Tag Archives: education

The Hoarding of the American Dream


There’s a certain type of financial confessional that has had a way of going viral in the post-recession era. The University of Chicago law professor complaining his family was barely keeping their heads above water on $250,000 a year . This hypothetical family of three in San Francisco making $200,000, enjoying vacations to Maui, and living hand-to-mouth. This real New York couple making six figures and merely “ scraping by .”

In all of these viral posts, denizens of the upper-middle class were attempting to make the case for their middle class-ness. Taxes are expensive. Cities are expensive. Tuition is […]

UTEP among nation’s best at lifting students from poorest backgrounds, study finds

UTEP Graduation 2.jpg

Buy Photo The University of Texas at El Paso is one of several of the nation’s schools that is helping generate large returns for students from the poorest backgrounds, according to a working paper released recently week by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The report lists UTEP among 10 schools that are strong engines of upward mobility for the nation’s poorest children. But, the report contends, those engines are slowing down.

The study, which was drafted in part by Raj Chetty and Emmanuel Saez, pioneering economists of socioeconomic inequality and mobility, focuses on each university’s “mobility rate,” the share of […]

Social Mobility

Social Mobility

Social Mobility, the degree to which people in a society can move along the social scale

Social mobility has come to be associated with a stratified order, but it could refer to any movement between positions in society, horizontally as well as vertically, and over time. The positions are usually identified as economic or geographic. It has proved convenient to confine it to move within an occupational or class hierarchy, though some studies take into account mobility over three or more generations. A distinction between the social mobility of groups and individuals is also drawn in literature. Thus some […]

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?


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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]