Tag Archives: poverty

Inequality crisis: Blacks and Latinos on the road to zero wealth

636408365034009201-housing-prices.JPG

No savings, investments or home equity. This economic dystopia looms for minority families, and so does a choice: Do we want America to be more like Brazil or Canada?

What would U.S. society be like if a majority of families had no wealth – no savings, no home equity, no investments of any kind?

That is exactly where the country is headed if we continue on our current path toward economic dystopia for black and Latino families.While we celebrate a modest reduction in poverty rates and an encouraging uptick in median income , as disclosed in this week’s Census report, […]

Good News, Wages Are Up For The Second Consecutive Year


Since the Great Recession, the ongoing concern has been that the recovery has not been evenly distributed in the aftermath as wages have not kept up with the post-Recession economic growth.

New data out of the Census Bureau may go some distance to quiet those fears, as it seems the wages of workers are catching up with the growth trend.

The recovery, according to the census, may have shifted some in the last 18-24 months — and that shift may be putting more money in the average American working family’s coffers.According to the Census Bureau, median household income jumped for the […]

Census data and income inequality


Eight years after the end of the Great Recession, more of America’s poorest families are beginning to emerge from poverty, suggesting that the effects of a booming job market and an expanded safety net may finally be helping the country’s most vulnerable residents. Census data released today show that the number of people living in poverty has finally returned to pre-recession levels, with poverty declining for all ethnic groups.

This doesn’t mean poverty is anywhere near disappearing in America: There were still 40.6 million people in poverty last year, and the poverty rate was 12.7 percent, down from 13.5 percent […]

Millennial workers got the biggest pay bump in 2016. Here’s why that helps everyone.

Young households saw more than three times the income gains of everyone else — here’s why that matters. There’s good news for U.S. workers: Real median household income grew to $59,039 in 2016, a 3.2% increase over the previous year, according to the Department of Commerce’s latest Census figures released Tuesday.

This is the second consecutive annual increase in income, a sign that typically indicates a burgeoning economy, though department officials reiterated on a conference call that a change to the Census questionnaire in 2013 makes historical comparisons difficult. However, the report did detail other wins for American workers, particularly […]

New Census Data Shows More Americans Emerging From Poverty


Families wait in line for free back-to-school supplies from a nonprofit in Los Angeles Eight years after the end of the Great Recession, more of America’s poorest families are beginning to emerge from poverty, suggesting that the effects of a booming job market and an expanded safety net may finally be helping the country’s most vulnerable residents. Census data released today show that the number of people living in poverty has finally returned to pre-recession levels, with poverty declining for all ethnic groups.

This doesn’t mean poverty is anywhere near disappearing in America: There were still 40.6 million people in […]

U.S. News rankings driving economic inequality on campus

campus inequality

Credit: Flickr, Cristopher Allen.

Earning a college degree used to be a proven way to climb the social mobility ladder but a new Politico investigation suggests universities all over the United States are reinforcing existing wealth.

According to the Equality of Opportunity Project , the country’s elite universities such as Yale or Princeton admit more students coming from families whose earnings are in the top one percent than the bottom 60 percent combined. Writing for Politico, Benjamin Wermund argues that the U.S. News rankings are at least partly to blame for this situation. These rankings rely on criteria which reward […]

The subtle ways colleges discriminate against poor students

A few years ago, hundreds of college administrators received a survey in the mail. It was designed to figure out what they believed it takes to succeed in college.

The survey listed 12 skills that colleges generally expect students to develop, but the administrators were asked to pick the five most important.

You can do the same exercise below:What the researchers didn’t tell the administrators is that half of these expectations represented independent norms, and the other half represented interdependent norms.And these administrators had a clear bias. (See how your biases compare by filling out the quiz above.)They had a bias […]

How Civil Asset Forfeiture Reduces Economic Mobility

How Civil Asset Forfeiture Reduces Economic Mobility

Income mobility in the United States has stagnated, a fact that hurts the poor most of all. If President Trump wishes to keep his promises to help low-income Americans escape poverty, he should instruct his administration to jettison, rather than expand, non-criminal asset forfeiture.

Non-criminal asset forfeiture lets government agents seize Americans’ assets (cash, but also cars and even houses) on the mere suspicion that they were involved in a crime. Asset forfeiture is intended to deprive criminals of their ill-gotten gains, but frequently enables police to take the property of Americans who remain innocent in the eyes of the […]

Finding the “American Dream” in rural America

Top 15 rural U.S. counties for social mobility

An assumed characteristic of the “American Dream” is that it applies universally to all Americans, regardless of where they are born or whether their hometown is a bustling metropolis or sleepy rural town.

However, new research from Brookings Senior Fellow Richard Reeves and Eleanor Krause , a senior research assistant in the Center on Children and Families at Brookings, suggests this might not be the case, particularly across rural America. Achieving upward “absolute intergenerational mobility”—or growing up to be better off than your parents—is still difficult for many Americans. While some rural communities appear successful at bolstering opportunity, others exhibit […]

Close the growing economic divide by teaching two generations at once

Joey Denoncourt teaches during his second grade class at College View Elementary.

Joey Denoncourt teaches during his second grade class at College View Elementary. When I showed up to tour the Center for Family Opportunity at College View Elementary in Southwest Denver, the Bayaud Enterprises laundry truck was in the parking lot. Bayaud was there to clean students’ clothes, on site, for free.

It never occurred to me students are more likely to skip a day of school if they don’t have clean clothes. It didn’t immediately strike me that a mounting dirty laundry pile could distract a family from the critical learning that takes place at home. But here at College […]