Income inequality in the United States has been a major flashpoint during the 2016 presidential election, with much debate focused on whether America is divided between “the 1 percent” who make up the wealthy elite and the lagging middle and working classes.
Despite appearances to the contrary, this year’s presidential follies have managed to feature at least a few policy discussions amid all the name-calling. Income inequality in particular has animated voters on both sides of the partisan divide, but the solutions advocated by candidates from each party are markedly different.
The tax cuts for the rich proposed by the two leading Republican candidates for the presidency – Donald Trump and Ted Cruz – are larger, as a proportion of the government budget and the total economy, than any tax cuts ever before proposed in history.
In 1983, the National Commission on Excellence in Education published A Nation At Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform, which documented widespread academic underachievement at every level, concluding:
The association between life expectancy and postcodes, neighbourhood locations or train stations has been demonstrated in many different locations around the world. These include London and Glasgow in the UK and across the US including California.
These south side Chicago “explorers” had never seen anything comparable to the legendary Union League Club. The esoteric artwork, luxurious decor, and dapper club members were a far cry from the neighborhood where the group of African American teenagers grew up. And there was no mistaking the reaction on members’ faces: There goes the neighborhood.
America’s children are starting to recover from the worst effects of the Great Recession, although some ill effects remain, a comprehensive study on child well-being reports.
Health disparities are common in developed countries, including the United States, but at what age those inequities take root and how they vary between countries is less clear.
In what’s becoming an annual occurrence, we’re in the midst of a highly publicized debate over the lack of diversity among the Oscar-nominated performers and filmmakers. Outside groups, including the NAACP, are up in arms. Several celebrities – some of them Academy members – have announced their intention to boycott the big night.
A public health researcher explains why life expectancy in the United States is falling, and it has to do with income inequality rising.
The idea of a basic income for every person has been popping up regularly in recent years. Economists, think tanks, activists and politicians from different stripes have toyed with the idea of governments giving every citizen or resident a minimum income off which to live. This cash transfer could either replace or supplement existing welfare payments.
Post-apartheid South Africa provides ample evidence of the debilitating trajectory of the microcredit movement. The expansion of microcredit and the informal microenterprise sector was one of the policy responses of the first democratically elected government.
We just learned America’s rental affordability crisis is as bad as it’s ever been. Unfortunately, it’s about to get a whole lot worse.
The great American middle class has become an anxious class – and it’s in revolt. Before I explain how that revolt is playing out, you need to understand the sources of the anxiety.
Increasing poor families’ income can significantly improve their children’s psychological well-being, according to new research.
Women cardiologists often earn less than men—even when taking into account the different types of work they do—a new study suggests. Further, the ranks of women cardiologists remain disproportionally small compared to those in medicine overall.
A "Jubilee" initiative in Cincinnati aims to wipe out the debts of the city's poorest people. Theologian Walter Brueggemann explains the idea's biblical foundations.
Ben Carson has now overtaken Donald Trump in the national polls as the GOP front-runner. As a black man, I’m not at all sure how I should feel about this.
Much of the national debate about widening inequality focuses on whether and how much to tax the rich and redistribute their income downward.
The digital divide in Australia is narrowing as more people become internet users. Three billion people globally are online today, with some eight new users every second.
With Trevor Noah debuting as host of The Daily Show, much of the conversation has centered on the 31-year-old South African’s race and age.
The Supreme Court twisted a 1925 law to undermine the interests of citizens, employees and small business. Companies, of course, hire arbitration firms that rule in favor of companies.
Pope Francis’ revolutionary encyclical addresses not just climate change but the banking crisis. Interestingly, the solution to that crisis may have been modeled in the Middle Ages by Franciscan monks following the Saint from whom the Pope took his name.
A recent OECD report has shown that income inequality has increased in the majority of OECD countries – and in some, at historic speed.
None of us alive today had any direct involvement in slavery in America, but we continue to be affected by its legacy and could even be perpetuating it in subtle, everyday ways. One of the ways the legacy of slavery manifests is through the school system.
For a new study, researchers measured telomere length of poor and moderate-income whites, African-Americans, and people of Mexican descent in Detroit neighborhoods to determine the impact of living conditions on health.
The push for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is reaching its final stages as the House of Representatives will soon take the key vote on fast-track trade authority which will almost certainly determine the pact’s outcome
Although it has been over 60 years since the Brown v Board of Education decision, black students are still more likely to receive out-of-school suspensions for minor violations of the code of conduct. As a result, they are more likely to drop out of school or enter the juvenile justice system.
