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Income Inequality News Stories
Excerpts of Key Income Inequality News Stories in Major Media


Below are highly revealing excerpts of important income inequality news stories reported in the media that suggest a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full stories on their major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These income inequality news stories are listed by date posted to this webpage. You can explore the same articles listed by order of importance or by article date. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

Note: This comprehensive list of income inequality news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


'CEOs don't want this released': US study lays bare extreme pay-ratio problem
2018-05-18, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2018-05-21 19:34:56
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/may/16/ceo-worker-pay-ratio-america-...

The first comprehensive study of the massive pay gap between the US executive suite and average workers has found that the average CEO-to-worker pay ratio has now reached 339 to 1, with the highest gap approaching 5,000 to 1. The study, titled "Rewarding Or Hoarding?," was published [by] US congressman Keith Ellison. Just the summary makes for sober reading. In 188 of the 225 companies in the report’s database, a single chief executive’s pay could be used to pay more than 100 workers; the average worker at 219 of the 225 companies studied would need to work at least 45 years to earn what their CEO makes in one. “Now we know why CEOs didn’t want this data released,” says Ellison, who championed the implementation of the pay ratio disclosure rule as it was written into the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill of 2010. “I knew inequality was a great problem in our society but I didn’t understand quite how extreme it was.” The requirements, long resisted by some of the largest US companies, simply tells companies to identify a median worker and then calculate how much the CEO makes in comparison to that person. According to a recent Bloomberg analysis of 22 major world economies, the average CEO-worker pay gap in the US far outpaces that of other industrialized nations. The average US CEO makes more than four times his or her counterpart in the other countries analyzed. Ellison said the data remains imperfect, as companies are still able to exclude contracted workers from their reporting.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.


Court: Employers can’t pay women less because of their salary history
2018-04-09, Washington Post
Posted: 2018-04-23 02:52:55
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/04/09/court-employers-cant-p...

A federal appeals court ruled Monday that employers cannot justify paying a woman less than a man doing similar work because of her salary history - a move advocates say will help close the wage gap between the sexes. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit sided with the California math consultant at the center of Rizo v. Fresno County Office of Education, which argued that considering prior compensation when setting a worker’s pay perpetuates gender disparities and defies the spirit of the Equal Pay Act. In the United States, women earn an average of 82 cents for every dollar paid to men. This is a leap from the 1980 figure (60.2 cents for every dollar), but the chasm hasn’t narrowed much over the last 15 years, and it tends to be worse for women of color. Black women earn about 63 percent of what white men make, and the share is 67 percent for Hispanic women. Ariane Hegewisch, a labor economist ... said women, on average, are still paid less than their male counterparts in most industries. Companies that determine a worker’s value based on prior pay, she said, exacerbate the problem.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.


The 1% grabbed 82% of all wealth created in 2017
2018-01-22, CNN
Posted: 2018-03-25 23:11:51
http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/21/news/economy/davos-oxfam-inequality-wealth/in...

More than $8 of every $10 of wealth created last year went to the richest 1%. That's according to a new report from Oxfam International, which estimates that the bottom 50% of the world's population saw no increase in wealth. Oxfam says the trend shows that the global economy is skewed in favor of the rich, rewarding wealth instead of work. "The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing economic system," said Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International. The head of the advocacy group argued that the people who "make our clothes, assemble our phones and grow our food" are being exploited in order to enrich corporations and the super wealthy. The study, released ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos, was produced using data from Credit Suisse's (CS) Global Wealth Databook. Oxfam said Monday that it is time for the global elite to stop talking about inequality and start changing their ways. "It's hard to find a political or business leader who doesn't say they are worried about inequality. It's even harder to find one who is doing something about it," said Byanyima. Oxfam said that governments should focus on policies that would lead to fairer distribution of wealth and stronger workers' rights.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.


No CEO should earn 1,000 times more than a regular employee
2018-03-18, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2018-03-25 23:09:52
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/mar/18/america-ceo-worker-pay-gap-n...

The CEO of Marathon Petroleum, Gary Heminger, took home an astonishing 935 times more pay than his typical employee in 2017. 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 disclosures are just now starting to flow in. Ever since 2010, the year Congress plugged a ratio disclosure mandate into the Dodd-Frank financial reform act, corporate lobbyists have been scheming to delay and repeal that mandate’s implementation. But responsible investors and other activists rallied and kept the mandate in place. The new ratios offer a benchmark for corporate greed that exposes exactly which firms are sharing the wealth their employees create and which aren’t, knowledge we can use to impose consequences on the corporations doing the most to make the United States more unequal.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.


