Tag Archives: working class

A country divided by a great gulf


The voters who swung the election remain out of Democrats’ reach, says Harriet Baber

Polar opposites: Trump supporters and opponents argue at Sterling Heights, Michigan, earlier this year WHEN the smoke cleared after the United States presidential election, it was easy to see exactly what had happened: Democrats voted for Democrats, Republicans voted for Republicans, and the white working-class tipped the balance to Trump ( News, 11 November 2016 ).

The question was why. Why did the white working-class vote for Republicans, the party of plutocrats, against their own economic interests?The received view is that they were duped by […]

Without reforms, America’s employment prospects are bleak

Without reforms, America

© Getty Images The American workforce is expected to face multiple headwinds over the next decade, including an aging population, greater automation and continued stratification by skill levels and educational attainment. These challenges — made clear in the Bureau of Labor Statistics recently issued employment projections for America in 2026 — highlight the need to promote greater economic mobility through policies that range from labor law to land-use regulations.

There long have been warnings about American workers’ diverging economic prospects, with middle-skill occupations hollowed-out from the twin disruptions of technological innovation and globalized markets. The BLS report reminds us […]

How bad teeth are at the root of income inequality in Canada

Dental program students work with manikins in the lab at the University of Alberta in Edmonton Alberta, October 11, 2017. (Photograph by Jason Franson)

Dental program students work in the lab at the University of Alberta in Edmonton Alberta, October 11, 2017. (Photograph by Jason Franson) When Bernie Sanders took his well-publicized cook’s tour of Canada’s much-vaunted universal public health care system recently, he wouldn’t have seen a cavity being filled or a root canal performed or a missing front tooth replaced. That’s because most oral health care is exempt from provincial and territorial health-care plans (some dental services are covered by government dental programs, but working-class people lacking employer coverage are on their own).

It’s a glaring omission that’s both illogical and a […]

Inequality and Violence

Austrian historian Walter Scheidel has a new book, The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century . The thesis, according to the reviewers anyway, is that the only thing that can really dent rampant and long-lasting economic inequality is violence. Reduction in inequality has been, writes Scheidel, “only ever brought forth in sorrow”

I have written about this question before, in the context of Thomas Piketty’s study of economic history. It does seem to be true that in times of peace and prosperity the rich gradually get control of a larger […]

Leading Scholars Hold Conference on Race and Inequality in America

Gillian White of the Atlantic responds following a talk by Richard Reeves. Duke Professor Nancy MacLean also participated. Photo by Les Todd

Leading scholars gathered this past Thursday at Duke to discuss ways in which racial rules affect people’s daily lives and what we can do to change them to create a more inclusive economy and society.

The conference on race and inequality in America, hosted by the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity and the Roosevelt Institute, explored the underpinnings of health and wealth disparities in the context of race, looking at issues that go beyond the current national emphasis on the trials of the white working class.

Speakers included Richard Reeves, senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution […]

Executive and professional education

Favelas of Lima, Peru

The institutional and organisational arrangements that reinforce and perpetuate economic inequality over time need to be better understood in order to tackle this growing problem, argues Kamal Munir of Cambridge Judge Business School. Favelas of Lima, Peru Dr Kamal Munir While much attention has recently focused on the prevalence of economic inequality, the real problem, its stubbornness and durability, have largely escaped attention within organisation theorists. This aspect of inequality is now addressed by Kamal Munir in the latest edition of The SAGE Handbook of Organizational Institutionalism , otherwise known as the “bible of institutional theorists”.

The chapter on economic […]

How Our Government Segregated America: An Interview with Richard Rothstein


Historians/History
tags: interview , Richard Rothstein

Erik Moshe is an HNN Features Editor. Richard Rothstein is a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute and a Fellow at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. He lives in California, where he is a Fellow of the Haas Institute at the University of California–Berkeley. He is the author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America (2017).
In your book, The Color of Law , you cite cases and decisions regarding public housing, racial zoning, fear mongering, and many others. […]

Meet the new class traitors who are coming out as rich


They are a minority in this country. Their rituals are often secretive. They have their own lingo, etiquette, schools, neighborhoods, and certain places they visit, seasonally. Typically, they partially hide their identities. But in the last five years, some have started to “come out”, not necessarily in pride but simply out of civic-mindedness. What they are revealing is surprising.

Eric Schoenberg is one of them. “I pay a lower tax rate than you do, which is startling,” Schoenberg, 55, told me. To illustrate this problem, Schoenberg posted portions of his returns online. He wanted to show how much he, a […]

Danbury bucks the trend

In a county, state and country marked by growing income inequality, Danbury stands out.

The Hat City is the least unequal of Connecticut cities over 65,000, and ranks just outside the bottom fourth nationwide, according to data recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau. And in contrast to the state and nation, which grew more unequal over the last decade, Danbury has actually grown less so.

The city is not immune to the factors that contribute to growing income inequality, including the erosion of the middle class in recent years. But that process has been slower in Danbury than elsewhere, and […]

The Hoarding of the American Dream


There’s a certain type of financial confessional that has had a way of going viral in the post-recession era. The University of Chicago law professor complaining his family was barely keeping their heads above water on $250,000 a year . This hypothetical family of three in San Francisco making $200,000, enjoying vacations to Maui, and living hand-to-mouth. This real New York couple making six figures and merely “ scraping by .”

In all of these viral posts, denizens of the upper-middle class were attempting to make the case for their middle class-ness. Taxes are expensive. Cities are expensive. Tuition is […]