Tag Archives: poverty

Barriers to Mobility: Understanding the Relationship between Growth in Occupational Licensing and Economic Mobility


By Brian Meehan, Edward Timmons, and Andrew Meehan

Is the American Dream still alive? Researchers at the Equality of Opportunity Project produced a new data set tracking economic mobility and note that the percentage of children earning more than their parents has fallen from more than 90% for children born in the 1940s to 50% for children born in the 1980s. [i] A recent report from the Archbridge Institute, however, notes that the picture may not be so bleak. [ii] Poverty rates in the United States today are much lower than they were in the 1950s. [iii] Too often, though, […]

San Antonio Area: Toxic Inequality – Confronting the Racial Wealth Gap

Join San Antonio Area AFN and renowned sociologist Dr. Thomas M. Shapiro to discuss the ideas and findings in his new book, Toxic Inequality: How America’s Wealth Gap Destroys Mobility, Deepens the Racial Divide, and Threatens Our Future .

Since the Great Recession, most Americans’ standard of living has stagnated or declined. Economic inequality is at historic highs. But inequality’s impact differs by race; African Americans’ net wealth is just a tenth that of white Americans, and over recent decades, this gap has continued to widen. In our increasingly diverse nation, Shapiro argues wealth disparities must be understood in tandem […]

Why the Solutions to Economic Mobility Are Local


In 1940, 92 percent of kids in America could grow up to do better than their parents, economically-speaking. Today, that’s just 50 percent. The American Dream, in other words, comes down to a coin toss. This issue, it turns out, really comes down to the neighborhood inequalities.

“While this is a daunting national trend, its roots are really at the local level,”says Raj Chetty, an economist at Stanford University, speaking at CityLab Paris , an annual convening of city leaders. And because each locale has its own constellation of problems dragging down its residents, solutions need to be data-driven and […]

Education Isn’t the Key to a Good Income

A man climbs a ladder.

One of the most commonly taught stories American schoolchildren learn is that of Ragged Dick, Horatio Alger’s 19th-century tale of a poor, ambitious teenaged boy in New York City who works hard and eventually secures himself a respectable, middle-class life. This “rags to riches” tale embodies one of America’s most sacred narratives: that no matter who you are, what your parents do, or where you grow up, with enough education and hard work, you too can rise the economic ladder.

A body of research has since emerged to challenge this national story, casting the United States not as a meritocracy […]

Asia’s New Politics of Outrage


Stunning mini-revolutions have erupted in recent months in two of the world’s largest Muslim countries. The first shock came in Indonesia, where a little-known group of activists led a mass protest against the Christian governor of Jakarta. Accused of disrespecting the Prophet, the governor, a close ally of the country’s president Joko Widodo, is now in prison . In Pakistan in late November, another pop-up political outfit besieged the capital city Islamabad, forcing the government to concede to all their demands, which included the harsh implementation of blasphemy laws.

Neither country suffers from a scarcity of laws aimed at detractors […]

N.C. Senators vote to ignore the poor, serve the rich


Richard Burr and Tom Tillis voted enthusiastically last week for the Senate tax bill. No hesitation on the home front. The North Carolina boys are all in for the McConnell-Trump knavery.

Burr and Tillis know, or should, the following. The United States is the wealthiest country on earth. It also has higher poverty, and especially, child poverty rates than any other advanced nation. It has the advanced world’s greatest income inequality – the largest gaps between rich and poor. It has among the worst economic mobility rates – if you’re born poor here, you are more apt to stay that […]

To save the American dream in Texas, focus on providing opportunity


Economy Photo by Shelby Knowles

The American Dream isn’t dead, but in Texas, it needs a dose of medicine. That’s not a political statement, just an objective reading of the data. The data tell us we have work to do if we hope to meet the goals set to help the state continue to thrive economically.

Sure, many parts of the state — mainly the metropolitan areas and, especially, some of the suburbs — continue to thrive. Even Houston is doing fine, despite a prolonged slump in oil prices that dramatically slashed energy payrolls. The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas recently […]

World Bank: Malaysia should focus on middle class’ growing aspirations


KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 5): Malaysia needs to focus on policies that could meet growing aspirations of the huge middle class group in the country, according to a senior World Bank economist during the launch of a report today which she co-authored.

“The policy agenda will need to be tailored to each country’s circumstances…For progressive prosperity countries like Malaysia, which have largely eliminated extreme poverty and fostered a large middle class, the priority is to satisfy the middle class’ growing aspirations, while mobilising resources to address remaining disparities,” said Dr Caterina Ruggeri Laderchi, who co-wrote the report entitled ‘ Riding the […]

Wealth Inequality a Threat to East Asia, Pacific, Says World Bank

A rapidly growing gap between rich and poor in many developing East Asian nations is threatening the foundation for the region’s economic success, the World Bank said Monday.

"The whole basis for East Asia’s success was this sense that everything was fair — you worked hard, you got ahead — but that is beginning to unravel a little bit," said Sudhir Shetty, the bank’s chief economist for East Asia and the Pacific.

Booming economic growth has lifted millions in the region out of extreme poverty since the 1980s, but the wave of prosperity has not guaranteed upward mobility and economic security […]

Wealth Inequality a Threat to East Asia, Pacific, Says World Bank

W460

A rapidly growing gap between rich and poor in many developing East Asian nations is threatening the foundation for the region’s economic success, the World Bank said Monday.

"The whole basis for East Asia’s success was this sense that everything was fair — you worked hard, you got ahead — but that is beginning to unravel a little bit," said Sudhir Shetty, the bank’s chief economist for East Asia and the Pacific.

Booming economic growth has lifted millions in the region out of extreme poverty since the 1980s, but the wave of prosperity has not guaranteed upward mobility and economic security […]