American RadioWorks |
Photos: Stephen Smith

Thirsty Planet

Scientists say most people on Earth will first experience climate change in terms of water -- either too much or too little. This documentary explores some of the most pressing water problems and some innovative solutions by visiting two countries where water issues are critical: India and Israel. A vast and ecologically diverse country, India suffers from water problems found across the globe: flooding, drought, pollution, and lack of access by the poor. In Israel, a combination of cutting-edge technology and sweeping government policy has largely solved the nation's long struggle with water scarcity. But the benefits of abundant water are not shared equally throughout Israel and the West Bank.

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in collaboration with Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity

Develop welfare programs that foster interdependent generations

File under: welfare

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From: Ajay B., Minneapolis, MN

"Take good care of your children...they will choose your old age home," reads a bumper sticker. We are interdependent on our family and society. At the level of a family, parents take care of the children, each other and grandparents. At the level of a society, the working population pays for the welfare of the preceding and succeeding generations. A child can be conditioned to be altruistic towards a parent and the public. The government has a prominent role in this conditioning.

Government assistance can add to whatever parents are able to provide, allowing children to reach their full potential. This makes children productive citizens, and gives them a feeling of gratitude towards their parents. Government assistance can also replace parental provision, which may weaken the sense of obligation and gratitude towards parents. Thus, the government has to do a balancing act with regard to its various welfare programs. For example, recent research has shown that welfare programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) might have unintended consequences which go beyond nutrition.

Designers and administrators of welfare programs in state and federal governments need to provide a more coordinated package of programs. Then, and only then, will the programs achieve their goal of increased welfare. Providing better management and resources to the welfare programs might seem like an additional burden on government resources, but integrated management of programs will likely yield personnel and office space cost savings. Also, different generations taking better care of each other might save the state on expenditures on seniors and foster care.


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American RadioWorks |
Photos: Stephen Smith

Thirsty Planet

Scientists say most people on Earth will first experience climate change in terms of water -- either too much or too little. This documentary explores some of the most pressing water problems and some innovative solutions by visiting two countries where water issues are critical: India and Israel. A vast and ecologically diverse country, India suffers from water problems found across the globe: flooding, drought, pollution, and lack of access by the poor. In Israel, a combination of cutting-edge technology and sweeping government policy has largely solved the nation's long struggle with water scarcity. But the benefits of abundant water are not shared equally throughout Israel and the West Bank.

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  • 05.12.16

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    The nation is changing the way it thinks about teen sex trafficking. States have decriminalized it for teens and offered help, and some are attacking the demand for commercial sex.
  • 05.12.16

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    Estimating the number of human trafficking victims in the United States is notoriously difficult.
  • 05.12.16

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  • 05.12.16

    Israel: Using technology, engineering to cut reliance on Galilee

    Water has been a matter of national security for Israel since the nation's inception. Drought and growth have pushed the country to use desalination, wastewater recycling and other technology and engineering feats to address the demand. But it's a different picture where Palestinians are involved.