • Related: The breathtaking human toll of environmental pollution

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