Tag Archives: wealth

What income inequality looks like across Australia

With affordable houses increasingly out of reach , wage growth slow and household debt high , Australians are certainly feeling poor. But how do they compare to their neighbours? New Census data confirms there’s a lot of variability in income.

The Census breaks the country up into 349 geographic regions (named in quote marks below), some of which cover more than one major town and some of which group related suburbs within cities. We examined 331 of these regions, excluding those containing fewer than 1,000 households.

The data show there are high levels of income inequality within these regions. A simple […]

Why do we think poor people are poor because of their own bad choices?

Cecilia Mo thought she knew all about growing up poor when she began teaching at Thomas Jefferson senior high school in south Los Angeles. As a child, she remembered standing in line, holding a free lunch ticket. But it turned out that Mo could still be shocked by poverty and violence – especially after a 13-year-old student called her in obvious panic. He had just seen his cousin get shot in his front yard.

For Mo, hard work and a good education took her to Harvard and Stanford. But when she saw just how much chaos and violence her LA […]

Where you were born could impact your economic success: study

Calgary skyline.

Calgary skyline. If you were born in Alberta, Saskatchewan and southwestern Ontario, you have a better chance of breaking out of poverty, according to a new study.

The study by the Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Global Working Group found these areas were associated with lower poverty and less inequality.

The study’s author, University of Ottawa economics professor Miles Corak, said that in Alberta, people who were born wealthy were also the most likely to retain that wealth. A map of Canada illustrates the impact your geographical location has on intergenerational economic mobility. Researchers used data from Statistics Canada to analyze […]

Meet Camille Busette, new director of the Race, Place, and Economic Mobility Initiative

Camille Busette, Senior Fellow, Director of Place, Race, and Economic Mobility

Camille Busette I’m Camille Busette , I’m a senior fellow in Governance Studies and I head up the new Race, Place, and Economic Mobility initiative here at Brookings.

Q: Where did you grow up?

A: I grew up in a variety of places actually, which I think has made me very much who I am. I was born in Los Angeles. I grew up in New York City, and then toward the end of high school my family moved to Sacramento, California where I finished up high school; and then I went on to University of California, Berkeley for […]

Is it inequality of income we care about — or inequality of opportunity?

Is it inequality we care about, or inequality of opportunity? (Michael Williamson/The Washington Post) Inequality may well be the issue of our time. But is it inequality of income we care about, or inequality of opportunity? And what is opportunity — the opportunity to do better than our parents, or better than ourselves at an earlier age, or does it mean doing better relative to everyone else? Can some of us get wealthier without making others poorer? Would inequality recede if we just had more economic growth?

These questions animate two new books. One is “ Dream Hoarders: How the […]

What accelerates upward economic mobility in USA?


Marketplace (American Public Radio) presented findings from Harvard and Berkeley economists that studied the relationships between what people are taxed in each USA county, what services they get back, and whether children end up wealthier than their parents (inter-generational prosperity).

Where you are born has a big effect on whether you will prosper more than your parents. Intergenerational mobility (DARKER counties have LOWER mobility)

Darker counties have lower intergenerational economic mobility. Why do the South and the Midwest have such lower mobility, meaning that if you were born into a poor family, you are much more likely to remain poor, […]

Lancet Reports on Inequality of US Healthcare

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The UK-based, 1823-founded Lancet is the oldest, best known, and highly respected medical journal.
In early April, it examined the effects of racial discrimination, mass incarceration, economic inequality and lack of universal healthcare as factors in declining US health outcomes. Affordability puts proper care for serious illnesses increasingly out of reach for tens of millions. The Lancet explained a growing survival gap between rich and poor Americans – a difference of up to 15 […]

Rhetoric & Reason: The health of nations

The U.S. political system faces a monumental challenge to its capacity fight off parasitic disease in the form of the Republican Party’s attempt to dismantle Obamacare and use the proceeds to enrich its biggest donors. Historically, it is rare for democracies to establish a widely beneficial entitlement, then to have a major political party attempt to simultaneously roll back those services and redistribute resources to the most affluent members of society, intentionally exacerbating inequalities that have been growing for decades.

It is all the more ironic given that the president of the United States, who campaigned on the claim that […]

The happy fewWhy the 20%, and not the 1% are the real problem

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 Reeves. Brookings Institution Press; 196 pages; $24.

WHICH of America’s social fault lines is most dangerous? Race remains as wide a rift as ever. Supporters of Bernie Sanders seethe at the richest 1%. Donald Trump won office exploiting the cultural chasm between an urban, cosmopolitan America and the rest. But if America’s woes are rooted in the inaccessibility of the American dream, the increasingly impenetrable barrier around those who manage to […]

We can’t improve social mobility when working class children’s only inheritance is austerity

The government’s latest social mobility report fails to address core problems Yet another government report on social mobility falls short of identifying the real problem with modern Britain – rapid growth in inequality since 1979 ongoing austerity since 2010.

The report, Time for Change , has charted two decades of failure and few successes. It points to how new divides across English regions, between social classes and between generations have fragmented society further.

Governments from New Labour onwards have sought to promote social mobility and meritocracy in the face of rising inequality in incomes, wealth, opportunities and life chances, proposing solutions […]