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STAT$: Poverty Looms Large in the U.S., 2016

FIFTY YEARS OF CENSUS POVERTY STATISTICS by Allan Lichtenstein   THE CENSUS BUREAU’S release of the official poverty statistics for 2016 in mid-September highlighted a return of the overall poverty rate to its pre-Great Recession level, as well as noticeable reductions in poverty rates across the board, including for blacks, Hispanics, children, females, and single mothers with children. […]

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Jobs, Politicians, and the Media

“You Cannot Be Serious” “You cannot be serious.”  —Tennis star John McEnroe to an umpire at Wimbledon, 1981 THE WAY POLITICIANS talk about job creation in America should elicit outbursts of disbelief. The way the media fail to cover political promises or boasts should as well. Here’s what our two major candidates in the 2016 […]

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Profiting from Poverty

Discussed in this essay: The Poverty Industry: The Exploitation of America’s Most Vulnerable Citizens, by Daniel L. Hatcher. NYU Press, 2016, 288 pages. UNLIKE SOME INDUSTRIES in America, the poverty industry is thriving. It’s not a pretty story. The human service agencies of state and local governments, in collusion with private companies, are siphoning off […]

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Stat$: The State of America, Income Inequality

by Allan Lichtenstein WITH ABOUT eight weeks before the presidential election, the conversation has changed radically from that heading into the Democratic Party’s convention a few weeks back. Many had hoped that Bernie Sanders “revolution” would pull the Democratic Party to the left, paving the way for a progressive agenda if Hillary Clinton is elected. […]

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Racial Equality Is Still a “Dream”

by Allan Lichtenstein The Negro today is not struggling for some abstract, vague rights, but for concrete and prompt improvement in his way of life. What will it profit him to be able to send his children to an integrated school if the family income is insufficient to buy them school clothes? What will he […]

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October 24: Hyman Minsky and Financial Stability

Economist Hyman Minsky, who analyzed the links between financial instability and speculative bubbles and presciently opposed government deregulation of financial markets, died at 77 on this date in 1996. Minsky was born in Chicago and studied at the University of Chicago and at Harvard. From 1957 to 1965 he was an associate professor of economics […]

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August 13: Janet Yellen

Janet Yellen, the first woman to head the Federal Reserve Bank, was born in Brooklyn on this date in 1946. Yellen earned her Ph.D at Yale and was an assistant professor at Harvard 1971-76 and a lecturer at the London School of Economics, 1978-1980. She joined the Fed board of governors in 1978 and again […]

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Whither the Poverty Rate?

by Allan Lichtenstein In September, the U.S. Census Bureau will release updated income and poverty data for 2013. Since 2000, the Census Bureau has annually collected demographic, social, and economic data, which allows for a more timely tracking of changes in the demographic and social make-up of the U.S. population than the old “long form,” […]

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