Category Archives: Mobility

New report finds Americans lack economic mobility, opportunity


HARI SREENIVASAN: A report on poverty published on Thursday found a striking lack of economic mobility in America, that 43 percent of Americans born into families in the bottom fifth of the economic ladder are stuck there as adults, while 40 percent born in the top fifth stay there.

The data was part of Opportunity, Responsibility and Security: A Consensus Plan for Reducing Poverty and Restoring the American Dream. It was a partnership between two think tanks from different sides of the ideological spectrum, the Brookings Institute and the American Enterprise Institute.

And as part of our series on poverty called […]

Do Occupational Licenses Exacerbate the Prison-to-Poverty Pipeline?


Font Size:

Expert argues that occupational licensing reform will unlock the economic potential of former prisoners.

After she had served a year in prison, returned to school, and earned her nursing degree, the state of Illinois denied Lisa Creason the chance to become a licensed nurse because of her prior conviction. In August 2016, however, Creason stood by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner as he signed a new law that would allow her, and other former inmates, a second chance to earn a living as a nurse.Nevertheless, despite Illinois’ progress in this area, workers around the country continue to face barriers to […]

The Democratic Party has to become a boot factory


Donald Trump’s presidency careens from crisis to crisis like the pinball in a machine being played by a furious teenager. As of 9 August , Rasmussen Reports – arguably the poll most friendly to the President – has his approval rating at 42%. Republicans don’t fare much better. According to RealClearPolitics.org , just under 16% of those polled approved of the job being done by this Republican-led Congress.

Yet, the Democratic Party can’t seem to get traction. Even it’s July release of “ A Better Deal ,” its new economic manifesto, didn’t generate much buzz. Now, maybe that’s because no […]

We could close this lethal north-south gap – if we wanted to


If the Conservative party were a car, it would be in dire need of new tyres, having worn the treads bare with the sheer number of policy U-turns since this year’s snap general election. The reversal on funding rail electrification in the north and Wales is symbolic of the Conservatives’ contempt for the regions, and symptomatic of how Britain has prioritised the south even more under a Tory government. The south-east ravenously consumes infrastructure spending and political attention, with London as the capital for capital.

The effect of this economic dereliction is far deeper than simply a clunky rail service, […]

American Dream Machine


Intel cofounder Andy Grove, a City College graduate, once dubbed his alma mater “the American dream machine.” A fascinating new study on the economic mobility of college graduates confirms that the moniker fits City College and the broader City University of New York (CUNY) system.

CUNY officials are justifiably proud of the high marks that the network of 11 senior colleges and seven community colleges earned in a new study, “The Role of Colleges in Intergenerational Mobility.” Looking to determine how higher education affects socioeconomic mobility, a team of economists led by Stanford’s Raj Chetty used millions of tax filings […]

Income inequality and economic mobility in D.C.

Income quintile and Gini score for major cities in top metro areas

In recent years, researchers have become more interested in the ways that an individual’s environment shapes their ability to climb the socioeconomic ladder. In a famous recent study , Stanford economist Raj Chetty and his coauthors looked at upward mobility, as measured by the proportion of children who went on to make more money than their parents later in life. He found that the overall D.C. commuting zone [1] had high rates of upward mobility, ranking 13 th in the 50 largest U.S. metro areas in upward mobility—and third in the probability that a child born in the poorest […]

To Boost Income Mobility, Reform Our Bail System

To Boost Income Mobility, Reform Our Bail System

Last month, senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) introduced the Pretrial Integrity and Safety Act to encourage states to reform their bail systems. Beyond shrinking our overly expanded incarcerated population, bail reform would boost the United States’ stagnating income mobility by reforming a system that traps the poor in poverty.

Upward mobility has stalled. According to Stanford Professor of Economics Raj Chetty, “social mobility is low and has been for at least thirty or forty years.” Of those born into the bottom income quintile, more than a third remain there as adults. However, progressives who blame the free […]

Trump’s Tragedy


When President Donald Trump was first elected, I naively wanted him to succeed. I strongly supported Secretary Hillary Clinton during her presidential race and was deeply upset when she lost. Nevertheless, I remained guardedly optimistic about Trump. Maybe he was misunderstood? As an American, I had difficulty believing that our country would support an individual of such irredeemable character. I wanted my president to prosper regardless of political party; perhaps change wasn’t so bad.

After all, Trump was an embodiment of change. He wasn’t linked to the political establishment that was seemingly hated more by many Americans with each passing […]

The Ben & Jerry’s of Medieval Times

A painting of a meeting in the year 1520 between King Henry VIII of England and King Francois I of France

A painting, done in the 19th century by Friedrich Bouterwek, of a 1520 meeting between King Henry VIII of England and King Francois I of France Profits and public-mindedness are often at odds. A business’s aim is to make money, and most of the time, concerns about social good are secondary at best, frequently touted for public-relations purposes.

One exception is benefit corporations, companies that explicitly set out to do right by their workers, society, and the environment. The nomenclature is relatively new—the first companies to be officially certified as “B Corps” received the title in 2007 , and many […]

Economic Inequality and the Future of Democracy: Tracking the Conversation

This is the second in a series of reflections from participants of the Economic Security Summit . Karen Kahn is a writer, editor, and communications strategist who spent nearly two decades as the communications director for the nonprofit Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute.

Last year, a researcher from Harvard, along with another from the University of Melbourne, published research that showed a growing decline in the support for democracy among young Americans. Only 30 percent of millennials believed that “it is essential to live in a democracy,” down from 75 percent of people born in the 1930s. That’s a pretty scary […]