Tag Archives: working class

Economic Inequality and Health Inequality are Inextricably Linked

Economic Inequality And Health Inequality Are Inextricably Linked

Economic Inequality And Health Inequality Are Inextricably Linked The devastation to struggling small towns and cities of Appalachia and the Northeast unleashed by the opioid epidemic has brought renewed attention to the connection between the physical health of individuals and the economic health of their communities. Indeed, the opioid crisis is an especially pernicious example of the many national-scale public health challenges that disproportionately affect economically distressed places throughout the country.

Our organization, the Economic Innovation Group (EIG), works to shed light on the socioeconomic fault lines dividing American communities. We recently cross-walked county-level measures of economic well-being from EIG’s […]

Are we really that woke?


The culture wars have been at the center stage of our political discourse for some time now, and it’s about time we contextualize them. While it is true that people voted for Trump due to cultural anxiety , they also did so out of a deep dissatisfaction with the so-called “ establishment ”.

Their political choices may be misplaced, but the anger of these voters is not unfounded—the system has failed them. The U.S. has the highest inequality of any developed country and a staggering lack of economic mobility . Despite what some may assert, our politicians are largely to […]

Dream Hoarders

If you’re looking for a passive-aggressive Christmas gift for your upper middle class friends, whatever their politics, you could do worse than 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 . I have to admit that, despite the fact that my poverty-researcher friends have been recommending Richard Reeves to me for a long while, I read it sooner than I might have otherwise because of this Observer piece , drawn from the book, which discusses one of the arguments in my […]

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 […]

The Gentrification of City-Based Sitcoms


You might remember this TV show about how a group of homies got along with each other and with urban life in New York City. The characters were all in their 20s and 30s, and some of the guys in this group shared an apartment together. Some of the ladies in the group shared an apartment, too, in the same building as the guys. There was occasional romantic tension between some of the male and female buddies, and some of them even morphed into real romantic couples. There seemed to be no real point to this show other than […]

Leveraging new data can help low-income students climb the economic ladder, writes Michael Lawrence Collins.


iStock/erhui1979

The story we tell ourselves about upward income mobility is unraveling. The majority of respondents to a New America survey felt that it is harder than ever to attain a foundational element of the American dream, in which children earn more than their parents. But most respondents still believe another tenet of the American mobility narrative: that going to college creates upward mobility.

While it is true that college graduates do better in our economy than nongrads, earnings from different college degrees vary considerably. For low-income students in particular, not all college degrees are equally valuable. These and other recent […]

Why Won’t TV Show People Who Aren’t Rich?

Part of the cast of ABC

This year marks the final season of what might be the most underappreciated sitcom on TV, ABC’s “The Middle.” It’s a single-camera show about an Indiana family—the title refers to its character’s Middle-American, middle-class existence—and unlike the edgy comedies and tear-jerker dramas that dominate awards time, its humor is unapologetically middlebrow. But “The Middle” is charming, appealing and funny, in no small part because it has another distinction: It’s one of a precious few shows on TV today that focuses, consistently and honestly, on economic anxiety.

If there were ever a time to double down on stories of the American […]

Free Money: The Surprising Effects of a Basic Income Supplied by Government


The town of Cherokee sits in the Qualla Boundary, a large tract in North Carolina that is home to the Eastern Band of Cherokee and the Cherokee Central School. Skooter McCoy was 20 years old when his wife, Michelle, gave birth to their first child, a son named Spencer. It was 1996, and McCoy was living in the tiny town of Cherokee, North Carolina, attending Western Carolina University on a football scholarship. He was the first member of his family to go to college.

McCoy’s father had ruined his body as a miner, digging tunnels underneath lakes and riverbeds, and […]

The diversity in Edward Enninful’s new British Vogue isn’t just about skin color


The first issue of British Vogue under editor in chief Edward Enninful, starring model Adwoa Aboah. The December 2017 issue of British Vogue —the first full issue under new editor in chief, Edward Enninful, hit newsstands today, and it has been heralded worldwide for its diversity of representation, from contributing editors such as supermodel Naomi Campbell to contributors including author Zadie Smith and pop star Zayn Malk.

But there is another, less obvious social issue that Enninful, who spent six years as style director of W and spearheaded the sold-out Black Issue of Italian Vogue, is addressing: social mobility, which […]