Billionaires Made So Much Money Last Year They Could End Extreme Poverty Seven Times
2018-01-22, Time
Posted: 2018-03-18 17:24:46
http://time.com/money/5112462/billionaires-made-so-much-money-last-year-they-...

The global economy created a record number of billionaires last year, exacerbating inequality amid a weakening of workers’ rights and a corporate push to maximize shareholder returns, charity organization Oxfam International said in a new report. The world now has 2,043 billionaires. The group of mostly men saw its wealth surge by $762 billion, which is enough money to end extreme poverty seven times over, according to Oxfam. According to separate data compiled by Bloomberg, the top 500 billionaires’ net worth grew 24% to $5.38 trillion in 2017, while the world’s richest person, Amazon.com Inc.’s Jeff Bezos, saw a gain of $33.7 billion. “The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing economic system,” said Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International. “The people who make our clothes, assemble our phones and grow our food are being exploited.” Oxfam published the report as global leaders, chief executives and bankers arrive in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting. Noting that many of the world’s elite say they’re concerned about income inequality, the charity said most governments are “shamefully failing” to improve the matter. Oxfam called on governments to limit shareholder and executive returns, while ensuring workers receive a living wage. It also recommended eliminating the gender pay gap and raising taxes on the wealthy, among other suggestions.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.


Congress’ net worth keeps on growing
2018-02-27, Press Herald (Portland, Maine's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2018-03-05 05:29:06
https://www.pressherald.com/2018/02/27/in-the-moneycongress-net-worth-keeps-o...

The cumulative net worth of senators and House members jumped by one-fifth in the two years before the start of this Congress, outperforming the typical American’s improved fortunes as well as the solid performance of investment markets during that time. The total wealth of all current members was at least $2.43 billion when the 115th Congress began, 20 percent more than the collective riches of the previous Congress, a significant gain during a period when both the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose slightly less than 10 percent. Beyond that grand total, the median minimum net worth (meaning half are worth more, half less) of today’s senators and House members was $511,000 at the start of this Congress, an upward push of 16 percent over just two years – and quintuple the median net worth of an American household, which the Federal Reserve pegged at $97,300 in 2016. The financial disparity between those who try to govern and those who are governed is almost certainly even greater than that. Members of Congress are not required to make public the value of their residences and their contents, which are the principal assets of most Americans. Nor are they required to reveal their other assets and debts to the penny, or even close – instead using 11 broad categories of value ... that do a comprehensive job of obscuring what each member is precisely worth.

Note: The above article fails to mention that laws against insider trading do not apply to members of Congress. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and income inequality.


Kept out: How banks block people of color from homeownership
2018-02-16, Chicago Tribune/Associated Press
Posted: 2018-02-19 18:52:13
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-bc-us--reveal-modern-day-redlining-201...

Fifty years after the federal Fair Housing Act banned racial discrimination in lending, African Americans and Latinos continue to be routinely denied conventional mortgage loans at rates far higher than their white counterparts. This modern-day redlining persisted in 61 metro areas even when controlling for applicants' income, loan amount and neighborhood, according to millions of ... records analyzed by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. Lenders and their trade organizations do not dispute the fact that they turn away people of color at rates far greater than whites, [and] singled out the three-digit credit score ... as especially important in lending decisions. Reveal's analysis included all records publicly available under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. Credit score was not included because that information is not publicly available. That's because lenders have deflected attempts to force them to report that data to the government. America's largest bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co., has argued that the data should remain closed off even to academics. At the same time, studies have found proprietary credit score algorithms to have a discriminatory impact on borrowers of color. The "decades-old credit scoring model" currently used "does not take into account consumer data on ... bill payments," Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina wrote in August. "This exclusion disproportionately hurts African-Americans, Latinos, and young people who are otherwise creditworthy."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial industry corruption and civil liberties.


Free cash for everyone? Stockton, Calif.'s mayor plans to see if it works
2017-10-27, CNN News
Posted: 2018-02-05 13:30:20
http://money.cnn.com/2017/10/27/news/economy/stockton-universal-basic-income/...

