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

Provide mobile-accessible bank accounts and graduated social services; reduce program bureaucracy

File under: banking, taxes, security, identity, simplify, welfare, technology

0 (0 votes)

From: Greg H., Roseville, MN

1) Revise tax law to eliminate any taxes on savings for individuals earning at or below three times the federal poverty level. This will help get people up and moving.

2) Provide a state bank account to everyone who cannot get a private sector bank account. This would be used for saving money and being able to deposit paychecks. Lack of a bank account due to changing addresses and employment status puts some people at the mercy of payday lenders and the vicious cycle of never ending loan payments.

3) Provide a cell phone-based mechanism for people in poverty to transfer credit and money from their bank. (It's working in Africa!)

4) Revise social services from the "either you get it or you don't" model to the graduated, tapering-off model. Many folks suffer from having to remain in poverty to keep one or two critical social services benefits that low paying jobs don't provide and that they require to keep a job (for example health care for a chronic illness). Often, when they get a job, their new income eliminates their qualification for all social services even though that income isn't enough to cover food, daycare, transportation, and other expenses. Give them partial coverage for daycare, health care, or other needs. Help them succeed.

5) Embed more identity security technology in the social services distribution system to prevent fraudulent double-dipping. That would free up resources for real need.

6) Reduce overhead and redundant bureaucracy by decreasing the number of programs and organizations, and managing programs centrally. This would push more program dollars to the people who need them.


Comments:

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.

Recent Posts

  • 06.17.16

    Fighting for ‘Our School’

    What's the role of a school in a rural town? We begin our series on rural schools by looking at a state where the fight has been particularly fierce: Vermont.
  • 06.09.16

    How Do We Learn Better: Digital or Print?

    Do you understand facts better online or in print? New research has massive implications for teaching in the 21st century.
  • 06.02.16

    Theological Schools Feel the Squeeze

    Theological schools are straining for cash as they suffer from drops in enrollment over the past few years. Our guest tells us how they are dealing with it.
  • 05.26.16

    The ‘Invisible Tax’ on Teachers of Color

    Our guest says the so-called 'invisible tax' on teachers of color leads to burnout at a time when teachers of color are already leaving the profession more quickly than their white colleagues.