Month: May 2011

  • ‘Inequities’ vs. ‘Disparities’: Why words matter

    In a guest post, Daniel Goldberg argues in favour of ethically-charged ways of talking about inequality. The terms we use to describe inequality are important.  They’re important because there are different perspectives about (1) what terms should be used for (2) which referents (3) in which circumstances, and these reveal what is actually at stake.  […]

  • Who benefits from ‘economic growth?’

    For a while now, it’s been recognised that wages for median workers in the US haven’t risen in a generation – but it was sometimes assumed that this was a phenomenon limited to the US. However, a new report released today by the Resolution Foundation – my tip for the most influential UK think-tank over […]

  • Myths around ‘benefit dependency’

    When Beveridge set out his plan for the British welfare state in 1942, ‘idleness’ was one of the five giants that he aimed to slay (along with want, disease, ignorance and squalor).  Somewhere since then, this has been translated into ‘benefit dependency’ – not quite the same thing, as lone mothers and carers can hardly […]

  • Mapping Inequality: Policy Development From the Ground Up

    Dominique Riviere explores the spatial dimensions of urban inequality in Toronto, Canada, and suggests some new ways of thinking about poverty This January, I participated in a meeting with a local Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP), in which my associates and I were trying to convince him to rethink his party’s proposed wage freeze for […]

  • This is Your Brain on Poverty

    Researchers have long observed that children growing up in poverty are at greater risk for cognitive and psychological delays. These early difficulties continue to hinder normal growth throughout childhood and into adulthood, potentially leading to lower academic achievement and perpetuating disadvantage into subsequent generations. To understand the deep physiological basis for poverty and brain development, […]

  • Revisiting American Inequality: Did the Poor Really Get Poorer?

    American income inequality is commonly told as a story of divergence: since the 1970s, the share of income going to the top of income distribution has skyrocketed, while the share of income going to the bottom of the income distribution has seen large declines. Even in absolute terms, there is evidence that incomes for low-wage […]

  • Alcohol and the irrelevance of inequality

    Almost every day, we’re fed another piece of inequality in the news – another example of the gap between the advantaged and the disadvantaged, another case where better-off parents have secured the successes of their children over the less well-off. Coming home from a fabulous BSA event on inequality last week, I felt flooded with […]

  • Apprenticeships in a Volatile Labor Market

     When people talk about what it takes to succeed in the labor market today, they may talk about having the right connections or a college degree, but they rarely talk about apprenticeships. Most people in the United States (including many analysts and policymakers) assume that people that want to further their training will enter college […]

  • The impending fall of the Western middle-class (Part II)

    In my post last week I described the controversial new book The Global Auction, where Brown, Lauder and Ashton argue that the Western middle-class are subject to increasing competition from an army of highly-qualified workers in India, China and other countries. Not only can the workers undercut the pay of the Western middle-classes, but companies […]