Growing up in Stockton, California, a little extra money would've meant the world to Michael Tubbs' family. Tubbs' mother worked long hours ... and still had to borrow from check cashing places to get by. "If we had $300 a month, life would be less stressful," Tubbs says. Today, Tubbs is Stockton's 27-year-old mayor. Last week, he announced the launch of an experimental program that will give people like his mom about $500 a month, with no strings attached. Stockton will likely become the first city in the nation to test out a version of universal basic income, an economic system that would regularly provide all residents enough money to cover basic expenses, with no conditions or restrictions. The concept of universal basic income - or UBI - has been around for decades. Martin Luther King advocated for it in 1967 to create a minimum standard of living. Up until recently, it has mostly been a subject of discussion among academics. But universal basic income has started to gain traction as poverty has grown and fears of automation killing jobs have mounted. Large-scale trials began this year in Finland and Canada to test whether the program improves outcomes like health and employment. A ... non-profit called the Economic Security Project has committed $1 million to the Stockton effort, with funding from donors that include Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes. Backers hope larger cities and states will eventually adopt universal basic income programs.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


'World's richest 1% get 82% of the wealth', says Oxfam
2018-01-22, BBC News
Posted: 2018-01-29 17:51:39
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-42745853

The gap between the super rich and the rest of the world widened last year as wealth continued to be owned by a small minority, Oxfam has claimed. Some 82% of money generated last year went to the richest 1% of the global population while the poorest half saw no increase at all, the charity said. It blamed tax evasion, firms' influence on policy, erosion of workers' rights, and cost cutting for the widening gap. Oxfam has produced similar reports for the past five years. In 2017 it calculated that the world's eight richest individuals had as much wealth as the poorest half of the world. This year, it said 42 people now had as much wealth as the poorest half, but it revised last year's figure to 61. Oxfam said the revision was due to improved data and said the trend of "widening inequality" remained. Oxfam's report coincides with the start of the World Economic Forum in Davos, a Swiss ski resort. The annual conference attracts many of the world's top political and business leaders. The charity is urging a rethink of business models, arguing their focus on maximising shareholder returns over broader social impact is wrong. It said there was "huge support" for action with two thirds (72%) of 70,000 people it surveyed in ten countries saying they wanted their governments to "urgently address the income gap between rich and poor". Oxfam's report is based on data from Forbes and the annual Credit Suisse Global Wealth databook, which gives the distribution of global wealth going back to 2000.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.


It's Now Illegal to Pay Men More Than Women in Iceland
2018-01-02, Fortune
Posted: 2018-01-15 18:24:57
http://fortune.com/2018/01/02/illegal-to-pay-men-more-than-women-iceland/

Iceland is the first country to make it illegal to pay men more than women. Equal pay policies is now mandatory for companies with 25 or more employees. Those that cannot show that they provide equal pay will be subject to fines. The law, which was passed last year, went into effect on Jan. 1. Iceland is already a leader in gender parity. The World Economic Forum (WEF) ranked Iceland as the top country for gender quality for the last nine years based on criteria involving economics, education, health, and politics. For example, Icelandic women make up 48% of the country’s parliament - without a quota system. Despite this, wage inequality has persisted. In 2016, thousands of women in Iceland left work at 2:38 p.m., to protest pay disparity. The time was symbolic of when woman stop receiving pay during their 9 to 5 work day compared to men. The wage gap in Iceland was 72 cents to every man’s dollar. On International Women’s Day in 2017, the country moved to change that. The tiny country, pop. 323,000, aims to completely eliminate the wage gap by 2020.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


The world’s richest became $1 trillion wealthier in 2017 and here’s why that should worry us
2017-12-27, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2018-01-07 23:16:33
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/worlds-richest-are-getting-richer-general...

The world’s richest individuals increased their wealth by a weighty $1 trillion, or about Ł750bn, in 2017. Most of us here in the UK battled stagnant wages [and] rising shop prices. In fact, the figures are quite startling. Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index, which measures the wealth of the world’s top 500 people, shows that the richest of the rich controlled a total of $5.3 trillion in 2017, up from an already staggering $4.4 trillion at the same point in 2016. For context, the United States of America - the world’s largest economy - has a gross domestic product of somewhere around $19 trillion. So all in all, not a bad year to be a billionaire. But what does it mean for the rest of us? Back in 2016 ... a group of academics from such esteemed institutions as the University of Oxford, London School of Economics and Cornell University found that as the rich get richer the rest of us get grumpier. The findings were quite clear: in societies where the richest control the majority of the country’s income, the population as a whole is more likely to report feeling “stressed”, “worried” or “angry”. As the rich get richer, they are responsible for pricing certain goods and services out of the reach of the rest of the population – think top schools, the best hospitals and property in particularly desirable locations. And then there’s also a crucial psychological factor that may play a part: seeing the most prosperous becoming even more affluent might make you feel like your chances of moving up the ladder are fluttering away.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.


