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Ending Learning Poverty: A Target to Galvanize Action on Literacy

At a school in Malawi, students are enjoying play time at recess. Unfortunately, sometimes recess lasts all day because the teacher doesn’t come to work. In a classroom in Armenia, students are receiving grades for their ability to repeat memorized text, with textbooks dominating the learning process rather than teacher instruction and innovation, leaving graduates

2019-11-16T08:31:43-06:00Tags: |

Democratizing Economic Power to Break the Cycle of American Inequality

The US democracy crisis is not only a matter of voting; it is also a deeply economic crisis. The sharp and growing imbalance between the wealthy and the rest of Americans dramatically alters how public policy itself is formulated—and what those policies ultimately look like. American politicians and policymakers are consistently more responsive to the

Why US Inequality Is Higher Than Europe’s

Since 1980, income inequality has exploded in the United States, while remaining much less extreme in Europe. Yet each side of the Atlantic could learn from the other in tackling the problem, which is as much about predistribution policies as it is about redistribution. Europe’s political forces are divided between those who regard the European

The Finance 202: Why income inequality is such a huge topic

The reason inequality is emerging as a key flash point in the 2020 presidential election may be as simple as this: The gap between the haves and have nots has been growing for three decades and looks to be approaching a tipping point. The situation, and the political debate swirling around it, has grown so acute that Torsten

Does Income Inequality Drive U.S. Mass Shootings?

Communities experiencing growing levels of income inequality are at a heightened risk for mass shootings, according to a study in the upcoming December issue of the BMC Public Health Journal. Although analyses of mass shootings, commonly defined as incidents involving three or more victim-related injuries, usually focus on the troubled mental health of individual shooters, the

Even Inflation Is Worse If You’re Poor

In an era of wild inequality, sputtering wages, and rising rents and health-care costs, the American working class has had one consistent financial respite: “stuff,” broadly defined, is cheap. Sure, workers might not be able to afford a decent apartment, a college education, or sufficient elder care for an infirm relative, or to ever, ever get sick. But burgers, leggings,

The United States of inequality: this timeline will help you keep track of how we got here

Post-World War II America experienced both the continuing benefits of the New Deal and the consolidation of the American labor movement. During this period the wages of the lowest- and highest-paid workers rose together, while the share of the top 10%’s income decreased–validating a growing popular belief that, in John F. Kennedy’s words, “a rising

Is America ready to tackle economic inequality?

Jimmy Wilson, a 49-year-old cook who works at a Detroit bar, is sitting outside on his break and fuming. “This doesn’t affect me at all,” he says, speaking about the Democratic debates streaming on the bar’s TVs. “I still have to go to work in the morning. I still have to pay taxes.” Wilson’s Corktown

Intersections: A Foundation Bets on a “Holistic” Anti-Poverty Model

It’s no secret that poverty in the United States is a profoundly place-based phenomenon. Where children happen to be born and raised affects the course of their futures in deep and sometimes disturbing ways. With that in mind, a growing array of of funders is looking for more holistic means to tackle the factors that

2019-11-04T16:00:50-06:00Tags: |

The Widening Gap Between the Super-Rich and Other Americans

In August 2019, the Economic Policy Institute reported that, in 2018, the average pay of CEOs at America’s 350 top firms hit $17.2 million―an increase, when adjusted for inflation, of 1,007.5 percent since 1978. By contrast, the typical worker’s wage, adjusted for inflation, grew by only 11.9 percent over this 40-year period. In 1965, the ratio of

Nobel honors trio taking an experimental approach to fighting poverty

Economists may not build gigantic atom smashers or gene-sequencing facilities, but they can still perform rigorous experiments. This year’s Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences honors three researchers who pioneered the use of randomized controlled trials to determine how best to ameliorate global poverty. Michael Kremer of Harvard University and Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo,

2019-10-30T08:44:12-06:00Tags: |

Virtual spaces mirror income inequality

Income inequality drives social segregation and polarization not just in urban neighborhoods, but in online communities as well. That is the conclusion of a new paper by the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI) published in Royal Society Open Science. Importantly, this societal fragmentation is more than just the top one percent versus the bottom

Forget Trinkets. These Gifts Change Lives.

’Tis the season when we inflict on one another neckties and perfumes that no one really wants, plus more than $1 billion in gift cards that are never even redeemed. Hence my annual column with suggestions for “gifts with meaning” that are warmer than any scarf. If you insist on a gift certificate, how about one

Answering The Question, ‘How Do You Help People Too Poor For Microloans?’

Upaya Social Ventures is a nonprofit impact investing firm that answers the question, “How do you help people too poor for microloans?” The answer is both easy and challenging: jobs. The presumption of microlending programs often seems to be that everyone can or should be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship is a powerful economic driver, but most people

Made with child labor? Major chocolate companies flunk scorecard

Major chocolate companies such as Godiva, Lindt and Hershey are failing to keep child labor out of their supply chains, according to a new ranking by activists released on Thursday. Godiva was rated the worst, followed by Ferrero and Mondalez on a scorecard of efforts to reduce child labor and deforestation published by the activist

The Richest Americans Are Now Paying a Lower Tax Rate Than the Working Class

If you still happen to be wondering what’s causing the rampant wealth inequality in the United States, here’s a hint: The richest Americans are now paying a lower tax rate than the working class. The revelation is part of an analysis by University of California at Berkeley economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, whose new

Poverty and economic growth: AI

Satellite images reveal enormous amounts of information about oncoming hurricanes, military troop movements and changes to the polar ice cap. Thanks in part to the work of Stanford computer scientist Stefano Ermon, they can also help us understand and ultimately assist impoverished communities around the world. He recently embarked on a two-year study that builds on

2019-10-10T07:31:17-06:00Tags: |

Income Inequality: What Do the Measures Really Tell Us?

You have probably seen the recent headlines saying that U.S. income inequality has reached a 50-year high. They are based on the Census Bureau’s latest report on Income and Poverty in the United States, published last month. The Census Bureau’s data, however, ignore taxes, as well as non-cash benefits such as Medicare. They measure inequality in a hypothetical

Financial Literacy To Tackle The Poverty Problem

On the 17th of October each year, to commemorate the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, people gather to show their commitment to the resolution of poverty and their solidarity with those afflicted by it. With a shrinking economy and rising unemployment, poverty is a growing concern in South Africa and, according to Statistics South

The Racial Wealth Gap Is Not Improving, But We Think It Is

Here's an interesting hypothetical. If you were asked to predict the magnitude of the racial wealth gap in 1963 versus 2016, what would you say? Has it improved, stayed the same, or gotten worse? This was the focus of a new article appearing in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science. Specifically, a team of researchers led by Michael