Article summary: “As automation reduces the need for human labor, some Silicon Valley executives think a universal income will be the answer — and the beta test is happening in Kenya.”
If that sounds like your kind of article, go read the rest at the New York Times: The future of not working.
Related link: Give Directly.
From The Independent: ‘Robin Hood’ cafe in Madrid is charging rich customers to give to the poor.
A cafe in Spain is charging customers by day, and using the proceeds to serve meals to homeless people free of charge at night.
The Robin Hood restaurant opened on a side street in central Madrid on Tuesday, operating a simple but unique business model.
At breakfast and lunchtime the initiative runs as an ordinary Spanish bar, selling coffee, croquetas, and cigarettes, before reopening in the evening as a restaurant, serving a sophisticated sit-down supper to people who cannot afford to pay. [continue]
The Guardian has a story on this place, too: Charge the ‘rich’ to feed the poor: Madrid’s Robin Hood homeless cafe.
What a fantastic idea.
From the Huffington Post: This Startup Gives Poor People A Year’s Income, No Strings Attached.
A person whom Teresa had never met showed up at her home one day with a remarkable offer. Teresa and her family would receive what amounted to a year’s income, in cash. Nothing was owed in return. She did not have to repay the money, and her family could spend it however they wished.
Teresa was at a loss. “We did not believe someone would give us that kind of money without having worked for it.” But then the money came.
This scenario has played out thousands of times. The organization behind the money, GiveDirectly, is not broadly known. (…)
Yet, dollar-for-dollar, analysts say GiveDirectly is among the most effective organizations in the world trying to eliminate extreme poverty. (…) And in the spirit of Silicon Valley, GiveDirectly’s work is data-driven and transparent in ways that are virtually unheard of in the aid world. For donors who want their giving based on evidence-backed results, few organizations compare. [continue]
Wow. I like the assumption that must be behind this model: poor people aren’t stupid, they’re just poor. So maybe they need money more than they need to be babysat by a social services agency. Just maybe.
It’s not often that news of a new law cheers me, but this one’s great. From Mother Jones: This Is the Unprecedented New Law France Just Passed to Eliminate Supermarket Waste.
On Thursday, France’s parliament unanimously approved a new law prohibiting large supermarkets from throwing out unsold food, instead mandating stores donate any surplus groceries to charities or for animal feed use. (…)
The new regulations will also ban the common practice of intentionally destroying unsold food by bleaching it—a process meant to prevent people from searching for food in dumpsters, which has lead to lawsuits after people became sick from eating spoiled food. [continue]
So, let’s just do this everywhere.
From the Univesity of Toronto’s alumni magazine: Lunchtime Express.
Students living in residence often reach year’s end with unused credit on their meal plans. Students Against Hunger (SAH) converts donated meal credits into bagged lunches for the homeless in Toronto.
Olivier Sorin, a former don at the Margaret Addison residence, recalls the meeting in fall 2003 when students on his floor conceived the idea. "We realized that students didn’t have great riches," he says, "but had intangible resources. We had our time, our energy – and we had these meal credits."
In partnership with the Burwash Hall cafeteria, Sorin and the founding executive members created a meal credit bank, and the donations began pouring in. They haven’t stopped. Last year, SAH distributed 50 meals each week, through the soup kitchen at nearby Church of the Redeemer. Since the group’s inception, students have delivered thousands of meals to those in need. [continue]