We might be living longer than ever before, but the government’s plan to keep older people in the workforce may not be that easy. The predictions are that by 2055 the nation will have a population of 39.7 million people with the number of people aged 65 and over expected to double, a testament to healthier lifestyles and medical science.
On the steps of the city courthouse, a monument to equality and the rule of law, Baltimore residents have learned how dreams can be brutally deferred. There, the property of the city’s poor and working families has been, by order of the court, auctioned to the highest bidder.
Here’s a game to play over dinner. One person names a profession that they believe can’t be taken over by a machine, and another person has to make a case why it’s not so future-proof. We played this game on an upcoming episode of SBS’s Insight on the topic of the future of robots and artificial intelligence.
After working a computer job on Wall Street for three years, Mason Wartman wanted to try something new. He opened Rosa’s Fresh Pizza in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Little did he know that his pizza shop would soon help feed local homeless people and receive global attention.
Many believe that poor people deserve to be poor because they’re lazy. As Speaker John Boehner has said, the poor have a notion that “I really don’t have to work. I don’t really want to do this. I think I’d rather just sit around.”
On rare occasions, a book frames an issue so powerfully that it sets the terms of all future debate. Robert Putnam’s Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis may do just this for the growing gulf between America’s rich and poor.
Franchisees, consultants, and free lancers, construction workers, restaurant workers, truck drivers, office technicians, even workers in hair salons. What they all have in common is they’re not considered “employees” of the companies they work for. They’re “independent contractors” – which puts all of them outside the labor laws, too – contributing directly to low pay, irregular hours, and job insecurity.
There are two million home care workers in the United States. They change diapers, administer medications, bathe and dress people and transfer the immobile from one place to another.
A major milestone on the road to ridding Africa of polluting and dangerous kerosene lamps has been passed with the sale of solar lights reaching 1.5 million. Many of the 600 million people who are still without electricity in Africa rely on home-made kerosene lamps for lighting − putting themselves in danger from fire, toxic black smoke, and eye damage.
How would you like to live in an economy where robots do everything that can be predictably programmed in advance, and almost all profits go to the robots’ owners?
After 30 years, the practice of paying every resident—including children—at least $1,000 has made Alaska one of the least unequal states in America. Here's what the rest of us can learn.
It’s time to pay attention to a startling stealth killer. What’s the leading cause of death in low- and middle-income countries?
Hollywood films that depict American history deeply influence our sense of national identity. Films that portray Civil Rights and Black Freedom history are particularly important.
Jobs are coming back, but pay isn’t. The median wage is still below where it was before the Great Recession. Last month, average pay actually fell. What’s going on?
One of the big end of the year sports news items was Jim Harbaugh leaving the San Francisco 49ers to become head football coach at the University of Michigan.
The conventional image of suburbia is one of bland affluence and social homogeneity. Suburbs are where the middle classes aspire to make their nests. They are the idealised safe havens for raising children and growing old. They are where white people migrate to flee ethnic diversity.
Let me tell you about this one stretch of Hillsborough Road in Durham, North Carolina. It’s between two freeways, just a short drive from the noble towers of Duke University, and in the space of about a mile, you will find a McDonald’s, a Cracker Barrel, a Wendy’s, a Chick-fil-A, an Arby’s, a Waffle House, a Bojangles’, a Biscuitville, a Subway, a Taco Bell, and a KFC.
It’s no secret that the global population is ageing. We’re living longer than ever and are healthier until much later in life. But we’re still struggling to adapt to this changing demographic – and some are struggling more than most.
Contrary to the dire predictions of opponents, the minimum-wage hike won’t cost Seattle jobs. In fact, it will put more money into the hands of low-wage workers who are likely to spend almost all of it in the vicinity. That will create jobs.
Since June 30 2014, all UK employees have been granted the right to request flexible working. It is clearly an important step in the battle to achieve some form of balance between our work and non-work lives, but it looks like a tricky battle. Research still shows that there are gaps between the idealised outcomes and realities...
Having poor people in the richest country in the world is a choice. We have the money to solve this. But do we have the will? Inequality and poverty are suddenly hot topics, not only in the United States but also across the globe.
The summer employment rate for U.S. teens held steady at around 50% from 1950 to 2000, but began to decline dramatically in the 21st century. By 2009, it had fallen below 33%. The decline has been most pronounced for more educated and economically advantaged teens.
The pertinent question is not whether income and wealth inequality is good or bad. It is at what point do these inequalities become so great as to pose a serious threat to our economy, our ideal of equal opportunity and our democracy.
One of the worst epithets that can be leveled at a politician these days is to call him a “redistributionist.” Yet 2013 marked one of the biggest redistributions in recent American history. It was a redistribution upward, from average working people to the owners of America.
