According to a recent study published by Sage:
The American Dream is supposed to mean that through hard work and perseverance, even the poorest people can make it to middle class or above. But it’s actually harder to move up in America than it is in most other advanced nations. It’s easier to rise above the class you’re born into in countries like Japan, Germany, Australia, and the Scandinavian nations, according to research from University of Ottawa economist and current Russell Sage Foundation Fellow Miles Corak.
Among the major developed countries, only in Italy and the United Kingdom is there less economic mobility, according to Corak. The research measures “intergenerational earnings elasticity” — a type of economic mobility that measures the correlation between what your parents make and what you make one generation later — in a number of different countries around the world.
The New York Times’ article: Millions of Poor Are Left Uncovered by Health Law
By SABRINA TAVERNISE and ROBERT GEBELOFF
A sweeping national effort to extend health coverage to millions of Americans will leave out two-thirds of the poor blacks and single mothers and more than half of the low-wage workers who do not have insurance, the very kinds of people that the program was intended to help, according to an analysis of census data by The New York Times.
Because they live in states largely controlled by Republicans that have declined to participate in a vast expansion of Medicaid, the medical insurance program for the poor, they are among the eight million Americans who are impoverished, uninsured and ineligible for help. The federal government will pay for the expansion through 2016 and no less than 90 percent of costs in later years.
From the NYTimes:
“A study finds the odds of rising to another income level are notably low in certain cities, like Atlanta and Charlotte, and much higher in New York and Boston.
…geography appears to play a major role in making Atlanta one of the metropolitan areas where it is most difficult for lower-income households to rise into the middle class and beyond, according to a new study that other researchers are calling the most detailed portrait yet of income mobility in the United States.
The study — based on millions of anonymous earnings records and being released this week by a team of top academic economists — is the first with enough data to compare upward mobility across metropolitan areas. These comparisons provide some of the most powerful evidence so far about the factors that seem to drive people’s chances of rising beyond the station of their birth, including education, family structure and the economic layout of metropolitan areas.
Climbing the income ladder occurs less often in the Southeast and industrial Midwest, the data shows, with the odds notably low in Atlanta, Charlotte, Memphis, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Columbus.
By contrast, some of the highest rates occur in the Northeast, Great Plains and West, including in New York, Boston, Salt Lake City, Pittsburgh, Seattle and large swaths of California and Minnesota.”
Read the entire article here.
A Mayor’s call for attention, for protest, for solidarity:
Newark Mayor Cory Booker rescued a neighbor from a burning building, invited Hurricane Sandy victims to his home, and rushed to the aid of a pedestrian hit by a car. Now he’s going to live on a food stamp budget for a week in solidarity with Americans who feed their families on the government assistance program.
The mayor’s office has yet to announce the full details of his plan, but the budget should amount to about $4.44 a day for food, based on data from the United States Department of Agriculture.
As of fiscal year 2011, average monthly food stamp benefits in New Jersey totaled $133.26 per person.
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton underwent the same experiment in September, on a budget of $4.16 a day and kept a daily journal on Facebook. Here’s part of his entry from Day 4.
So I’m surviving on an apple and handful of peanuts, and the coffee I took to the office until dinner. I’m tired, and it’s hard to focus. I can’t go buy a sandwich because that would be cheating – even the dollar menu at Taco Bell is cheating. You can’t use SNAP benefits at any restaurants, fast food or otherwise. I’m facing a long, hungry day and an even longer night getting dinner on the table, which requires making EVERYTHING from scratch on this budget. It’s only for a week, so I’ve got a decent attitude. If I were doing this with no end in sight, I probably wouldn’t be so pleasant.
Booker plans to live off the food stamp budget for a week, starting Tuesday, December 4, and he will document the experience on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. He signed on to the project after a back-and-forth conversation with Twitter user @MWadeNC.
Some of his tweets:
We have a shared responsibility that kids go to school nutritionally ready 2 learn RT @MWadeNC nutrition is not responsibility of the gov’t
RT @MWadeNC why is there a family today that is “too poor to afford breakfast”? are they not already receiving food stamps?
Lets you and I try to live on food stamps in New Jersey (high cost of living) and feed a family for a week or month. U game?@MWadeNC
The mayor is now using the Twitter hashtag #SNAPChallenge to promote the project, after the official name for food stamps — the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
More than one in seven Americans receive food stamps.
For excellent analysis of all the most critical issues to the 2012 U.S. elections in America, see “Campaign 2012” of the Pew Research Center.
- Are Americans better off today? Well, they’re not worse off. And partisanship has much to do with their view: “Republicans consistently rate their personal finances more positively than do Democrats or independents, largely reflecting Republicans’ higher average income levels. But the gap has narrowed since the start of the recession in December 2007, as Republicans have come to view their financial situations less positively.”
- In a word: Obama has gone from “inexperienced” and “change” in 2008 to “good/good man” and “trying/tried/tries” in 2012. Romney? “honest,” “businessman,” “rich.”
- Tax hikes on those making $250,000 a year? 44% say it would help economy, 22% say hurt, and 24% say no difference.
There’s much more on the website, including the latest voter polls.
To promote independent student research, the class project for the University of Warsaw class, “Social Stratification and Mobility” was the creation of webpages in the website: The Inequality Project.
The Inequality Project has separate webpages, each a research project by a different student.
The website is free for the world to enjoy.