By GEORGE PACKER Thirty years ago, the old deal that held US society together started to unwind, with social cohesion sacrificed to greed. Was it an inevitable process – or was it engineered by self-interested elites? In or around 1978, America’s character changed. For almost half a century, the United States had been a relatively […]
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By REBECCA STRAUSS Averages can be misleading. The familiar, one-dimensional story told about American education is that it was once the best system in the world but that now it’s headed down the drain, with piles of money thrown down after it. The truth is that there are two very different education stories in America. […]
Watch this important important documentary about money, power and the American Dream. Park Avenue. It’s part of the Why Poverty? series, a project that uses film and new media to get people thinking about poverty and solutions. Learn more about the series at the Why Poverty?website.
By Timothy Noah Most recent discussion about economic inequality in the United States has focused on the top 1 percent of the nation’s income distribution, a group whose incomes average $1 million (with a bottom threshold of about $367,000). “We are the 99 percent,” declared the Occupy protesters, unexpectedly popularizing research findings by two economists, […]
Mette Hoffman Meyer is documentary executive at the Danish Broadcasting Corporation and executive producer of Why Poverty? Why Poverty? consists of eight documentaries dealing with aspects of poverty. The films were shown around the world in November 2012 on more than 70 national broadcasters. In her talk Mette will focus on the value of asking […]
THOUGH yesterday’s employment report revealed a slowly improving job market, the jobless rate is still elevated, at 7.5 percent, with 11.7 million people looking for work, including 4.4 million who have been doing so for at least half a year. About eight million more were stuck in underemployment (“involuntary” part-timers) last month, unable to find […]
The number of Americans receiving federal disability payments has nearly doubled over the last 15 years. There are towns and counties around the nation where almost 1/4 of adults are on disability. Planet Money’s Chana Joffe-Walt spent 6 months exploring the disability program, and emerges with a story of the U.S. economy quite different than […]
By MARGARET SULLIVAN Poverty was in the news last week, with the coverage of Pope Francis’ attention to poor people worldwide, particularly those in his home country of Argentina. It raises a question: Given the extreme poverty in the world and in the United States, how much media attention does the subject get in a […]
By THOMAS B. EDSALL There are three ways of defining poverty in America: the official Census Bureau method, which uses a set of income thresholds that vary by family size and composition; an experimental income-based method called the Supplemental Poverty Measure that factors in government programs designed to help people with low incomes; and a […]
Viral Video Shows the Extent of U.S. Wealth Inequality The issue of wealth inequality across the United States is well known, but this video shows you the extent of that imbalance in dramatic and graphic fashion. The video, which started going viral on Friday and whose traffic continues to climb on YouTube — reflects the […]
Immigration Reform and Worker’s Rights Members of Congress and President Obama have been working in earnest to deliver on their promise to overhaul immigration this year. Mr. Obama would clearly prefer a bipartisan bill, and last week the Senate Judiciary Committee held its first hearing on possible changes in immigration law. News reports last weekend […]
Prison and the Poverty Trap Washington — Why are so many American families trapped in poverty? Of all the explanations offered by Washington’s politicians and economists, one seems particularly obvious in the low-income neighborhoods near the Capitol: because there are so many parents like Carl Harris and Charlene Hamilton. To continue reading check out the […]
President Obama’s second Inaugural Address used soaring language to reaffirm America’s commitment to the dream of equality of opportunity: “We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American; she is free, and […]
Thank you everyone for the amazingly successful Kickstarter campign!