America has a serious “We” problem — as in “Why should we pay for them?” The question is popping up all over the place. It underlies the debate over extending unemployment benefits to the long-term unemployed and providing food stamps to the poor.
America’s savage inequality is the main reason equal opportunity is fading and poverty is growing. Since the “recovery” began, 95% of the gains have gone to the top 1 percent, and median incomes have dropped. This is a continuation of the trend we’ve seen for decades. As a result...
Last year, when Maryland lawmakers refused to act on bills to raise the state’s minimum wage to $10, Prince Georges and Montgomery Counties joined the District of Columbia to create the first regional minimum wage compact at $11.50 an hour
While it is hard for the time being as consumers to avoid the big boys altogether, we can pick those that are responsible good citizens, live by the golden rule, and who treat their employees humanely. In the end we all live cooperatively whether we choose to accept it or not...
Usually it is better to assume the best of people for it really is difficult to know what is in someone's heart. That said many in the modern Republican "conservative" party show every sign of being either mentally challenged, guilty of projection with increasing regularity, or they are just intentionally deceiving anyone who is listening with a blank mental slaten.
Wealth of half the world’s population now the same as that of tiny elite. Wealthy elites have co-opted political power to rig the rules of the economic game, undermining democracy and creating a world where the 85 richest people own the wealth of half of the world’s population, worldwide development organization Oxfam warns in a report published today.
As a 2013 study in the American Journal of Public Health indicates, even those who have deep knowledge in this area and work directly with the homeless often have difficulty assessing patterns and needs. Further, the problem’s deep and sometimes hidden causes, the diversity of stories of those affected, and the often-invisible nature of life on the streets complicate attempts to quantify the true size and nature of the homeless population
In 2007 members of the homeless community in Olympia, Wash., erected a tent city in a downtown parking lot to protest the lack of services and support. Predictably, the city government responded with arrests and shutting down the encampment
What must be understood is that mental bandwidth is a limited resource which is used for everything. So what happens if we can make some things, like banking, easier for the poor ?
Fifty years ago this week, President Lyndon B. Johnson launched his "war on poverty," which led to many of the federal and state initiatives low-income Americans rely on today
Although it’s still possible to win the lottery (your chance of winning $648 million in the recent Mega Millions sweepstakes was one in 259 million), the biggest lottery of all is what family we’re born into. Our life chances are now determined to an unprecedented degree by the wealth of our parents.
This week, Reich joins Moyers & Company to discuss a new documentary film, Inequality for All, Reich, who Time magazine called one of the best cabinet secretaries of the 20th century, stars in this dynamic, witty and entertaining
Yesterday a Walmart spokesman criticized the petition I’ve been circulating that asks Walmart (and McDonalds) to pay their employees at least $15 an hour. Walmart’s spokesman told the Huffington Post that my petition fails to mention that Walmart is a major job creator and that it promotes some of its employees.
A 2012 report from the Pew Research Center, “The Lost Decade of the Middle Class,” surveyed nearly 1,300 Americans who identified with this income tier and found pervasive gloominess: 85% said it was “more difficult” for “middle class people to maintain their standard of living” compared to a decade ago.
Congress is in recess, but you’d hardly know it. This has been the most do-nothing, gridlocked Congress in decades. But the recess at least offers a pause in the ongoing partisan fighting that’s sure to resume in a few weeks. It also offers an opportunity to step back and ask ourselves what’s really at stake.
Why is the nation more bitterly divided today than it’s been in eighty years? Why is there more anger, vituperation, and political polarization now than even during Joe McCarthy’s anti-communist witch hunts of the 1950s, the tempestuous struggle for civil rights in the 1960s, the divisive Vietnam war, or the Watergate scandal?
In 2008, payday lenders suffered a major defeat when the Ohio legislature banned high-cost loans. That same year, they lost again when they dumped more than $20 million into an effort to roll back the law: The public voted against it by nearly two-to-one. But five years later, hundreds of payday loan stores still operate in Ohio, charging annual rates that can approach 700 percent.
As President Obama heads to Phoenix today to tout the "housing recovery," journalist Laura Gottesdiener examines the devastating legacy of the foreclosure crisis and how much of the so-called recovery is a result of large private equity firms buying up hundreds of thousands of foreclosed homes.
The U.S. unemployment rate in July was 7.4 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported, down 0.1 percent from the month before. A separate survey reported businesses claimed to create a net of 162,000 new jobs last month. That left the U.S. with 11.5 million people officially unemployed, 263,000 fewer than in June. But the official jobless rate understates the problem.
