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Income inequality

Study Of Unionized Newsrooms Finds Gender And Racial Pay Gaps

The median salaries of women and people of color at 14 unionized Gannett newsrooms was at least $5,000 less than those of their male and white colleagues, a new study by the NewsGuild Gannett caucus found. The median full-time salary for women in fall 2020 was $47,390, while the median for men was $57,235, representing a pay gap of $9,845. Journalists of color earned a median salary of $48,006, or $5,246 lower than the median salary for white journalists, $53,252. A team of six volunteers put together the study, which was released Tuesday and includes data for roughly 450 employees from fall 2020. Newsrooms that participated in the study include The Arizona Republic, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and The Indianapolis Star.

US The Only Country That Measures Poverty By Fifty Year Old Measure

For over half a century, the United States has measured income poverty by comparing a family’s income to a standardized dollar amount (a “poverty line”) that varies by family size. For a family of four, this poverty line was initially set at $3,104 in 1963. The current official poverty line — $25,701 for a family of four in 2018 — is simply the base-1963 poverty line adjusted for nothing but inflation over the last 55 years. Today the United States is the only country in the world that measures present-day poverty by using a poverty line set over half a century ago and since then only adjusted for inflation. 

Research Shows Affluent Americans Barely Recognize US Income Gap

A new report from the Federal Reserve highlights the bleak economic prospects for young Americans, concluding that millennials are in much worse financial shape than earlier generations (at the same age) in terms of their relative income and wealth. These findings are not encouraging for those concerned with the problem of growing inequality. Despite the rise of populist anger in President Trump’s USA, inequality received little attention in 2018 from both major parties. But make no mistake, the story of early 21st century US is one of record inequality – and a growing divide between two groups: the haves and the have-nots. 

Ocasio-Cortez’s 70 Percent Top Tax Rate Is Moderate, Evidence-Based Policy

This week Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told 60 Minutes that she believes the U.S. should consider taxing incomes above $10 million at a 70 percent rate. Understand what this means, up to $10 million would be taxed at the lower tax rates, but income above $10 million would be published at a 70 percent tax rate. Her recommendation is consistent with economics and the history of US taxation and should be seriously considered.

CEO Compensation Surged In 2017

This report looks at trends in chief executive officer (CEO) compensation, using two different measures. The first measure includes stock options realized (in addition to salary, bonuses, restricted stock grants, and long-term incentive payouts). By this measure, in 2017 the average CEO of the 350 largest firms in the U.S. received $18.9 million in compensation, a 17.6 percent increase over 2016. The typical worker’s compensation remained flat, rising a mere 0.3 percent. The 2017 CEO-to-worker compensation ratio of 312-to-1 was far greater than the 20-to-1 ratio in 1965 and more than five times greater than the 58-to-1 ratio in 1989

The New Gilded Age: Inequality State-By-State And Local

Income inequality has risen in every state since the 1970s and, in most states, it has grown in the post–Great Recession era. From 2009 to 2015, the incomes of the top 1 percent grew faster than the incomes of the bottom 99 percent in 43 states and the District of Columbia. The top 1 percent captured half or more of all income growth in nine states. In 2015, a family in the top 1 percent nationally received, on average, 26.3 times as much income as a family in the bottom 99 percent. Rising inequality is not just a story of those on Wall Street, in Hollywood, or in the Silicon Valley reaping outsized rewards.

Getting Granular On America’s Income Distribution

Back in the 1980s, the decade that saw researchers start detailing America’s increasing concentration of income and wealth, flacks for the emerging Reagan economic order disdainfully dismissed the significance of the alarming new data. The United States isn’t getting more unequal, the Reaganites pronounced, and the middle class isn’t shrinking. Those economists claiming otherwise, the conservative pushback went, weren’t taking government welfare programs into account. Add in safety-net benefits, conservatives continued, and the increased inequality would disappear. Over on Capitol Hill, researchers at the Congressional Budget Office would eventually put that conservative case to the test. They started producing periodic reports that took all sources of income into account, everything from wages and salaries to food stamps and unemployment benefits...

No CEO Should Earn 1,000 Times More Than A Regular Employee

The CEO of Marathon Petroleum, Gary Heminger, took home an astonishing 935 times more pay than his typical employee in 2017. In other words, one of Marathon’s gas station workers would have to toil more than nine centuries to make as much as Heminger grabbed in just one year. Employees of at least five other US firms would have to work even longer – more than a millennium – to catch up with their top bosses. These companies include the auto parts maker Aptiv (CEO-worker pay ratio: 2,526 to 1), the temp agency Manpower (2,483 to 1), amusement park owner Six Flags (1,920 to 1), Del Monte Produce (1,465 to 1), and apparel maker VF (1,353 to 1). These revelations come thanks to a new federal regulation that requires publicly traded US corporations to disclose, for the first time ever, how much their chief executives are making compared with their median workers.

The United State’s Bizarre Income Distribution For Children

In the Nordic countries, they have relatively few children in the lower class (and even fewer in the extreme lower class). They also have relatively few children in the upper class. But they have big middle classes. Around 65 percent of children in those countries have incomes that are 150% to 300% of the poverty line, which is equivalent to 75% to 150% of the median income. In the US, on the other hand, there is a big lower class that is even larger than the middle class (so defined). And then there is also a relatively large group of children with incomes well above the US median, i.e. rich kids. While the Nordic distribution looks like a bell curve with the overwhelming majority of kids clustered near the middle, the American distribution is a pyramid. If you want to fix this bizarre distribution, the way forward is pretty simple.

