Economic Inequality

America’s terrible racial wealth divide is undermining the middle class

America is heading toward “a racial and economic apartheid state.” As the country becomes more diverse, today’s wealth gaps between whites and non-whites are poised to grow unless government policies helping people build personal wealth are reformed. That is the takeaway from a dramatic new report, “The Road to Zero Wealth,” co-authored by the Institute for Policy

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

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

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: |

Economic Inequality and the Future of Democracy: Tracking the Conversation

When talking about the “hollowing out of the middle class,” the data bears repeating. In our nation today, half the working population earns less than $35,000 per year. Despite increasing productivity over the last 40 years, wages have not risen; in fact, the largest portion of that increased wealth has gone to the top 20 percent,

Wealth disparity and brain development

Female teenagers living in neighbourhoods with wide salary gaps and a low-income household show changes to their brain maturation that could indicate a higher risk of developing mental illness in adulthood, suggests a recently published study by Canadian researchers. The research, led by Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute (RRI), found that female adolescents in these living

2017-08-23T08:15:14+00:00 Tags: |

Smartphone tracking shows fear affects where youth spend time

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Youth spend less time in their neighborhoods if area residents have a high fear of crime, according to a new study that used smartphones to track kids’ whereabouts. Researchers found that adolescents aged 11 to 17 spent over an hour less each day on average in their neighborhoods if residents there were

2017-08-15T07:27:43+00:00 Tags: |

If We Care About Inequality, We Must Confront Capital

The top of society extracts nearly $5 trillion every year without working for it. The United States is an enormously wealthy country. In 2015, total household wealth stood at $71.3 trillion.  This is equal to $220,000 per person, or $880,000 for every family of four, if the wealth was distributed evenly throughout society. The owners of

Exposure to inequality reduces support for ‘millionaire’s tax’

Can exposure to inequality influence whether people support proposals such as the so-called “millionaire’s tax”? The answer is yes, but not in the direction many might think, according to a new Harvard study. The study, conducted by Melissa Sands, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Government at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences,

2017-07-31T08:58:52+00:00 Tags: |

How Income Inequality Makes Economic Downturns Worse

Not only has income inequality surged in the United States and other advanced nations over the past couple of decades, it is worse in America’s largest, densest, most innovative and knowledge based cities and metro areas. High levels of inequality carve deep divides in our nation and its cities, lead to fraying social ties, rising

2017-07-19T03:59:26+00:00 Tags: |

Significant racial and ethnic disparities still exist, according to Stanford report

Despite improvements in education, social mobility and many critical areas, large racial and ethnic disparities still exist – and are sometimes even increasing – for other important outcomes, according to a recently published Stanford report that examined racial and ethnic disparities in the United States. The Center on Poverty and Inequality’s “State of the Union,”

2017-07-05T18:29:58+00:00

Growing isolation of poor helps explain changes in concentrated poverty

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Concentrated poverty — neighborhoods where 40 percent of the population or more lives below the federal poverty level — is back on the rise for all races in the United States, according to Penn State demographers. Growing residential separation and isolation of the poor in American metropolitan areas, as well as

2017-06-25T08:51:48+00:00 Tags: |

America is a world leader in health inequality

The divide between health outcomes for the richest and poorest Americans is among the largest in the world, according to a new study. Of people in households making less than $22,500 a year, 38 percent reported being in poor or fair health in a survey taken between 2011 and 2013. That's more than three times the rate

Significant racial and ethnic disparities still exist, according to Stanford report

Despite improvements in education, social mobility and many critical areas, large racial and ethnic disparities still exist – and are sometimes even increasing – for other important outcomes, according to a recently published Stanford report that examined racial and ethnic disparities in the United States. The Center on Poverty and Inequality’s “State of the Union,”

2017-06-17T12:04:44+00:00 Tags: |

Globalization Boosted Income Inequality, Study Says

Globalization's rise in recent decades has widened income inequality in the U.S. while padding executives' pockets, according to a study put out by the National Bureau of Economic Research that directly links globalized commerce with the country's prominent wage gap. Researchers from the University of Colorado–Boulder and Williams College in Massachusetts surveyed executive compensation at

Researchers have answered a big question about the decline of the middle class

America is getting richer every year. The American worker is not. Far from it: On average, workers born in 1942 earned as much or more over their careers than workers born in any year since, according to new research — and workers on the job today shouldn’t expect to catch up with their predecessors in

Is It Worth It to Try to Get Rich People to Realize They’re Lucky?

How do you get people with power and resources to care for the less fortunate? That’s a key question in politics and psychology, and the short answer is: “It’s hard.” Generally speaking, people who are doing well in life are benefiting from whatever’s going on at the moment and are unlikely to want to change

2017-05-07T08:29:57+00:00 Tags: |

Inequality is getting worse, but fewer people than ever are aware of it

Inequality in America is on the rise. Income gains since the 1980s have been concentrated at the top. The top 10 percent today take home 30 percent of all income, and control over three-quarters of all wealth. We have returned to the level of income inequality that marked the Great Depression of the 1920s and