Research shows that destroying jobs is an essential component of the retail giant’s anti-worker business model. Does Walmart create jobs? That question is at the heart of the debate currently raging over its plans to open stores in Washington, DC.
Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize-winning Columbia University economist, and author of "The Price of Inequality," talks with Melissa Harris-Perry about the plight of low-wage workers in America and how the stagnation of working-class wages in the United States has eliminated a consumer class that is needed to keep the economy active.
Americans are segregating by income more than ever before. Forty years ago, most cities (including Detroit) had a mixture of wealthy, middle-class, and poor residents. Now, each income group tends to lives separately, in its own city'
What’s less well-known is that you and I and other taxpayers are subsidizing this sky-high executive compensation. That’s because corporations deduct it from their income taxes, causing the rest of us to pay more in taxes to make up the difference.
A scheme to reduce emissions from polluting factories in China’s richer provinces by imposing limits on them has resulted in shifting mucky plants to less prosperous places with fewer rules.
Jobs are returning with depressing slowness, and most of the new jobs pay less than the jobs that were lost in the Great Recession.
Cenk Uygur and “The Young Turks” producer Hermela Aregawi examine a recently released ACLU report on marijuana use and arrests. The report shows that although use among white and black Americans is comparable, black Americans are four times more likely to be arrested on marijuana charges. “If that’s not racist, I don’t know what it is,” concludes Cenk.
Hardly a day goes by that Congressional hypocrisy is not on display. It seems it knows no bounds as these modern-day reverse Robin Hoods are ravaging the middle-class and poor and filling the already bulging pockets of their benefactors with riches beyond their wildest dreams.
Anyone who wants to understand the dis-uniting of America needs to see how dramatically we’re segregating geographically by income and wealth
How to Make a Million Dollars an Hour: Why Hedge Funds Get Away with Siphoning Off America's Wealth, joins Thom Hartmann. Hint - It has to do with Cheating.
We’re now witnessing what happens when all of the economic gains go to the top, and the rest of the population doesn’t have enough purchasing power to keep the economy going.
Income inequality is on display in Silicon Valley. There is no shortage of brain power there, so something else must be at play. Greed perhaps? Certainly apathy.
In an attempt to fend off its on-line competitor Amazon, Wal-mart reaches for the final pinnacle of employee abuse. No pay at all.
“Capitalism is a system geared up to doing three things on the part of business: get more profits, grow your company and get a larger market share… If along the way they have to sacrifice either the well-being of their workers or the well-being of the planet...”
It's time to start calling our oligarchs what they are - oligarchs. And tax cheats. And people who have corrupted our politicians, our media, and our market-based economic system.
For Pope Francis I to help the poor, it will take more than Jesuits running soup lines -- although those do help. This pope will need to call the bankers of the world to heel for their sins against humanity.
Prominent Democrats — including the President and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — are openly suggesting that Medicare be means-tested and Social Security payments be reduced by applying a lower adjustment for inflation.
Not only has it been a bad decade for the middle class, it has been a bad run of 30 years. The GOP has been in control most of that time and when they weren't directly in control they hamstrung the two Democratic presidents Clinton and Obama whenever they could. That was often, and it left the public with only a pseudo champion...
Attorney Mike Papantonio, Ring of Fire Radio, joins Thom Hartmann. Obama says he wants a "grand bargain." But at what cost?
Venezuelans revered Hugo Chavez for the same reason that officials here in the U.S. hated him - and why we should be taking a page out of the Chavez playbook in tonight's Daily Take...
The Republican Party makeover is breathtaking. Now, suddenly, instead of accusing Democrats of being “redistributionists,” the GOP is posing as defender of the middle class against corporate America — and it’s doing so by proposing to do away with the most progressive piece of legislation in well over a decade.
Increases in the minimum wage, just like wage gains by unions, indirectly raise the wages of other workers all around them even if they are not directly affected. Or as the old GOP trickle down mantra: wage gains or rising tides "raise all boats". Except they are referring to people at the top of the income heap.
Chris Hedges gave this talk in Brooklyn at the People’s Recovery Summit.
WASHINGTON POST - Tech, telecom giants take sides as FCC proposes large public WiFi networks. The federal government wants to create super WiFi networks across the nation, so powerful and broad in reach that consumers could use them to make calls or surf the Internet without paying a cellphone bill every month.
THE ATLANTIC - In most places, being ranked by a prominent magazine among the wealthiest people in the country constitutes a great honor. Not in China.
DEMOCRACY NOW - The new documentary, "Fire in the Blood," examines how millions have died from AIDS because big pharmaceutical companies and the United States have refused to allow developing nations to import life-saving generic drugs.