Tag Archives: poverty

ELI5:Why has the response to rising economic inequality been reducing taxes for the rich?


There’s​ a lot of debate around the income inequality issue, so what I’m about to say will upset some people, but this is one side of the debate.

Have you ever heard the saying "it takes money to make money"? Well, the problem with high taxes is that it doesn’t actually make the super rich poorer, because they have so many tools for avoiding taxes or hiding their money. Besides, even if they paid a 50% tax, half of $1 billion is still $500 million. Aka, still uber-rich. In reality, high taxes on the rich only really makes it more […]

Where the American Dream Lives and Dies


An intersection in Otero County, Colorado. 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 […]

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 […]

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.

Keith Bedford / Reuters 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 […]

Counties Where the American Dream Is Dead


The expectation that children born in the United States will do better than their parents is the bedrock of the American dream. Rates of upward income mobility have fallen sharply in recent decades, however, and in some areas they are close to zero.

According to recent research on intergenerational mobility, the percentage of children who grow up to earn more than their parents is down from approximately 90% of children born in 1940, to 50% of children born in the 1980s.

Economic research organization The Equality of Opportunity Project considered average incomes of 26-year olds raised in the bottom quartile in […]

Payments, Cash and Geographic & Economic Mobility


Right now there is a lot of talk about allowing more geographic mobility to enable more economic mobility–in other words, easing immigration restrictions. There is powerful evidence that enabling more migration ( internal and external ) would be a powerful tool to fight global poverty.

But there is a different kind of geographic and economic mobility that is worth thinking about–the geographic and economic immobility of cash.

A just-for-fun project to track the movement of specific dollar bills as they move from place to place and person to person has yielded very interesting data on this issue in the United States. […]

Crisis in reverse

David Paul Morris / Bloomberg files</p&gt<p&gtCutline here (this is San Francisco BTW).</p&gt

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Advertise With Us Previous eras saw populations fleeing urban centres — now they’re coming back

David Paul Morris / Bloomberg files In The New Urban Crisis Richard Florida, an American University professor and current director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto, compellingly and convincingly defines the problems facing today’s cities and their suburban counterparts.During the "old" urban crisis of the 1960s and 1970s, the suburban exodus left city centres hollowed out, poor and crime-ridden. Now, according to Florida, we face the "new" crisis in which the technology, knowledge and creative workers are returning and […]

From the departments of overkill and “what are they afraid of?”: Lawmakers advance anti-union constitutional amendment


In 2017, there can be no doubt that North Carolina is one of the most hostile states in America to labor unions. In a time in which corporate greed already reigns supreme and corporate-sponsored politicians have been waging an unrelenting and frequently successful war on working people and their families, generally, the union movement in North Carolina is a small and beleaguered cause. Though it is often enormously creative, plucky, and determined and doing great things for all working people in the state (not just the tiny fragment of the workforce it represents officially), the North Carolina union movement […]

Colby ’20: Internship inequities


The conclusion of spring semester is, for many, a joyous moment. For others it signals an impending deadline to find a summer internship. Even with this deadline mere weeks away, for many Brown students, summer internship prospects remain uncertain. The emphasis that recruiters place upon experience gained through internships means that the hunt for such opportunities begins as early as freshman year. After all, students who begin looking for jobs as seniors will have a tougher time than students who have significant experience under their belts by the time they graduate. But, as it turns out, there are substantial […]

The American Dream is both real and at risk.


This fundamental paradox – that today is a good time and a challenging time to be a young person in America – is at the heart of Our Work.

Many young people are better off than ever before in America. High school graduation is at an all-time high, and teen pregnancy is at a historic low. More young children are in preschool, and fewer teens are using drugs and alcohol. More young people are graduating college, and fewer young people are in prison. But many young people still face enormous challenges. Just over 12 percent of youth are not in […]