In 1995, education researchers Betty Hart and Todd R. Risley published their groundbreaking work on the home language learning experiences of young children in the U.S. “Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experiences of Young American Children” pointed out an enormous disparity in the number of words addressed to children from high-income versus low-income families by age 3, known as the 30 million word gap.
A powerful predictor of children’s ability to learn and succeed in school is their vocabulary size when entering kindergarten, and this 30 million word gap contributes to differences in early vocabulary development. In addition, more recent research has suggested that parental language use could influence child executive function. Executive function skills like discipline, self-control, and planning are critical for future success and health.
It’s the one thing libertarians, lefties, tech gurus and feminists agree on. But does that mean government should pursue it?
Basic income is a simple, radical idea. In essence, it is that a government should give each of its citizens enough money to live on, with no strings attached. What people do with it is entirely up to them.
It could end poverty and the indignity of the welfare state at a stroke, while making mincemeat of red tape and regulations. Or it could turn us into feckless layabouts and destroy the economy. It depends who you ask.
Either way, it has people’s attention. The governments of Finland, Ontario, and numerous municipalities in Holland are launching experiments to test basic income. The charity GiveDirectly is running one in Kenya with 30,000 participants. Y Combinator, a tech industry incubator, is doing its own, secretive trial in Oakland, California. And just this week Scotland committed to several local basic income tests.
More: The Mandarin
Germans celebrated today as the first same-sex couples married after the law was changed to legalise the unions.
Karl Kreile and Bodo Mende, together for 38 years before they tied the knot, got married in Berlin today.
They are believed to be the first same-sex couple to marry under the new law.
They married at the Schoneberg, Berlin town hall at 09:30 local time.