The Scandinavian countries beat us on almost every measure.
The problem driving the US down is the Ayn Rand assholes.
Welcome to the South, boy!
Problems of the white wing Republican dominated.
In Charlotte and other Southern cities, poor children have the lowest odds of making it to the top income bracket of kids anywhere in the country. Why?
Shamelle Jackson moved here from Philadelphia, hoping to find work opportunities and better schools for her four children, who range in age from two to 14. Instead, she found a city with expensive housing, few good jobs, and schools that can vary dramatically in quality. “I’ve never struggled as hard as I do here in Charlotte,” Jackson, 34, told me.
Jackson isn’t alone. Data suggests that Charlotte is a dead-end for people trying to escape poverty. That’s especially startling because the city is a leader in economic development in the South. Bank of America is headquartered here, and over the last two decades the city has become a hub for the financial services industry. In recent years, Charlotte and the surrounding area, Mecklenburg County, have ranked among the fastest-growing regions of the country. “Charlotte is a place of economic wonder in some ways, but it’s also a city that faces very stark disparities, and that increasingly includes worrisome pockets of real deprivation,” said Gene Nichol, a professor at the UNC School of Law who has completed an extensive report on local poverty. Some of these disparities bubbled to the surface in September, when protests erupted after a black man, Keith Lamont Scott, was shot and killed by police.
Charlotte ranked dead last in an analysis of economic mobility in America’s 50 largest cities by the Equality of Opportunity Project, a team of researchers out of Harvard, Stanford and Berkeley led by Stanford’s Raj Chetty. Children born into the bottom 20 percent of the income distribution in Charlotte had just a 4.4 percent chance of making it to the top 20 percent of the income distribution. That’s compared to a 12.9 percent chance for children in San Jose, California, and 10.8 percent change for children in Salt Lake City. These statistics are troubling because mobility is essentially just a formal term for the American Dream—the ability to find a good job, provide for children, and do better than one’s parents did. Rather than making it into the middle class in Charlotte, poor children, who are majority black and Latino, are very likely to stay poor.
In some ways, Charlotte is indicative of a more widespread problem in the region. Map out the data from the Equality of Opportunity Project and you’ll find that much of the South has low mobility rates. The chance of a child moving from the bottom to top quartile in Atlanta is 4.5 percent, the chance of moving up in Raleigh is 5 percent, and the chance of moving up in New Orleans is 5.1 percent.
These are among the lowest odds of advancement in the country. “The South really does struggle,” said Erin Currier, who directed the financial security and mobility project at the Pew Charitable Trusts. Pew found that mobility lags in states including Louisiana, South Carolina, Alabama, and North Carolina.
There’s no obvious reason why cities in the South would perform so poorly across the board. After all, economies like those in Charlotte are booming. In other places with significant economic growth, such as San Jose, this prosperity seems to be widely shared (or at least it was between 1980 and 2012, the time period over which children were tracked in Chetty’s data). In cities across the South though, economic success seems not to have trickled down to lower-income populations.
Chetty and colleagues say that there are a few key factors that play into where people struggle with economic mobility. These areas tend to be more racially segregated, have a higher share of poverty than the national average, more income inequality, a higher share of single mothers, and lower degrees of social capital, which means people interacting with others who can help them succeed, according to Nick Flamang, a predoctoral fellow with the Equality of Opportunity Project.
All of these indicators are present in Charlotte, and throughout much of the South. Segregation took root in the early 1900s, and was reinforced by Jim Crow laws and redlining in the later part of the century. It remains a problem today. The white, affluent population lives in a wedge south of the city. The census tracts north and west of the city are where the low-income people live, and those people are predominantly black and Latino.
The South also has among the highest poverty rates in the country. Mississippi ranks last, Louisiana is 49th, and North Carolina is 39th in the country when it comes to the percentage of people living below the poverty line. While Southern poverty has traditionally manifested itself in rural areas, cities are now home to some of the worst poverty in the region, according to Nichol. “If you look at census tracts, the deepest poverty in North Carolina is right in the middle of Charlotte, the middle of Greensboro, middle of Winston-Salem, the middle of Raleigh,” he said.
