Poverty and Prosperity

//Poverty and Prosperity

Not lovin’ it: how insecure work creates insecure lifestyles for the poorest in society

The claim that Eskimos have 50 words for snow may be apocryphal, but it neatly illustrates the truism that our vocabulary becomes more extensive and nuanced for phenomena we encounter frequently. The bog-standard job of the 20th century was formal, full-time and permanent. Recently the lexicon for other kinds of jobs has expanded. Work can

Shifting School Start Times Could Contribute $83 Billion to U.S. Economy Within a Decade

The RAND Corporation and RAND Europe have released the first-ever, state-by-state analysis (in 47 states) of the economic implications of a shift in school start times in the U.S., showing that a nationwide move to 8:30 a.m. could contribute $83 billion to the U.S. economy within a decade. Even after just two years, the study

2017-09-12T15:58:08+00:00 Tags: |

It’s time to balance the power between workers and employers

Lawrence Summers is a professor at and past president of Harvard University. He was treasury secretary from 1999 to 2001 and an economic adviser to President Barack Obama from 2009 through 2010. The central issue in American politics is the economic security of the middle class and their sense of opportunity for their children. As

2017-09-10T15:01:42+00:00 Tags: , |

How U.S. News college rankings promote economic inequality on campus

America’s universities are getting two report cards this year. The first, from the Equality of Opportunity Project, brought the shocking revelation that many top universities, including Princeton and Yale, admit more students from the top 1 percent of earners than the bottom 60 percent combined. The second, from U.S. News and World Report, is due on

Hookworm, a disease of extreme poverty, is thriving in the US south. Why?

Children playing feet away from open pools of raw sewage; drinking water pumped beside cracked pipes of untreated waste; human faeces flushed back into kitchen sinks and bathtubs whenever the rains come; people testing positive for hookworm, an intestinal parasite that thrives on extreme poverty. These are the findings of a new study into endemic tropical diseases,

Wealth inequality is even worse than income inequality

You probably know the numbers on income inequality by now: The share of all income going to the top 1 percent of Americans now stands at around 20 percent, which is a big and disturbing number. But what about wealth inequality? Income is a relatively straightforward matter of wages and compensation. Wealth is more mercurial: It can be a

Put solar power in the poor’s hands. It’ll pay off for all

Arizona is the sunniest state in the nation. Yet only about 5 percent of the state’s electricity is generated from solar energy. And Arizona added fossil-fuel pollutants faster than any other state between 1990 and 2007, worsening air quality, contributing to climate change and increasing the frequency and severity of forest fires, drought, heat waves

2017-09-07T02:24:20+00:00 Tags: , |

Poverty is at the heart of mental health crisis

We read that there has been a massive increase in calls to the Metropolitan police involving mental health problems, with as many as one every five minutes Report, 29 August). Insp Brown from the College of Police attributes this to cuts in mental health services and of course this will have a clearly adverse effect, but what is the

2017-09-04T04:54:37+00:00 Tags: |

To Understand Rising Inequality, Consider the Janitors at Two Top Companies, Then and Now

Gail Evans and Marta Ramos have one thing in common: They have each cleaned offices for one of the most innovative, profitable and all-around successful companies in the United States. For Ms. Evans, that meant being a janitor in Building 326 at Eastman Kodak’s campus in Rochester in the early 1980s. For Ms. Ramos, that

The Continuing Eclipse of the Organized Labor Movement

On Monday, August 21, there was a total eclipse of the sun. Americans across the nation from Oregon to South Carolina responded with awe and euphoria at the wonder of this spectacular event. Just two weeks later on this upcoming Monday, September 4, Americans across this nation will celebrate Labor Day. There will be little

Equal by Catastrophe

In his new book, Walter Scheidel offers a simple, though jarring, story of how past societies struggled with inequality. The Great Leveler is a cautionary tale to policy makers who believe in economic redistribution as a means to level the playing field. A professor of ancient history at Stanford University, Scheidel’s thesis unfolds in the

2017-08-29T19:44:20+00:00 Tags: |

Energy Poverty Is Much Worse for the Poor Than Climate Change

Some 1.2 billion people do not have access to electricity, according to the International Energy Agency's World Energy Outlook 2016 report. About 2.7 billion still cook and heat their dwellings with wood, crop residues, and dung. In its main scenario for the trajectory of global energy consumption, the IEA projects that in 2040, half a

2017-08-29T07:25:18+00:00 Tags: |

Where do we learn that poverty is shameful and dangerous? At the movies.

Last week, the well-to-do wife of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, former actress Louise Linton, shared a heated exchange on Instagram over photographs of her wearing (and flaunting) expensive clothing brands, where she appeared to insult another woman for having lesser means. Linton, who once gave an interview about the dozens of diamonds and other jewels she would