Inequality is not inevitable – but the US 'experiment' is a recipe for divergence
2017-12-14, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2017-12-17 22:57:24
https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/dec/14/inequality-is-not-inevitab...

Today’s inaugural World Inequality Report shows that income inequality has increased in nearly every country around the world since 1980 – but at very different speeds. Since [1980], the gap between the richest and the rest has surged in the US, while in western Europe it has increased only moderately. In both regions, the top 1% of adults earned about 10% of national income in 1980. Today that cohort’s share has risen modestly to 12% in western Europe, but dramatically to 20% of all income in the US. The good times have rolled especially fast for those at the very top in the US, with annual income booming by 205% since 1980 for the top 1%. But this boomtime at the very top has not benefited the rest of the American population in any measurable way. For the 117 million American adults in the bottom 50%, income growth has been nonexistent for a generation. In western Europe, by contrast, incomes of the bottom half have matched overall economic growth. What explains this dramatic divergence? The US has experienced a perfect storm of radical policy changes. The tax system, which used to be progressive, has become much less so over time. The federal minimum wage has collapsed, unions have been weakened and access to higher education has become increasingly unequal. At the same time, deregulation in the finance industry and overly protective patent laws have contributed to booms on Wall Street and in the healthcare sector, which now makes up 20% of national income.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.


When Unpaid Student Loan Bills Mean You Can No Longer Work
2017-11-18, New York Times
Posted: 2017-11-27 01:34:45
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/18/business/student-loans-licenses.html

Few people realize that the loans they take out to pay for their education could eventually derail their careers. But in 19 states, government agencies can seize state-issued professional licenses from residents who default on their educational debts. Another state, South Dakota, suspends driver’s licenses, making it nearly impossible for people to get to work. Firefighters, nurses, teachers, lawyers, massage therapists, barbers, psychologists and real estate brokers have all had their credentials suspended or revoked. Determining the number of people who have lost their licenses is impossible because many state agencies and licensing boards don’t track the information. Public records requests by The New York Times identified at least 8,700 cases in which licenses were taken away or put at risk of suspension in recent years, although that tally almost certainly understates the true number. With student debt levels soaring — the loans are now the largest source of household debt outside of mortgages — so are defaults. Lenders have always pursued delinquent borrowers: by filing lawsuits, garnishing their wages, putting liens on their property and seizing tax refunds. Blocking licenses is a more aggressive weapon, and states are using it on behalf of themselves and the federal government. Tennessee is one of the most aggressive states at revoking licenses. From 2012 to 2017, officials reported more than 5,400 people to professional licensing agencies. Many - nobody knows how many - lost their licenses. Some ... lost their careers.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the financial industry.


Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett richer than poorest 160 million Americans combined
2017-11-09, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2017-11-20 00:07:57
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/bill-gates-jeff-bezos-warren-...

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, and veteran financier Warren Buffett now have a combined wealth of $248.5bn (Ł190bn) which is more than the net worth of the 160 million poorest US citizens, the Institute for Policy Studies think tank said. In its report, the Billionaire Bonanza, IPS found that America’s top 25 wealthiest people now hold [more than] $1 trillion in wealth. “Our wealthiest 400 now have more wealth combined than the bottom 64 per cent of the US population,” the report said. The study found that the median American family has a net worth of $80,000 ... while one in five US households have zero or negative net worth, meaning that their debts are equal to or greater than the worth of their cash and possessions. The figure is higher for people of colour - “underwater households” make up over 30 per cent of black households, and 27 per cent of Latino households. Last month, Forbes reported that it was another record year for the wealthiest people in the world’s richest nation. The minimum net worth required to make into the top 400 list is now a record $2bn, up almost a fifth from $1.7bn just twelve months ago.

Note: Explore also a CNN article titled "America's wealth gap is bigger than ever." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.


