Tag Archives: skills

Considering New Solution to Global Income Inequality

Image: Iker Velasquez Holds US Flag in Washington on May 18th. Source: The Associated Press.

Global income inequality has gotten a lot of attention in recent years. The gap between the world’s haves and have-nots is increasing; the persistent disadvantage that some individuals face violates the fundamental intuitions of fairness and justice.

High and sustained levels of inequality, especially inequality of opportunity, can significantly undermine individuals’ ability to achieve their potential and contribute to global development. Global instability, in the form of economic turmoil, natural disaster, and war, also disproportionately impacts individuals in developed countries and contributes to global inequality. Modified immigration policies, or even temporary work programs, would do more to reduce global inequality […]

The Barriers To Success And Upward Mobility For First Generation Students And How To Fix The Problem

On March 6, 1860, Abraham Lincoln remarked , "When one starts poor, as most do in the race of life, free society is such that he knows he can better his condition; he knows that there is no fixed condition of labor, for his whole life." Later that year, he was elected to the presidency.

President Lincoln’s words in that speech showcased the American value of upward mobility. In sharp contrast to other western nations of the time, the United States was not married to a traditional caste system. Because of this shared ethos, the United States was — and […]

Restoring America’s Economic Mobility

Frank Buckley
Author, The Way Back: Restoring the Promise of America Frank Buckley is a Foundation Professor at Scalia Law School at George Mason University, where he has taught since 1989. Previously he was a visiting Olin Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School, and he has also taught at McGill Law School, the Sorbonne, and Sciences Po in Paris. He received his B.A. from McGill University and his LL.M. from Harvard University. He is a senior editor of The American Spectator and the author of several books, including The Once and Future King: The Rise of […]

New report finds Americans lack economic mobility, opportunity

HARI SREENIVASAN: A report on poverty published on Thursday found a striking lack of economic mobility in America, that 43 percent of Americans born into families in the bottom fifth of the economic ladder are stuck there as adults, while 40 percent born in the top fifth stay there.

The data was part of Opportunity, Responsibility and Security: A Consensus Plan for Reducing Poverty and Restoring the American Dream. It was a partnership between two think tanks from different sides of the ideological spectrum, the Brookings Institute and the American Enterprise Institute.

And as part of our series on poverty called […]

Do Occupational Licenses Exacerbate the Prison-to-Poverty Pipeline?

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Expert argues that occupational licensing reform will unlock the economic potential of former prisoners.

After she had served a year in prison, returned to school, and earned her nursing degree, the state of Illinois denied Lisa Creason the chance to become a licensed nurse because of her prior conviction. In August 2016, however, Creason stood by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner as he signed a new law that would allow her, and other former inmates, a second chance to earn a living as a nurse.Nevertheless, despite Illinois’ progress in this area, workers around the country continue to face barriers to […]

The Ben & Jerry’s of Medieval Times

A painting of a meeting in the year 1520 between King Henry VIII of England and King Francois I of France

A painting, done in the 19th century by Friedrich Bouterwek, of a 1520 meeting between King Henry VIII of England and King Francois I of France Profits and public-mindedness are often at odds. A business’s aim is to make money, and most of the time, concerns about social good are secondary at best, frequently touted for public-relations purposes.

One exception is benefit corporations, companies that explicitly set out to do right by their workers, society, and the environment. The nomenclature is relatively new—the first companies to be officially certified as “B Corps” received the title in 2007 , and many […]

This American Town Was Left to Die, and Suddenly Economists Care

Suppose a bunch of economists were to show up in the Virginia town of South Boston to preach the benefits of free trade. How would local people react?

In an old, red-brick tobacco warehouse near the Dan River, W.W. “Ted” Bennett Jr. ponders the question. The former state delegate looks over his shoulder, squints a bit, then says with southern understatement: “I think it would be pretty rough.”

After decades of hewing to free-market fundamentalism on everything from trade to deregulation, mainstream economists are waking up to the distributional consequences of the policies they’ve championed. In towns such as South Boston, […]

Trump is right: Americans need to move where the jobs are

In this Jan. 28, 2017, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump speaks on the phone with Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) President Trump said something last week that deserves a lot more attention. Americans “are going to have to start moving," Trump said in his interview with The Wall Street Journal (Politico leaked the full transcript of the exchange this week).

He’s right.

Americans aren’t packing up and moving like they used to. Mobility is at an all-time low , according to the Census Bureau, which has […]

Race gaps in SAT scores highlight inequality and hinder upward mobility


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 […]