No Place Like Home

Let me start with a confession: during the decade or so I’ve been studying family breakdown, I’ve sometimes understated the impact of neighborhoods on children’s chances in life. That’s a mistake. The point should have been obvious: the most conscientious, Good Night Moon -reading, homework-supervising, PTA-joining, stably married mom and dad living in, say, East New York or Detroit are still going to have a harder time guiding their kids through the complex demands of contemporary childhood and adolescence than a married couple living twenty or thirty miles away in Great Neck or Grosse Pointe. Neighborhoods matter. They matter […]

How was the Deepwater Horizon BP Settlement money spent?

In this April 21, 2010 file photo, oil can be seen in the Gulf of Mexico, more than 50 miles southeast of Venice on Louisiana

In this April 21, 2010 file photo, oil can be seen in the Gulf of Mexico, more than 50 miles southeast of Venice on Louisiana’s tip, as a large plume of smoke rises from fires on BP’s Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig.( This story is a part of Ask Alabama , a weekly interaction with our readers, where you ask the questions, you vote to decide which questions we answer, and then we investigate. Ted Ellis from Homewood in Jefferson County asks: " What happened to all the money from the BP settlement? How was it spent? "

If you’ve […]

It’s not just opioids: ‘Diseases of despair’ claim a growing number of Minnesotan lives

Minnesota Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger says diseases of despair “…are brought on in part by a lack of hope, a lack of opportunity and a lack of paths out of poverty.” This month, the Minnesota Department of Health announced new data on drug overdose deaths. There were 637 such deaths in 2016, about five times the number of overdoses in 2000.

Those are alarming figures, and they have rightfully caught the attention of public health officials. But opioid-driven drug overdose deaths are not the only form of mortality on the rise in Minnesota.

“Minnesotans are suffering from what we’re calling […]

The return of India’s super rich

What distinguishes India is the pace of decline and resurgence of wealth concentration. Photo: Mint

What distinguishes India is the pace of decline and resurgence of wealth concentration. Photo: Mint A flurry of estimates regarding Indian inequality have captured public interest recently. Whether one believes the wealth inequality numbers presented by Credit Suisse or the distributional income accounts by Lucas Chancel and Thomas Piketty, evidence seems to state that India has high economic disparities. But inequality is to be expected in a developing economy with a largely informal labour force, turbulent capital markets and unequal access to education.

In order to fully understand the direction of wealth and income concentration, we need to assess long-run […]

American Dream, American Myth: The Decline Of Upward Mobility

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images For some Americans, it’s become more unlikely that they will out-earn their parents the way their parents out-earned the previous generation.

Multiple studies show that while moving up is still possible, it’s either becoming more difficult or it’s harder in the United States than in other countries.

“The probability of ending where you start has gone up, and the probability of moving up from where you start has gone down,” researcher Michael D. Carr told The Atlantic last year. The article continued: For instance, the chance that someone starting in the bottom 10 percent would move above the […]

How She Lost

Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign
Amie Parnes and Jonathan Allen

This article appears in the Fall 2017 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . Hillary Clinton’s tragic 2016 campaign faced withering criticism in the press, social media, and now, in Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes’s inside account, Shattered . From my vantage point as lead pollster for the Democratic nominees in 1992 and 2000, part of the closing clutch of pollsters in 2004, and invited noodge in 2016, I have little quarrel with the harshest of these criticisms. Malpractice and arrogance contributed mightily […]

Amazon’s new headquarters can revitalize downtrodden America

Ross Douthat is right. Writing in the New York Times over the weekend, Douthat proposes that Amazon should consider moving its new headquarters to a place like St. Louis, MO, “as an act of corporate citizenship.” He is correct that Jeff Bezos can offer Amazon “as an engine of revitalization,” with the potential to do “what’s good for America.” Ross Douthat is correct. Jeff Bezos can offer Amazon “as an engine of revitalization,” with the potential to do “what’s good for America.” Image via Twenty20. Raj Chetty and Nathan Hendren of the Equality of Opportunity project provide a framework […]

Bridging the Gap: How AFCPE Professionals Can Help Close the Racial Wealth Divide

Coauthored with Rebecca Wiggins, Executive Director, Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education

Research shows that the average wealth of White families has grown 84% over the past 30 years, which is 1.2 times the rate of growth for Latino households, and three times the rate for Black households. It is projected that by the year 2043 when people of color will become the majority of the population, the wealth divide will have doubled from $500,000 in 2013 to over $1 million ( Prosperity Now (formerly known as CFED, Institute for Policy Studies , 2016).

By this measure, it […]

We’ve hit peak injustice: a world without borders, but only for the super-rich

In our regression from liberal aspiration to the brutal realities of Trump and Brexit, one of the nirvanas set aside has been the notion of a world without borders. “ America first ,” says the president. “Britain first and always,” chant the Brexiters. The majority demand is for migration curbs in principle, even if they are unlikely to be achieved in practice. The global village will be refashioned with barbed-wire fencing. And yet in this, as in most things, money talks.

From a list of names leaked to the Guardian, we now know that the Cypriot government has raised more […]

Leveraging new data can help low-income students climb the economic ladder, writes Michael Lawrence Collins.


The story we tell ourselves about upward income mobility is unraveling. The majority of respondents to a New America survey felt that it is harder than ever to attain a foundational element of the American dream, in which children earn more than their parents. But most respondents still believe another tenet of the American mobility narrative: that going to college creates upward mobility.

While it is true that college graduates do better in our economy than nongrads, earnings from different college degrees vary considerably. For low-income students in particular, not all college degrees are equally valuable. These and other recent […]