Cold War radiation testing in US widespread, author claims
2017-10-02, CBS/Associated Press
Posted: 2017-10-31 11:28:36
http://wsbt.com/news/health/cold-war-radiation-testing-in-us-widespread-autho...

Members of Congress are demanding answers after a St. Louis scholar's new book revealed details of secret Cold War-era U.S. government testing in which countless unsuspecting people, including many children, pregnant women and minorities, were fed, sprayed or injected with radiation and other dangerous materials. Lisa Martino-Taylor ... wrote "Behind the Fog: How the U.S. Cold War Radiological Weapons Program Exposed Innocent Americans," [using] Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain previously unreleased documents, including Army records. She found that a small group of researchers, aided by leading academic institutions, worked to develop radiological weapons and later "combination weapons" using radioactive materials along with chemical or biological weapons. Martino-Taylor said the offensive radiological weapons program was a top priority for the government. Unknowing people in places throughout the U.S., as well as parts of England and Canada, were subjected to potentially deadly material through open-air spraying, ingestion and injection. "They targeted the most vulnerable in society," Martino-Taylor said. "They targeted children. They targeted pregnant women. People who were ill in hospitals. They targeted wards of the state. And they targeted minority populations." [House Democrat William Lacy] Clay said he was angered that Americans were used as "guinea pigs" for research. "I join with my colleagues to demand the whole truth about this testing," Clay said in a statement.

Note: See this news article for photos and a video of this event. Read about dozens of other incidents in which humans were used as guinea pigs, at times resulting in deaths that were covered up. Another video is available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the scientific community.


Pollution killing more people every year than wars, disasters and hunger, study says
2017-10-20, Chicago Tribune/Associated Press
Posted: 2017-10-31 11:25:59
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/science/ct-deadly-pollution-st...

Environmental pollution - from filthy air to contaminated water - is killing more people every year than all war and violence in the world. More than smoking, hunger or natural disasters. More than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. One out of every six premature deaths in the world in 2015 - about 9 million - could be attributed to disease from toxic exposure, according to a major study ... in The Lancet medical journal. The financial cost from pollution-related death, sickness and welfare is equally massive, the report says, costing some $4.6 trillion in annual losses - or about 6.2 percent of the global economy. The report marks the first attempt to pull together data on disease and death caused by all forms of pollution combined. "Pollution is a massive problem that people aren't seeing because they're looking at scattered bits of it," [lead study author Philip] Landrigan said. Experts say the 9 million premature deaths the study found was just a partial estimate, and the number of people killed by pollution is undoubtedly higher. And there are still plenty of potential toxins still being ignored, with less than half of the 5,000 new chemicals widely dispersed throughout the environment since 1950 having been tested for safety or toxicity. The vast majority of pollution-related deaths ... occur in low- or middle-income developing countries, where policy makers are chiefly concerned with developing their economies. In wealthier countries where overall pollution is not as rampant, it is still the poorest communities that are more often exposed, the report says.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality and health.


Grandpa had a pension. This generation has cryptocurrency
2017-08-18, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2017-09-04 23:05:40
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/long_reads/grandpa-had-a-pension-this-gener...

Most readers have probably heard of Bitcoin, the digital coin that dominates the cryptocurrency market. It has gained notice both because of its skyrocketing value (from less than a cent in early 2010 to around $2,600 currently). But do you know Ethereum, with a total value of coins in circulation of close to $20 billion? Then there are more than 800 lower-value and often creatively named coins among those listed on Coinmarketcap.com. After years as a niche market for technologically sophisticated anarchists and libertarians excited about a decentralised financial network not under government control, digital coins may be on the verge of going mainstream. Cryptocurrency has understandable appeal to millennials, who came of age during the 2008 financial crisis. “There’s a low cost for entry, you don’t pay a lot of fees and millennials are the most tech-savvy,” said John Guarco, 22. Like most of the people interviewed for this article, [Guarco] asked that names of the coins he has invested in not be published. Unlike previous generations, many of these greenhorn investors don’t have pensions, are mistrustful of saving money in mutual funds, and are fully accustomed to owning digital assets. As traditional paths to upper-middle-class stability are being blocked by debt, exorbitant housing costs and a shaky job market, these investors view cryptocurrency not only as a hedge against another stock market crash, but also as the most rational, and even utopian, means of investing their money.

