Prisoners of the American Dream

Given worsening

Given worsening Given worsening economic inequality in the United States, many observers might assume that Americans would want to reduce income differences by instituting a more progressive tax system. That assumption would be wrong because, in December, the US Congress passed a sweeping tax bill that will, at least in the short term, disproportionately benefit higher-income households.
Despite their country’s mounting income gap, Americans’ support for redistribution has, according to the General Social Survey, remained flat for decades. Perhaps John Steinbeck got it right when he supposedly said that, “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see […]

The Virtue of Radical Honesty


Steven Pinker, a psychology professor at Harvard, calls himself an Enlightenment man. This week I asked a group of students at the University of Chicago a question I’m asking students around the country: Who are your heroes? There’s always a long pause after I ask. But eventually one of the students suggested Steven Pinker. Another chimed in Jonathan Haidt. There was general nodding around the table.

That was interesting. Both men are psychology professors, at Harvard and N.Y.U., who bravely stand against what can be the smothering orthodoxy that inhibits thought on campus, but not from the familiar conservative position.

One […]

OPINION: Does economic growth benefit the poor?


Oxfam stages a protest demanding less poverty and less inequality from the July 2017 G-20 summit When discussing social issues with friends and family, it’s not uncommon for someone to say that economic growth only benefits a small, privileged elite, while the poorest remain prisoners of their economic circumstances. But this perspective, fuelled among other things by Oxfam’s annual report on inequality , could not be further from the truth, especially in the Canadian context.

Time and again, economic research has debunked this popular belief. The only question that remains is how much the poor benefit from growth. One study, […]

The Regulatory State Is the Enemy of Economic Mobility

The Regulatory State Is The Enemy Of Economic Mobility

Why are Americans less likely to move to better opportunities than they used to be? The Wall Street Journal reports : “When opportunity dwindles, a natural response—the traditional American instinct—is to strike out for greener pastures. Migrations of the young, ambitious and able-bodied prompted the Dust Bowl exodus to California in the 1930s and the reverse migration of blacks from Northern cities to the South starting in the 1980s. Yet the overall mobility of the U.S. population is at its lowest level since measurements were first taken at the end of World War II, falling by almost half since […]

BY JULIA B. ISAACS, The Brookings Institution

INTERNATIONAL COMPARISONS OF

ECONOMIC MOBILITY

reedom from the constraints of aristocratic society lured many of our ancestors tocross the ocean to the New World. European visitors such as Alexis de Tocqueville marveled at the economic dynamism and social mobility of American society in the first half of the nineteenth century.1 More recently, immigrants continue to cross our boundaries in search of the promise of the American Dream. Given this history, many Americans believe that the opportunities for moving up the economic ladder are greater in the United States than they arein other countries. But is this widely held assumption of greater […]

Why a new report agrees with Piketty on inequality, blames policy

income gap, pay parity, salary, Thomas Piketty, oxfam india report, caste based inequality, policy flaws, religion bias, gdp, indian express

(Express Illustration) A few months after a research paper co-authored by French economist Thomas Piketty estimated that the share of the top 1% in India’s income pie is higher than ever before, a report released by Oxfam India on Thursday revealed that inequality in the country has been on the rise for the last three decades due to “lopsided” policies of successive governments.

The report, The Widening Gaps: India Inequality Report 2018, alleges that the wealthiest individuals in India (it pegs the total wealth of Indian billionaires at 15% of the GDP, having risen from 10% only five years ago) […]

OPINION: Does economic growth benefit the poor?


Oxfam stages a protest demanding less poverty and less inequality from the July 2017 G-20 summit When discussing social issues with friends and family, it’s not uncommon for someone to say that economic growth only benefits a small, privileged elite, while the poorest remain prisoners of their economic circumstances. But this perspective, fuelled among other things by Oxfam’s annual report on inequality , could not be further from the truth, especially in the Canadian context.

Time and again, economic research has debunked this popular belief. The only question that remains is how much the poor benefit from growth. One study, […]

Enterprise to Develop and Test Innovative Approaches to Increase Economic Mobility through Resident Services with $3 Million Grant from Terwilliger Foundation


COLUMBIA, Md. (February 22, 2018) – A $3 million grant from the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families will support Enterprise Community Partners Inc. (Enterprise) in scaling innovative, integrated approaches – in fields such as job training and healthcare – that can increase economic mobility.

The need to improve the pathways to economic opportunity is clear. Since 1979, the incomes of the top 1 percent of the nation’s earners have increased at more than four times the rate of incomes of the lowest 20 percent, and 70 percent of Americans born in the lowest income quintile will never […]

Prisoners of the American Dream


With inequality increasing, many around the world might assume that Americans would want to close the income gap by instituting a more progressive system of redistribution. But the opposite is true: Americans’ perceptions of privilege, opportunity, and social mobility contrast markedly with views elsewhere.

CAMBRIDGE – Given worsening economic inequality in the United States, many observers might assume that Americans would want to reduce income differences by instituting a more progressive tax system. That assumption would be wrong because, in December, the US Congress passed a sweeping tax bill that will, at least in the short term, disproportionately benefit higher-income […]

Oxfam is wrong: Economic growth also benefits the poor


"The numbers are clear: Growth increases everyone’s income, including those at the bottom of the ladder," says Alexandre Moreau, Public Policy Analyst at the MEI and co-author of the publication. "The economic facts once again debunk the popular belief that growth only benefits the rich," he adds.

One study, looking at 58 countries, found that 10% annual GDP growth is associated with a 10% increase in the incomes of the bottom 40%. In Canada, the substantial growth experienced in recent decades has been accompanied by an impressive reduction in poverty.

The portion of the population in a low income situation went […]