The World Bank is bringing back its flagship annual report on the ease of doing business worldwide after a data manipulation scandal marred the last version, prompting the bank to scrap the project in 2021. There’s a new brand, a revised methodology, and a reformed mission focused on capturing a more honest snapshot of conditions for the private sector.
Waiting to see – World Bank’s scandal-hit ‘Doing Business’ seeks redemption with revamp | Devex
Anxiety about the state of democracy amid political polarisation should direct us to an unexpected answer—economic citizenship.
Read the article from Social Europe
The next time a speculative bubble is massively inflating around a fancy new asset like cryptocurrency and financial carnival barkers are screaming it will change everything, remember NFTs. Read Jacobin’s article on Bankman-Fried: After Sam Bankman-Fried’s Downfall, the Entire Crypto Fantasy Is Rapidly Unraveling (jacobin.com)
And read these lines on another ‘Petuland Plutocrat’:
“Another week, another spectacular crypto flame-out, this time the bankruptcy filing of cryptocurrency’s BlockFi, the latest “black eye,” the Wall Street Journal reports, for one of crypto’s biggest boosters, the billionaire investor Peter Thiel. Back in 2018, this self-styled Silicon Valley “disrupter” declared that “getting too late and too little in bitcoin” amounted to his “biggest mistake.” This past April, Thiel lashed out at crypto skeptics and told a Miami conference that bitcoin amounted to a “revolutionary youth movement.” One of those “revolutionaries,” Thiel protégé Blake Masters, won the Republican U.S. Senate primary in Arizona this past summer declaring that “psychopaths are running the country.” Masters lost his November race handily. A year ago, Thiel dubbed crypto “the most honest market we have.” The crypto universe is telling us, he added, that our “decrepit” ruling political world stands “just about to blow up.” What’s actually blowing up has turned out to be the speculative get-rich-quick crypto. Thiel has so far refused all comment on that blow-up.”
A new Oxfam report: it talks about inequality spread all over the world. In a shocking revelation, 252 men have more wealth than all 1 billion women and girls of nations like Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean when combined. The top 1% have captured nearly 20 times more of global wealth than the bottom 50% of humanity since 1995. If the life expectancy of Black Americans were the same as White people, then 3.4 million Black Americans would have been alive today, and it was already 2.1 million before COVID-19. Talking about the harm done to the environment, 20 of the wealthiest billionaires emit 8000 times more carbon than the poorest 1 billion.
Read the report
Most interesting and most shocking findings on the world’s inequality …
In the present report, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human
rights, Olivier De Schutter, observes that children born in disadvantaged families are
denied equal opportunities: their chances of achieving a decent standard of living as
adults are significantly diminished by the mere fact that their parents are poor.
The Special Rapporteur examines the channels through which poverty is
perpetuated, in the areas of health, housing, education and employment. The growth
of inequalities itself is an important contributing factor: the more unequal societies
are, the less they allow for social mobility, and wealth inequalities are particularly
corrosive in that regard.
Read the report of Olivier De Schutter
The Yearbook captures the full range of the Committee’s activities in a given year and serves to make the Committee’s work more visible and accessible. It has quickly evolved into a valuable tool for civil society, human rights practitioners, academics, States and all those with an interest in the potential of human rights to tackle problems of poverty, social injustice and inequality.
The 2020 edition contains information on the Committee’s latest State reviews, individual communication decisions, general comments and statements. This includes details of the Committee’s engagement with all dimensions of the coronavirus crisis, as well as issues as wide ranging as the climate emergency, evictions, gender equality and land rights. Used wisely, its guidance may be critical in shaping the world that we wish to build as we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic.
Please take note of this very important report of the Global Network for the Right to Food and Nutrition:
This year’s ITUC Global Rights Index documents a shameful roll call of governments and companies that have pursued an anti-union agenda in the face of workers who have stood in solidarity providing essential work to keep economies and communities functioning.
The ITUC Global Rights Index is a benchmark against which we will hold governments and employers to account as we build a new social contract with jobs, rights, social protection, equality and inclusion and rebuild the trust that has been shattered by repressive governments and abusive companies.
The Universal Basic Income is only one way to guarantee income security, and it is certainly not the best way. In this document Francine Mestrum gives an overview of other and better mechanisms for helping all people and procure welfare and wellbeing. Income security, money, is very important but we should also look beyond it.
This document will be discussed at the 13th edition of the Asia Europe People’s Forum, Friday 21 May 2021, 10 am CET.
You find the document here: AEPF13-Francine-Income-Security-Report.pdf
You can register for the webinar here: www.aepf.info