Tag Archives: education

Location of WWII internment camp linked to long-term economic inequality


Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 drew the United States into World War II and spawned a massive wave of shock and fear across the country. It also prompted the U.S. government to round up and send more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans to internment camps.

Scholars have long studied this dark chapter in American history and its denial of basic freedoms, but until recently little was known about the long-term economic effects on the lives of the people who were interned, their businesses, homes, and possessions hastily left behind.

Harvard economist Daniel Shoag and Nicholas Carollo, a Ph.D. candidate in economics […]

Where the American Dream Lives and Dies


Rags-to-riches stories , like Benjamin Franklin’s , have always captured the American imagination. They feed the narrative of the American Dream—that from humble beginnings, a scrappy, hardworking person can become prosperous, and afford opportunities his or her parents did not have. Through booms and recessions, people have bought into this myth .

The problem is: The American Dream lives and dies at the local level. Stanford* economist Raj Chetty has shown that conditions in our neighborhoods are really what shape our ability to escape poverty and determine if we will fare better than our parents. A new analysis by the […]

A New Democratic Slogan? Your Choices


Young Jerks A common theme was clear as readers offered more than 1,200 alternatives to the Democrats’ new slogan, “A Better Deal”: The party needs to offer a positive, inclusive, empathetic message. Variations of “We the People” and “The Real Deal” were especially popular.

Democratic leaders, are you listening?

“We’re With You: We’re Democrats” We’ve got to identify with the voters and show empathy. And we’ve got to shake off the label “elitist.” We, too, work, pay our bills, worship, love our families and respect the Constitution. The slogan is upbeat and rings true to our history […]

First interned, then left behind

Heart_Mountain_Relocation_Center,_Heart_Mountain,_Wyoming._

Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 drew the United States into World War II and spawned a massive wave of shock and fear across the country. It also prompted the U.S. government to round up and send more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans to internment camps.

Scholars have long studied this dark chapter in American history and its denial of basic freedoms, but until recently little was known about the long-term economic effects on the lives of the people who were interned, their businesses, homes, and possessions hastily left behind.

Harvard economist Daniel Shoag and Nicholas Carollo, a Ph.D. candidate in economics […]

The myth of the American Dream

economic mobility

The American Dream is supposed to mean that through hard work and perseverance, even the poorest people can make it to middle class or above. But it’s actually harder to move up in America than it is in most other advanced nations.

It’s easier to rise above the class you’re born into in countries like Japan, Germany, Australia, and the Scandinavian nations, according to research from University of Ottawa economist and current Russell Sage Foundation Fellow Miles Corak.

Among the major developed countries, only in Italy and the United Kingdom is there less economic mobility, according to Corak.The research measures […]

Race gaps in SAT scores highlight inequality and hinder upward mobility

CCF_20170201_Reeves_1

Taking the SAT is an American rite of passage. Along with the increasingly popular ACT, the SAT is critical in identifying student readiness for college and as an important gateway to higher education. Yet despite efforts to equalize academic opportunity, large racial gaps in SAT scores persist. The great score divide

The SAT provides a measure of academic inequality at the end of secondary schooling. Moreover, insofar as SAT scores predict student success in college, inequalities in the SAT score distribution reflect and reinforce racial inequalities across generations.

In this paper, we analyze racial differences in the math section […]

This Is the Wrong Way to Fight Inequality


So first, the good news: The notion that income inequality has caused harm in America has finally broken into the hubs of elite opinion. The sort of socio-political tastemaker who not so long ago denied the problem, has moved on to dissembling about it instead. That’s progress, of a sort. DREAM HOARDERS: HOW THE AMERICAN UPPER MIDDLE CLASS IS LEAVING EVERYONE ELSE IN THE DUST, WHY THAT IS A PROBLEM, AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT by Richard ReevesBrookings Institution Press, 240 pp., $24.00 Dream Hoarders, a book by Brookings senior fellow Richard Reeves, is the latest entry into […]

Escaping Poverty Requires Almost 20 Years With Nearly Nothing Going Wrong

A man cleans up confetti while surrounded by tourists in Times Square in New York.

A lot of factors have contributed to American inequality: slavery, economic policy, technological change, the power of lobbying, globalization, and so on. In their wake, what’s left?

That’s the question at the heart of a new book, The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy , by Peter Temin, an economist from MIT. Temin argues that, following decades of growing inequality, America is now left with what is more or less a two-class system: One small, predominantly white upper class that wields a disproportionate share of money, power, and political influence and a much larger, minority-heavy (but […]

These Groups Help Young French Immigrants Gain Social Mobility


In France’s beleaguered suburbs, grassroots organizations are picking up the slack and working towards a more equitable society

Despite having the highest welfare spending in the EU, France’s meritocratic approach to social mobility has faltered. Children of blue collar workers have a 10 percent chance of landing white collar jobs, and according to an Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report , it’s harder for young French immigrants to move up the social ladder than anyone else. While the state pays for education, healthcare and unemployment benefits, it has failed to foster equal economic opportunity to tackle its […]

Social Mobility in Israel Is High – but Only for Some

Studies show that Arabs in Israel today fare better than the previous generation did. File photo: Arab-Israeli tech workers.

Studies show that Arabs in Israel today fare better than the previous generation did. File photo: Arab-Israeli tech workers. Do Israelis of Middle Eastern and North African descent still suffer from economic discrimination?

For decades it’s been an issue at the heart of Israeli social and economic policy and the source of political grievances by Mizrahim going back to at least the 1970s.

Two studies, one by the Finance Ministry and the other by the government’s National Insurance Institute, say that although discrimination remains – even into the second decade of the 2000s – it has now become marginal. In fact, […]