No Typo: The Median Net Worth of Black Bostonians Really is $8

The median net worth for non-immigrant African-American households in the Greater Boston region is $8, according to “The Color of Wealth in Boston,” a 2015 report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Duke University, and the New School. This Spotlight seven-part series — which began Sunday — tackles the city’s most vexing question: Does Boston deserve its racist reputation? And to answer just that question, the Globe Spotlight Team analyzed data, launched surveys, and conducted hundreds of interviews. The Color of Wealth in Boston report, which is part of a five-city study looking at wealth disparities among communities of color, was one piece of information that Spotlight examined.

How To Vote The Shares Of A Social Wealth Fund

By Matt Bruenig for Peoples Policy Project - This proposal raises an important question that I do not address in the piece: how will the social wealth fund vote its shares? If the social wealth fund owns the stock of a bunch of companies, that entitles it to vote on things like board members and shareholder resolutions. And so you have to figure out how that voting will be done. From what I have seen in my research on this topic, there are three ways to handle the voting. First, you can choose not to vote at all. This is how Dean Baker and Tony Atkinson answer this question: the social wealth fund should own non-voting shares. This means the fund will collect all of the capital income that its ownership delivers, but will not exert any control. This idea seems odd to me because it implicitly endorses the view that the very rich people who own most of the stocks should be left to exclusively control our corporations. It is fair enough to have worries about how the social wealth fund will vote its shares, but surely you should also have worries about how very rich people already vote their shares. Second, you can have the managers of the wealth fund establish clear voting guidelines that its subordinates then implement on a vote-by-vote basis. This is how Norway does it. They have clearly articulated views on corporate governance, sustainability, and ethical business practices and exercise their voting rights in accordance with those views.

The Boomerang To Republican Tax Cuts & Trumpism

By Peter Bohmer for Counterpunch. The Universal Basic Income(UBI) is getting increasing attention in the United States, in particular from Silicon Valley, and also in many other countries in the world. The idea of the universal basic income is that every resident in a society would get a certain income that’s not attached to their work. The numbers I’m suggesting to start with for the United States are $1,000 a month for each person over 18 and $500 a month for each person under 18. These amounts would increase annually to keep up with inflation and would also rise as productivity increases. To illustrate the idea, let’s take a family of two adults—two parents 18 and over and two children under 18. They would receive $1,000 for each adult and $500 for each child, which would total 3,000 a month. That is $36,000 a year, which is about 1 1/2 times the official poverty line. In addition, it would offer a housing allowance in high rent cities. That’s the basic idea.

Ensuring Equality For All In The Workplace

By Staff of NELP - It has been more than 50 years since the Civil Rights Movement and the passage of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a landmark federal law that prohibits racial discrimination in the workplace. Yet despite decades of struggle, Blacks and other minorities continue to face discrimination in the workplace, perpetuating cycles of inequities that make it difficult to attain success. Whether working full-time or part-time, Black workers earn only three-quarters of what white workers earn. The wage gap is even more pronounced for Black women.[1] Furthermore, almost two in ten Black workers with higher degrees are still earning low wages.[2] These trends may be exacerbated in the coming years, as the Trump administration has already proposed divesting significant financial resources from civil rights enforcement, making rigorous state-level protections all the more critical.[3] In California, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits discrimination in the workplace based on immutable factors such as race, age, and disability. However, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), the agency responsible for enforcing the law, is underfunded, understaffed, and overburdened by the difficult task of being the first line of defense against both housing and workplace discrimination.

Newsletter – Dismantling White Supremacy

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. Last weekend, tens of thousands of people marched in Washington, DC in the combined March for Racial Justice and March for Black Women. Native Americans joined black and brown people to lead the march. At the march, Rev. Graylan Hagler said, “White Supremacy has been given aid and comfort by a so-called president and so-called administration, and so-called leaders of that ideology are comforted and feel that they are back as a centerpiece of American political life.” From coast to coast, it is true that white supremacists are active and are being more visible than they have in decades.

College Rankings Promote Economic Inequality On Campus

By Benjamin Wermund for Politico - Meanwhile, there is no measurement for the economic diversity of the student body, despite political pressure dating back to the Obama administration and a 2016 election that revealed rampant frustration over economic inequality. There is, however, growing evidence that elite universities have reinforced that inequality. Recent studies have produced the most powerful statistical evidence in decades that higher education — once considered the ladder of economic mobility — is a prime source of rewarding established wealth. One report by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation found that kids from the top quartile of income earners account for 72 percent of students at the nation’s most competitive schools, while those from the bottom quartile are just 3 percent. Fewer than 10 percent of those in the lowest quartile of income ever get a bachelor’s degree, research has shown. The lack of economic diversity extends far beyond the Ivy League, and now includes scores of private and public universities, according to the Equality of Opportunity Project, which used tax data to study campus economic trends from 2000 to 2011, the most recent years available. For instance, the University of Michigan enrolls just 16 percent of its student body from the bottom 60 percent of earners.
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