Note: The media has given surprisingly little coverage to the huge gains of bitcoin and other digital currencies. If you had invested $1,000 in Bitcoin four years ago when the price was about $110 per coin, your investment would now be worth nearly $44,000, a whopping 40 times increase. The fact that the media is covering this so little suggests that the price may continue to rise as more people find out, though this is highly speculative and uncertain.


Our Broken Economy, in One Simple Chart
2017-08-07, New York Times
Posted: 2017-08-14 03:02:24
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/08/07/opinion/leonhardt-income-inequ...

Many Americans can’t remember anything other than an economy with skyrocketing inequality, in which living standards for most Americans are stagnating and the rich are pulling away. It feels inevitable. But it’s not. A well-known team of inequality researchers ... has been getting some attention recently for a chart it produced. It shows the change in income between 1980 and 2014 for every point on the distribution, and it neatly summarizes the recent soaring of inequality. The message is straightforward. Only a few decades ago, the middle class and the poor weren’t just receiving healthy raises. Their take-home pay was rising even more rapidly, in percentage terms, than the pay of the rich. The post-inflation, after-tax raises that were typical for the middle class during the pre-1980 period - about 2 percent a year - translate into rapid gains in living standards. At that rate, a household’s income almost doubles every 34 years. In recent decades, by contrast, only very affluent families ... have received such large raises. Yes, the upper-middle class has done better than the middle class or the poor, but the huge gaps are between the super-rich and everyone else. The basic problem is that most families used to receive something approaching their fair share of economic growth, and they don’t anymore.

Note: The graphics at the link above clearly show how inequality has been skyrocketing in recent years. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.


College Was Once Free and For the Public Good—What Happened?
2017-07-20, Yes! Magazine
Posted: 2017-07-30 19:20:15
http://www.yesmagazine.org/new-economy/college-was-once-free-and-for-the-publ...

Among politicians, college administrators, educators, parents and students, college affordability seems to be seen as a purely financial issue. The roots of the current student debt crisis are neither economic nor financial in origin, but predominantly social. In 2012, more than 44 million Americans were still paying off student loans. And the average graduate in 2016 left college with more than $37,000 in student loan debt. Student loan debt has become the second-largest type of personal debt among Americans. From 1995 to 2015, tuition and fees at 310 national universities ... rose considerably, increasing by nearly 180 percent at private schools and more than 225 percent at public schools. During the 19th century, college education in the United States was offered largely for free. College education was considered a public good. Students who received such an education would put it to use in the betterment of society. The perception of higher education changed dramatically [as] private colleges began to attract more students from upper-class families. In 1927, John D. Rockefeller began campaigning for charging students the full cost it took to educate them. Further, he suggested that students could shoulder such costs through student loans. Tuition - and student loans - thus became commonly accepted aspects of the economics of higher education. If the United States is looking for alternatives to what some would call a failing funding model for college affordability, the solution may lie in looking further back than the current system.

Note: According to former US Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, the sharply increasing cost of a college education serves to redistribute wealth from the poor to the rich. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.


Tax evaders exposed: why the super-rich are even richer than we thought
2017-06-14, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2017-06-18 23:47:42
https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/jun/14/tax-evaders-exposed-why-su...

Tax records are invaluable for the study of economic inequality. Graphs published on the World Wealth and Income Database, for example, show just how ... this information can inform the public debate. The top 1% income share is now closely scrutinised by journalists and policymakers. But if the rich dodge taxes more than others, tax records will underestimate inequality. The key data source used in rich countries to study tax evasion is random tax audits – but these audits do not capture tax evasion by the very wealthy. In our recent study, however, we exploited a massive trove of data leaked from HSBC Switzerland, the so-called HSBC files, to fill this gap. We also made use of the Panama Papers, which last year revealed the identity of the shareholders of shell companies created by the Panamanian firm Mossack Fonseca. Just as with HSBC, this leak is valuable as it can be seen as a random event and involves a prominent provider of offshore financial services. We combined random audits with these new sources of information to shed light on who really evades taxes. The higher one moves up the wealth distribution, the higher the probability of hiding assets. So what are the consequences for inequality? At the very top of the pyramid, it is much greater than previously estimated. In Norway, where the available wealth data is particularly detailed, the super-wealthy appear to be 30% wealthier than previously though. The share of wealth owned by the top 0.1% increases from 8% to 10%.

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