Indeed, concentrated poverty is becoming a pressing problem in Charlotte. The Brookings Institution data shows that in 2000, just 2 percent of poor families lived in a census tract with poverty rates of 40 percent or higher in Charlotte. That percentage had climbed to 10 percent by 2012. According to Nichol’s work, 17 census tracts in Mecklenburg County had poverty rates higher than 40 percent, a dramatic increase from 2000, when just four did. I visited neighborhoods like Lockwood, just north of downtown, where homeless people hung out at the gas stations and the small box homes had bars on their windows.
Concentrated poverty is related to another factor Chetty and his colleagues mention: social capital, which is essentially the mechanism that allows people to interact with others and become a part of broad networks that can lead to opportunity. It can help people get hooked up to first jobs, internships, and scholarships. Without these types of connections, children are more likely to take a similar path to their parents. For those who live in areas of concentrated poverty, this means they don’t learn about opportunities that might get them out of poverty, or about people in different income brackets.
Latasha Hunt, 36, is an example of what it means to lack social capital. She grew up in northern Charlotte, far from the wealth of the city’s south side. Her parents did ok, she told me—her mother worked in manufacturing and her father worked for the school system. But growing up, she didn’t know people who went to college or who worked in finance. Almost no one at her high school went to college—they all ended up getting a job right out of high school, or going to jail, she told me. Neither Hunt nor her two brothers went to college. Her brothers are both barbers, she now works in customer service at a local nonprofit. She doesn’t think she’s better off than her parents were.“My generation is struggling,” she told me. “We work every day, but it’s like we’re working just to pay for daycare.”
Hunt is a single mother, which creates its own unique challenges. She juggles taking care of her two children and working a full-time job. Many other women in Charlotte experience similar issues; in North Carolina, 65 percent of African-American children live in single parent families, according to the Kids Count Data Center from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Jackson, who moved from Philadelphia, told me she lost her job in Charlotte because of “single mom stuff.” She was frequently tardy to work because she had to drop kids off at school or pick them up when they were sick, attend parent-teacher conferences, and otherwise take care of her family….Read the Rest Here…
The most segregated places in America are oddly northern midwest cities. In that list are Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit, and Cleveland.
According to a Study by Johns Hopkins a a few years ago, racism in America quite literally lops off about $2 trillion of our GDP. Just the loss of GDP due to racism in America is larger than the GDP of all but 10 countries in the world.
Racism has other impacts on the social fabric and economic activity in this country, some of which are discussed below in the attached article.
China is now the world’s largest economy. The US is number 2. And it will remain so indefinitely until we make better use of our resources. The racist Trump, and his supporters in the white right, including the Republican Party value their racism more than their country… Which means we could soon be #3. Wow! That’s a “great” way to “Make America Great Again.”
The Chicago area is the fifth most racially and economically segregated region in the nation. A new study by the Metropolitan Planning Council and the Urban Institute examines how segregation affects the region financially and the price that all residents pay in “lost income, lives and education.”
The Cost of Segregation argues that reducing Chicago’s segregation could result in higher incomes, greater educational achievement and fewer homicides across the region. Incomes for African-Americans would rise an average of $2,982 per person per year and the Chicago region’s gross domestic product, a key indicator of economic performance, would jump by $8 billion.
Alden Loury, director of research and evaluation for the Metropolitan Planning Council and an author of the study, talked to the Reporter about its findings.
What makes this study unique is that it explores how segregation affects economic growth and the quality of life for an entire city and region. We’ve read stories about Back of the Yards, Austin and other communities of color defined by high poverty rates. What prompted researchers to frame the inequality in those communities from a regional and citywide standpoint?
The Metropolitan Planning Council a couple of years ago, long before I got there, embarked on this journey with essentially two questions. [First], we’re very aware that we are a very segregated region. We’re a segregated city within that region. … There also was an understanding that in order for us to really address segregation and really commit ourselves to addressing segregation maybe the region needed more people to feel impacted.
“So is there a way we can kind of quantify those costs?” That was the first question. The second question was, “So what do we do about whatever we find?”… That kind of launched us on this path. We reached out to the Urban Institute, which had done similar work.
