Tag Archives: skills

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 […]

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 […]

Meetup, It’s the growing wealth inequality, duh

What each country leads in. http://thedoghousediaries.com/5414

What each country leads in. http://thedoghousediaries.com/5414 Though our deaths by lawn mower lead is probably safe, the United States is stagnating, lagging and falling behind in many areas. Any tenuous connection between the status of the US and racial or gender movements have been disproven by trends since the great recession. The most likely explanation for our plight is the 4 decade long giveaway to upper income brackets in the guise of supply-side or trickle-down economic policies pushed by Republicans.

All of the information herein is readily available and most of it has been widely reported. There will be a […]

The Lines That Divide America


Think of waiting in a long, slow-moving line, like the security lines at an airport. What’s your emotional reaction when you see someone cutting ahead of you, or shifting into a faster-moving line that you are not allowed to join? What if you are pulled aside for extra questioning, for no apparent reason?

Lines can bring fairness and order to what might otherwise be a free-for-all. There’s even a science, called queuing theory, that examines the optimal ways to make lines move equitably and efficiently. But they don’t always work that way; sometimes, they can operate to institutionalize unfairness and […]

These are the worst places to grow up poor in Britain

Were you born in one of the best (or worst) places in the country for social mobility? 1

Social and economic inequality has become one of the defining characteristics of our time. In fact, the gap between rich and poor (around the world and in the UK) defines the modern economy. It can potentially explain some of the reasoning behind the Brexit vote, the success of populists like Donald Trump and why more and more people are looking to politicians like Jeremy Corbyn for radical solutions.

Now a report from the UK’s Social Mobility Commission has highlighted the ‘spiral of ever growing’ regional inequality across the country. The study looked into factors such as education and housing to […]

Is Technology Causing Increased Income Inequality?


In recent years, the rate of productivity growth, both in the US and in every major economy worldwide, has slowed. At the same time, and particularly in the US, we’ve seen an increase in income inequality, with the top 1 percent seeing increased income while compensation for median-wage workers has been close to flat for decades. Are these two trends related? Or are there other factors at play?

This was the subject of several presentations at a conference I attended at the Petersen Institute for International Economics .

Since I have recently heard a number of economists debate the implications of […]

Germany is no poster child for economic growth


German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a plenary session of Germany’s Parliament. Berlin, Nov. 21. (Michael Kappeler/DPA/AP) Marcel Fratzscher is president of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) and professor of macroeconomics and finance at Humboldt University of Berlin.

BERLIN — Can you guess the country to which the following facts apply? Economic growth and wage growth have been below average over the past 20 years. More than one in five people have only temporary, low-wage or marginal jobs. Social and political polarization is increasing. Wealth inequality is among the highest of Western countries, and the government is […]

Won’t Get Fooled Again: Malcolm Harris’s “Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials”


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THE WORD “millennial” was first pressed into service as a noun in 1991 by William Strauss and Neil Howe in their book, Generations: The History of America’s Future, 1584 to 2069 . (Strauss had, by the time of the book’s publication already left an indelible mark on American culture: in 1981, he helped to found The Capitol Steps, the live performance troupe that delivers light political satire through mildly bawdy musical parodies drawn from the American songbook — e.g., “Papa’s Got a Brand-New Baghdad,” “Springtime for Liberals,” “Unzipping My Dooh Dah.”)

Strauss and Howe introduced the term […]

Keeping the American Dream Alive


Download report (PDF) This is a guest post by NLC President Matt Zone, councilmember, Cleveland.

The promise of economic mobility and opportunity lies at the heart of America’s culture and democratic society. At its core, this promise hinges on two basic concepts: first, that everyone has a chance to improve their economic status and wellbeing through personal initiative and hard work; and second, that the benefits of economic growth reach all population groups.

The American Dream, as it is so often called, has never been fully realized in every era and for every segment of society but it has been […]

Most Iowa wages have stagnated. But the rich keep getting richer.

Wages1.jpg

Grant and Katelyn Hobin work multiple jobs to pay off student loans while they wait to have a family. Buy Photo When her coworkers ask her to join them for a lunch out, Katelyn Hobin often declines, choosing to pinch pennies where she can.

A Des Moines social worker, Hobin never expected to be rich: She earned a liberal arts degree from a private college and entered a notoriously low-paying profession.

But she also never expected to find herself here.At 32, she’s still paying off student loans. Both she and her husband, Grant, a teacher, have part-time jobs in addition to […]