Poverty and Prosperity

//Poverty and Prosperity

The Official U.S. Poverty Rate is Based on a Hopelessly Out-of-Date Metric

The poverty rate in the United States fell to 11.8 percent in 2018, according to data released last week by the Census Bureau — the lowest it’s been since 2001. But this estimate significantly understates the extent of economic deprivation in the United States today. Our official poverty line hasn’t kept up with economic change. Nor has

Researchers Say Transparency Could Help Address Income Inequality

A frustration of income inequality, at least for those under the great dividing line, is the attitude from above that somehow poor and lower-income people deserve their lot in life. There's a lack of empathy, according to Lawrence Mitchell, a professor of law who wrote about this a couple of years ago: "The working poor may

The Hard Part of Ending Inequality Is Paying for It

Buried among the storylines about global trade and political intrigue from the G7 summit last month is perhaps the most noteworthy one of all. Business for Inclusive Growth, or B4IG, a coalition of 34 multinational companies with more than 3 million employees and revenues topping $1 trillion, unveiled an initiative to tackle inequality with help from the

Median Retirement Income For Women 42% Lower Than For Men

U.S. households’ retirement difficulties are exacerbated by social inequality, according to a recent report, especially gender inequality—but improving retirement plan design could provide a partial solution. The median annual income for women aged 65 and older is 42 percent lower than that of men, according to “Closing the Retirement Income Gender Gap: The Opportunity Is

The Rich Can’t Get Richer Forever, Can They?

Inequality comes in waves. The question is when this one will break. In 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville, at the age of twenty-five, was sent by France’s Ministry of Justice to study the American penal system. He spent ten months in the United States, dutifully visiting prisons and meeting hundreds of people, including President Andrew Jackson

Is rich people’s excessive income about to strangle the economy?

There is an economic warning sign which has gone off before every recession going back to the 1960s (and only delivered one false positive). It's called a yield curve inversion — and it just happened on Wednesday. Gulp. Now, this doesn't guarantee a recession, of course. Even going back that far, we're only talking about

High levels of income inequality make the public less cooperative

In a new study led by IST Austria, researchers have investigated the effects of income inequality on the public’s willingness to cooperate and show support for public goods and services such as taxes, healthcare, and education. While too much inequality was found to be far from beneficial, the team also determined that complete income equality did not produce

Living homes for all

Why we need affordable housing After this year of bleak climate reports and unprecedented wildfires, the need for a regenerative built environment has never been clearer. The need for affordable housing is similarly clear and dire. At least ten cities and the entire state of Hawaii have for years been in a formally declared State of Emergency

2019-08-16T07:07:01-05:00Tags: |

Income Inequality Is The Party Spoiler As Social Security Turns 84

Social Security is celebrating its 84th birthday on August 14. The program has shown its staying power and importance for middle-class economic security over the decades. Its benefits are particularly important for workers, who face economic insecurity during their careers. And the chance of that happening has gone up in the past four decades. At the same

Ending Poverty by Creating Job Opportunities

It’s no surprise that there is a direct correlation between a country’s economy and its poverty rate. Higher economic growth in a country correlates to lower poverty rates. This is because higher economic growth creates enough jobs to help citizens stay above the poverty line. Research done on a variety of developing countries shows that

2019-08-10T09:02:32-05:00Tags: |

52 ideas that changed the world – 9. Fairtrade

Fairtrade in 60 seconds Fairtrade is a movement based on the principle that farmers and workers in poorer countries deserve fair prices for their produce and labour. It champions decent working conditions in the developing world, and long-term sustainability both for communities and the environment. The largest group in the movement is Fairtrade International, which

2019-08-12T03:29:43-05:00Tags: |

The Double Whammy: Housing and Income Inequality

America today faces a two-headed problem: economic inequality and housing inequality. The former has soared to heights not seen since the Gilded Age. The latter, as home prices spike in coastal superstar cities and lag in much of the country’s middle, has become a main feature of our divided, winner-take-all geography. The two phenomena are

Changemakers: social enterprise pioneer offers a green light out of poverty

How do you measure poverty? Ask Martín Burt, founder of deprivation-busting programme Poverty Stoplight. The model is now used in 27 countries around the world, using in-depth questionnaires and a traffic light system to help families pull themselves out of poverty. The Stoplight has been used by 120,000 households across the globe, and Burt is keen

Stanford profs: U.S. income inequality is only getting worse. Now what?

The U.S. economy hit a historic high in 2018, and today unemployment is at its lowest rate in five decades. Yet wage growth for the vast majority of Americans has stalled, and more people are struggling to afford housing, healthcare, education, and other basics. “Times are good if you are college educated and working in

Surprising gender disparity in work-life balance

The concept of work-life balance and its relation to the satisfaction that individuals and groups express regarding the quality of their lives have attracted the attention of policy makers, labor economists, and others. Life satisfaction is central to the general happiness and health of a society or nation. In a new study published in Journal

2019-07-28T06:10:28-05:00Tags: |

Health equity is declining as income inequality grows, JAMA study shows

As income inequality worsens in America, the health of its less-fortunate patients continues to decline, according to a new study conducted by researchers with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The study, published this month in JAMA Network Open, collected survey data from the CDC from 1993 to 2017, which included 5.5 million Americans

What Does America’s Top 5% Think About Income Inequality?

It has been said that there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. Well, there's no lying about the growing income inequality in America. In 1965, America's top 1% controlled about 10% of the nation's after-tax income. That number has now grown to over 15%. The average CEO-to-worker pay ratio has increased

A plan to fix inequality would target CEOs who make 100 times more than their employees

America is riven by enormous income inequality. Should Silicon Valley’s very richest pay to make that better? That’s the question behind an intriguing and politically timely new proposal that San Francisco lawmakers plan to put before voters next spring and that could lead to similar efforts across the country: A second-of-its-kind attempt to tax the companies

Social inequality more impactful on well-being than income inequality

Boston Consulting Group’s Sustainable Economic Development Assessment (SEDA) suggests that the correlation between well-being and social equality is stronger than that between income equality and well-being. Likewise, those individuals in countries with high levels of social equality tend to be happier than those without. SEDA makes an objective measurement of well-being by examining and analyzing