The premise of the study is that the region would do better if we addressed segregation in three areas: lost income, lost lives and lost opportunity, with a focus on education. Let’s start with the city’s homicide rate, which ranks 8th out of the 10 U.S. cities with the highest murder rates. The study states that the Chicago area could have boosted its economy simply by being “a safe place to live.” How is that?
When [the Urban Institute] conducted its analysis, it found a statistically significant relationship between Chicago, and between all of the metro areas, their level of black-white segregation and their rate of homicides.
If the Chicago region were to fall from 10th, which is where it ranked [in black-white segregation] to the median between 50 and 51, the Urban Institute determined that we would see a 30-percent reduction in homicide. That’s based on the lower levels of homicides that are generally found in regions that have less segregation than Chicago.
We wanted to find out what does that actually mean in real-life costs in the Chicago region. So we leaned on supplemental research, in particular research done by the Center for American Progress just a couple of years ago, where they actually asked that question: “What would happen if eight major metros saw a 10 percent or a 25 -percent reduction in the levels of homicide?”
For Chicago what the Center for American Progress found was lower policing costs, lower corrections costs and earnings [that would have occurred] if there were fewer victims of homicide. And there would also be a boost in residential property values based on research that the Center for American Progress conducted, which found that growth in homicides equated to a decline in residential property values. We took those numbers that the Center for American Progress developed and extrapolated them based on the Urban Institute’s prediction that the Chicago region would see a 30-percent reduction in homicides. … What that equated to was $65 million of policing and fewer policing cost, $218 million fewer corrections cost and the $6 billion bump in the residential property values for the entire region.
Between 1990 and 2010, two-thirds of the nation’s largest regions reduced their economic segregation more than Chicago did. Chicago declined by 10 percent, but to keep up it would have to decline by 19 percent in terms of economic segregation, 28 percent in terms of Latino-white segregation and 36 percent in terms of African-American and white segregation. Why did other cities make more progress than Chicago in reducing segregation?
The analysis gives us more of the what than it does the why. And so in the second phase of our work, we are seeking input from a whole host of experts and stakeholders around what policies and strategies we should recommend to address the segregation. We also want to take a look at some places that have seen a sharper drop in economic segregation, that have seen stronger progress in terms of mostly black-white segregation. And then also looking inward because Chicago has seen declines across the board and is in fact the only metro area of those 100 metro areas that saw from 1990 to 2000 and from 2000 to 2010 minor drops in all three of those measures of segregation.
There’s a difference in the segregation gap between African-Americans and whites and Latinos and whites. Why does it vary so much in Chicago?
The level of black-white segregation is measured by something the Urban Institute used called the spatial proximity index. In Chicago in 2010 that number was 1.87. That number was 1.5 for the Chicago region in terms of Latinos and whites. And so there are differences. And across the nation, generally speaking, the levels of black-white segregation were higher than the measures for Latino-white segregation.
It’s not 100 percent clear at least from the research why that is. [Surveys in Chicago] have shown among the white respondents that there is a greater willingness to live next to Latino neighbors than to African-American neighbors. Some of the other things that may play a part in that is that as Latino migration has increased dramatically over the past 40 years or so, there are greater entry points and perhaps more opportunities that have been explored by Latinos.
In Chicago the way that’s played out is Latinos initially were migrating to the city. But increasingly over the last 20, maybe 30 years or so, that destination has trended toward the suburbs. As a result, that has produced a kind of a lessening of segregation because Latinos are found throughout the suburban regions of Chicago far more often than you’ll find African-Americans. African-Americans are largely in two clusters to the south and to the west in suburban Chicago. Latinos are far more spread out, and their numbers are higher in the suburbs and in more places.
To some degree, at least through the surveys that we’ve seen, there is perhaps less of a reaction to Latino neighbors. But that’s not to say that there isn’t white flight in response to Latino migration or other challenges. … While we don’t present any statistically significant findings of the cost of Latino-white segregation [in the study], we see greater amounts of gentrification in Latino neighborhoods that are seeing an influx of white residents. And while Latinos are more suburbanized, they, generally speaking, are more likely to be segregated in more deindustrialized and declining communities in the suburbs. And Latino children are more likely to be in largely Latino schools serving low-income students.
