26 ultra-rich people own as much as the world's 3.8 billion poorest

The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."

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  • A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
  • In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
  • The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
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4 reasons Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for universal basic income

In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.

(Photo by J. Wilds/Keystone/Getty Images)
  • Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
  • The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
  • Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
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Proposed carbon tax plan would return proceeds to people once goals are met

It could put the American fossil fuel industry on a clear path to extinction.

Photo credit: Roman Khripkov on Unsplash
  • A bipartisan group of renowned economists has proposed the U.S. implement a carbon tax.
  • The tax would increase until climate goals are met, and all proceeds would be given back to the people in equal lump-sums.
  • Recent research suggests that a majority of people would support a carbon tax policy that redistributes proceeds back to citizens.
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What is the Green New Deal?

The Green New Deal is an ambitious attempt to fight climate change, but is it destined to hit the political skids?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stops by the Sunrise Movement's sit-in protest at Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi's office. Credit: Sunrise Movement / Twitter
  • Recent protests by the Sunrise Movement have taken the Green New Deal from forgotten policy to trending hashtag.
  • The Green New Deal aims to move the U.S. to 100% renewable energy within a decade.
  • Proponents also hope to catalyze a top-down restructuring of the U.S. economy and advance social justice issues.
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​Americans now more likely to die from opioids than car crashes

It marks a first for the U.S., where some 49,000 people died from opioids in 2018.

Narcan kits are available at a homeless encampment in Minneapolis, Minnesota on October 22, 2018.
  • Each American has about a 1 in 7,569 chance of dying from an opioid overdose, according to a National Safety Council report. The probability of dying in a motor vehicle accident is 1 in 8,096.
  • The death rate for opioids is now six times higher than it was in 1999, with about 130 Americans dying every day from the drugs.
  • Narcan is a life-saving drug that can stop opioid overdoses in their tracks, however factors like stigma and cost are preventing this antidote from becoming more accessible.
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