Tag Archives: education

SLEZAK: Fixing poverty starts with change of thinking

Riley Slezak

America is commonly called the land of opportunity, a place where if you work hard and do the right thing you’ll be financially secure. This image of America as a beacon for hope and prosperity is not entirely inaccurate, but it does have some major flaws. By teaching that hard work is the main ingredient for a large bank account and overall financial prosperity, it’s also implied that those living in poverty must be lazy. A common refrain from those free of the burden of poverty is that people who are on welfare are leeching off of the system […]

Austin’s history of discrimination threatens its future


To understand why the region’s widening prosperity gap is leaving black residents behind, look to the racist policies of the past and their repercussions

Years of housing discrimination helped limit African-Americans’ ability to own property and create wealth in Austin. The impact of those policies is still being felt today.

Vonnye Rice-Gardner’s parents didn’t have many options when they wanted to buy their first house.It was the early 1930s, and just a few years earlier the Austin City Council demarcated a new “negro district” in the eastern part of the city. If Friendly and Johnnie Mae Yates Rice wanted access […]

Michigan colleges and economic mobility, part 2

Feb15′

In my last post I analyzed an important data set recently released by economist Raj Chetty and colleagues , that measures every college’s contribution to economic mobility in America. I looked at the percentage of the poorest students in each cohort at Michigan colleges who, by their early thirties, were in the top 40% of earners.

The results were fairly disappointing because the Michigan institutions that had the greatest impact on the mobility of their poorest students were selective institutions that enrolled very few low-income students. At U of M and MSU, over 60% of the poorest students who enroll […]

Indian gangsterism: Stop blaming Tamil schools — K. Arumugam


MARCH 13 — At times the Tamil schools are blamed for social ills amongst Indians. While there is a strong correlation between poverty and crime, blaming Tamil schools simply because they are the sanctuary for the poor is a bizarre nexus duped with misconception. Unless the truth of the issue is fully ventilated, such simplistic inferences would continue to haunt the credibility of the Tamil school system.

Firstly, there is zero research indicating that Tamil schools are one of the reasons for gangsterism or crime amongst Indians. Such certainty is founded on all available researches over the last decade on […]

Remarks by the President on Economic Mobility

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you, everybody. Thank you so much. Please, please have a seat. Thank you so much. Well, thank you, Neera, for the wonderful introduction and sharing a story that resonated with me. There were a lot of parallels in my life and probably resonated with some of you.

Over the past 10 years, the Center for American Progress has done incredible work to shape the debate over expanding opportunity for all Americans. And I could not be more grateful to CAP not only for giving me a lot of good policy ideas, but also giving […]

Is Higher Education the Gateway to the Middle Class?


Higher education has long been described as the gateway to the middle class. Particularly for low-income students, postsecondary education is described as a game changer, even while the exact nature of this relationship remains hard to pin down conclusively. But groundbreaking new research from Raj Chetty and his colleagues at Stanford University, Mobility Report Cards: The Role of Colleges in Intergenerational Mobility, offers a major step forward in our understanding of higher education and economic mobility in the United States. This work provides the best available evidence that higher education can help students climb the economic ladder, and it […]

Global middle-class growth will drive the world economy

Global middle-class growth will drive the world economy

© Getty Images Today, the global middle class, numbering about 3.2 billion in 2016, may be considerably larger — by about 500 million people — than when I first attempted to estimate their size seven years ago.

Asian households, in particular, are now thought to be much richer, relatively speaking, than before. Indeed, the next decade could see a faster expansion of the middle class than at any other time in history.

Within a few years, a majority of the world’s population could have middle-class or rich lifestyles for the first time ever. The most dynamic segment of the global middle-class […]

Studies Document Mass Incarceration’s Toll on Families

(March 2017) New studies add to the growing body of research on the toll U.S. mass incarceration is taking on prisoner’s children and families. Three recent articles in the journal Demography document the spillover effects of the prison boom on family poverty, couples’ relationship stability, and child well-being.

Researchers suggest that the collateral damage related to incarceration may exacerbate social inequality through its negative impact on disadvantaged children and families.

In 2015, the United States had more than 2.17 million people behind bars in state and federal prisons and local jails, representing one of the world’s highest incarceration rates. 1 In […]

Financial Capital: Moving Up The Ladder In The Modern Economy


The last, and most obvious, installment in our analysis of economic capital’s effect on realizing the American Dream explores financial capital. Financial Capital: The zeroes in your savings account

In the context of intergenerational mobility, referring to how children go up (or down) the economic ladder compared to their parents, financial capital deals with how many zeroes are in the family bank account, including homes and other physical assets that can be passed down. Our family’s wealth is the most important determinant in how financially secure we become.

If there are enough zeroes in the family bank account (assuming […]

Are Michigan colleges serving as engines of economic mobility?

Feb.7 Mfi

I’m generally not a fan of measuring a college’s value by the incomes of their graduates. If a high proportion of a school’s alumni enter a lower-paid field like social work, I don’t think this should count against the college. In addition, simply looking at salary data ignores the significant non-pecuniary benefits of getting a college degree.

That said, a set of data on earnings by college released last month from economist Raj Chetty and others – who’ve published a series of recent studies documenting mobility and opportunity in America – is worth paying attention to. Their data is interesting […]