A few year back a study for Forbes showed that nearly 30% of new incorporation of companies in America were by black folks. Black folks, faced with persistent job discrimination, created businesses in reaction to discrimination.
It seems we have some competition… Immigrants.
What do Immigrants do for America? They follow the American Dream, no matter how difficult the path.
Outperforming the lazy, dumb-ass white Trumpazoids every step of the way despite their endemic racism.
If you’re searching for examples of big, revolutionary businesses that were started by immigrants, you don’t have to look very far. Andy Gove, one of the founders of Intel (and one of Steve Jobs’ biggest influences) fled Hungary and taught himself English while working in a restaurant and attending college.
Jobs himself was the son of a Syrian immigrant.
In fact, 40% of the Fortune 500 was founded by immigrants or the children of immigrants. But the examples of immigrant entrepreneurs aren’t just restricted to huge, household name companies. According to research conducted by The Kauffman Foundation:
- Immigrants started 28.5% of all new businesses in 2014.
- Between 2006-2012 immigrants founded one quarter of the engineering and technology companies in the United States.
- In 2012 immigrant founded engineering and technology firms employed approximately 560,000 workers and generated $63 billion in sales.
- Immigrants have seen their rate of business generation rise by more than 50% since the start of the new millennium, while native-born citizens have seen their rate of new-business generation decline by 10%.
- Immigrants are now more than twice as likely to start a business than native-born citizens.
So why are immigrants starting more businesses?
Economists theorize that many immigrants are prevented from accessing other paths to upward mobility. In other words, all those studies that show applicants are less likely to get hired with an ethnic sounding name might force new immigrants into creating their own business, rather than trying (and often failing) to find a decent paying job working for someone else.
Additionally, immigrants often live in underserved communities. If you live in an underserved market, you can spot the goods and services community members don’t have access to and fulfill that need.
Like my new friend, Ajay.
Ajay immigrated to America from India about 15 years ago, where he began working as a computer engineer for Enterprise Rental Car.
But he also saw an unserved need in his immigrant network: cricket.
His friends who grew up playing cricket had nowhere for their sons and daughters to play, so Ajay founded the American Cricket Academy and Club–which has grown from six to more than 150 members in about a year.
Ajay’s cricket academy might not be the next Intel, but that’s growth a lot of new entrepreneurs would love to experience.
Of course, immigration has many facets.
But most economists–including the ones at the Wharton School, alma mater of Donald Trump–conclude that immigration (both legal and illegal) is a net positive to the economy.
Economic studies are one way to measure the impact of immigration.
Personally, I like to measure it another way. I like to look at my son–the great-grandson of a Mexican immigrant–while he plays cricket with his friends, nearly all of whom are second-generation Indian immigrants.
When I watch my son play cricket with his friends, I come to the same conclusion the economists at Wharton do:
Our new immigrant friends are enriching our lives and making our economy better–and I’ll be really thankful when my son gets that cricket scholarship.
Real easy now to see the failure of conservative philosophy…
Conservatives have been telling us that a healthy economy depends on low taxes, few regulations and low wages
This originally appeared on Robert Reich’s blog.
For years, conservatives have been telling us that a healthy business-friendly economy depends on low taxes, few regulations and low wages. Are they right?
We’ve had an experiment going on here in the United States that provides an answer.
At the one end of the scale are Kansas and Texas, with among the nation’s lowest taxes, least regulations and lowest wages.
At the other end is California, featuring among the nation’s highest taxes, especially on the wealthy; lots of regulations, particularly when it comes to the environment; and high wages.
So according to conservative doctrine, Kansas and Texas ought to be booming, and California ought to be in the pits.
Actually, it’s just the opposite. For years now, Kansas’s rate of economic growth has been the worst in the nation. Last year its economy actually shrank. Texas hasn’t been doing all that much better. Its rate of job growth has been below the national average. Retail sales are way down. The value of Texas exports has been dropping.
But what about so-called over-taxed, over-regulated, high-wage California? California leads the nation in the rate of economic growth — more than twice the national average. In other words, conservatives have it exactly backwards.
So why are Kansas and Texas doing so badly? And California so well?
Because taxes enable states to invest in their people — their education and skill-training, great research universities that spawn new industries and attract talented innovators and inventors worldwide, and modern infrastructure.
That’s why California is the world center of high-tech, entertainment and venture capital.
Kansas and Texas haven’t been investing nearly to the same extent.
California also provides services to a diverse population including many who are attracted to California because of its opportunities.
And California’s regulations protect the public health and the state’s natural beauty, which also draws people to the state — including talented people who could settle anywhere.
Wages are high in California because the economy is growing so fast employers have to pay more for workers. And that’s not a bad thing. After all, the goal isn’t just growth. It’s a high standard of living.
Now in fairness, Texas’s problems are also linked to the oil bust. But that’s really no excuse because Texas has failed to diversify its economy. And here again, it hasn’t made adequate investments.
California is far from perfect. A housing shortage has been driving rents and home prices into the stratosphere. And roads are clogged. Much more needs to be done.
But overall, the contrast is clear. Economic success depends on tax revenues that go into public investments, and regulations that protect the environment and public health. And true economic success results in high wages.
So the next time you hear a conservative say “low taxes, few regulations and low wages are the keys to economic business-friendly success,” just remember Kansas, Texas and California.
The conservative formula is wrong.
About that economy Obama supposedly wrecked…
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits held at a 43-year low last week, pointing to sustained labor market strength that could pave the way for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in December.
Thursday’s report from the Labor Department added to data such as September automobile sales and manufacturing and services sector surveys in reinforcing the view that economic growth picked up in the third quarter after a sluggish performance in the first half of the year.
“The data are making the Fed’s current policy look too wrong footed and the markets are waiting for them to get back on track, most likely in December,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG Union Bank in New York.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits were unchanged at a seasonally adjusted 246,000 for the week ended Oct. 8, the lowest reading since November 1973, the Labor Department said.
Claims for the prior week were revised to show 3,000 fewer applications received than previously reported.
It was the 84th consecutive week that claims remained below the 300,000 threshold, which is associated with robust labor market conditions.
That is the longest stretch since 1970, when the labor market was much smaller.
The dollar fell against a basket of currencies, while U.S. Treasuries rose.
After today’s numbers, you have to wonder how much faster the economy could have grown without Republicans throwing up roadblocks every step of the way trying to destroy the black President instead of doing their job to help the country
More Americans are making more money.
The Census Bureau released new numbers on Tuesday showing that, after a brutal economic recession and years of stagnation, real median household incomes rose from $53,718 in 2014 to $56,516 last year. That’s a 5.2 percent rise — the first statistically significant increase since 2007.
But, as NPR’s Pam Fessler notes, “the median household income was still lower than it was in 2007.”
The official poverty rate decreased to 13.5 percent for last year, a drop of 1.2 percentage points. That represents 3.5 million people who are no longer in poverty and is the largest annual percentage point drop since 1999, the Census Bureau says.
The supplemental poverty measure — an alternate way of gauging poverty, which takes more factors into account — also dropped significantly, falling by 1 percentage point to 14.3 percent.
“Poverty dropped for whites, blacks and Hispanics, as well as for children and seniors,” Pam reports.
The number of people with health insurance also rose. More than 90 percent of Americans are covered by health insurance — an increase of 1.3 percentage points since 2014, and growth of 4.3 percentage points since the major provisions of the Affordable Care Act, the Bureau says.
Last year, 29 million people did not have health insurance, representing 9.1 percent of the population.
Across the board, the Census Bureau’s 2015 numbers show significant signs of progress and reflect a recovering economy.
The 5.2 percent increase in median household income, in particular, was impressive — “one of the largest year-to-year increases that we’ve ever had,” Trudi Renwick of the Census Bureau said.
Income rose in every region of the country, for every age group of household head, with statistically significant increases for almost every racial group.
But as The New York Times‘ Nate Cohn points out, rural America didn’t experience the same growth as the rest of the country. The median income for people living outside of metropolitan areas dropped 2 percent, to $44,657.
The Census Bureau also looked at economic inequality, where measures did not show any statistically significant changes.
The difference in income between men and women also did not change by any statistically significant degree. But it did move slightly — from 79 cents on the dollar to 80 cents on the dollar.