RSS

Tag Archives: income

Academic Steering and Black Students

The median pay for a person in my business with (and sometimes without) a Bachelors in Computer Science or Information Technology and with a Manufacturer certification such as a JCIE/CCIE, or a cyber-security cert such as a CISSP is $120,000- $140,000 a year. No PhD required.

So WTF are you taking a degree track in basket weaving?

That same sort of math applies across several STEM based fields, including the Medical Technology industry, Chemical Engineering, some Aerospace, and other Hi-Tech areas. And yes – you have to work your ass off to get there unless you are one of those natural-born geniuses.

So tell me again, why are you enrolled in a under-graduate program where the salary average is 1/3 of that. Despite the “Diversity problems” on the left coast, there are literally tens of thousands of other jobs in the rest of the country.

About 10 percent of black computer science professors and Ph.D. students nationwide are at Clemson, thanks in large part to the work of one professor. Click pic to link.

 

How US academia steers black students out of science

When the late Justice Antonin Scalia pointed out last year that “it does not benefit African-Americans to get them into the University of Texas [Austin] where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a less — a slower-track school where they do well,” he was roundly criticized by the left as a racist.

He was alluding, of course, to the “mismatch” problem that occurs when black students who are less qualified are admitted to more selective schools but do not graduate or do well at them as a result. Two recent studies, though, suggest that his words are truer now than ever.

The first comes from the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, which found that black students are less likely to pursue lucrative majors than their white peers. According to the report, “African Americans account for only 8 percent of general engineering majors, 7 percent of mathematics majors, and only 5 percent of computer engineering majors.”

But they’re overrepresented in fields that don’t have high salaries: “21 percent in health and medical administrative services, compared to only 6 percent in the higher-earning detailed major of pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences, and administration.”

Finally, it noted, “They are also highly represented in . . . [the low-paying fields of] human services and community organization (20%) and social work (19%).”

“There’s a huge inadequacy here in counseling,” Anthony Carnevale, director of the center and the lead author of the report, told the Atlantic.

This seems pretty unlikely. Who doesn’t realize computer engineers get paid well? The real problem is that too many black students are getting a hopelessly inadequate K-12 education and by the time they get to college, their best bet is to major in a subject whose exams have no wrong answers and whose professors engage in rampant grade inflation.

Carnevale also argues that’s because blacks are concentrated in open-access schools that have fewer choices of majors. But this, too, is questionable. Plenty of open-access universities offer courses and majors in STEM fields.

The implication is that black students at lower-tier universities are actually less likely to graduate in STEM majors than those at higher-tier ones. Which is patently false. Indeed, the historically black colleges and universities, many of which aren’t selective at all, tend to have among the highest rates of graduating STEM majors.

And if you want to get a job in a lucrative STEM field, your chances of completing your degree are much better at a lower-tier school. But here’s the real kicker: A recent survey by the Wall Street Journal found that in “fields like science, technology, engineering and math, it largely doesn’t matter whether students go to a prestigious, expensive school or a low-priced one — expected earnings turn out the same.”

For instance, if you go to Manhattan College, where the average SAT score is around 1620, and major in engineering, your mid-career median pay will be $140,000. If you go to Rice, where the average SAT score is 2180, and major in engineering, your pay will be $145,000.

In other words, there’s not much upside financially to going to the more elite schools. But there is a huge downside: Your chances of graduating with a degree in that major fall dramatically.

If you want to know why there’s still a big salary difference for kids majoring in humanities and social sciences between elite and non-elite schools, it probably has something to do with the substance of the major.

Since most employers have no idea what you learned in your sociology classes, they’ll just assume the kids who went to Harvard are smarter.

But they’ll know exactly what you learned in your math and science classes and so they’ll compensate you well if you did reasonably well no matter where you took them.

If liberal elites really were concerned about increasing the graduation rates and career earnings of minority students, they would realize that the Ivy League is not the answer.

And forget Scalia’s racism about elite schools (UT Austin ain’t an “elite school” on the level of MIT, Stanford, or Cal Tech – although it is a good school). Nobody gives a good damn about your GPA 3 years after you graduate – they care about “what can you do for me”. While graduation from an elite school gets you a higher starting salary, which really doesn’t disappear until late career (HR in many companies never corrects that fact, leading to higher turnover of top performers from “lesser schools” and can’t figure out why their best programmer Jimmy with a degree from Downstate U quit to take a new job, while Wilberforce form Big-Name U, an average performer, stays ) – you are still making money putting you in the top 2-3% of wage earners in the US. The folks that failed at that math are generally working in HR at less than half that – and all too often don’t have a clue.

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Same Job – Same Qualifications…Different Pay in Black and White

Like the much touted Gender Pay Gap, there is a racial pay gap. The growth in white female executives has done nothing to change the math. One of the reasons black people are somewhat ambivalent about Hillary Clinton’s feminism.

Searching for the Origins of the Racial Wage Disparity In Jim Crow America

Were black workers paid less because employers discriminated or because of a systemic skills gap?

Even with the bevy of data collected on American workers every year, it can be difficult to nail down the exact causes of disparities in certain workers’ pay, let alone do something about them. Workplace protections such as anti-discrimination clauses and minimum wages have helped a little, but there are still big employment and earnings gaps between black and white Americans.

In a new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, the economists Celeste K. Carruthers and Marianne H. Wanamaker shed more light on today’s racial wage gap by turning to history: In their research, they look into the forces that determined the wages of Southern men during the 1940s, when segregation was legal and black workers weren’t protected by any anti-discrimination laws.

The big question that Carruthers and Wanamaker wanted to sort out was why the average black man and the average white man were earning different wages. Was it because employers were discriminating against black workers when determining pay? Or was it because black workers’ skill sets were relatively less valuable?

The answer they arrived at, after analyzing school quality, employment and wages, was that differences in skills accounted for the most significant portion of the wage disparities in the 1940s. But the root of that skill gap was still racial. The explicit sanctioning of segregation by Jim Crow meant that black public schools lacked of resources and public funding—shortcomings that limited the skill sets and education levels of young, black men during this period, which in turn limited their job opportunities.

Carruthers and Wanamaker argue that a major determinant of public-school quality—and thus a school’s ability to churn out skilled workers—is funding. As the mid-20th-century South illustrates, a shortfall of money can hamper the development of entire groups of people: “The discriminatory preferences of white southerners were powerful in limiting black public school quality and reducing the wages of young black men through the human capital channel,” the authors write. The persistent inequality of educational opportunities, they found, singlehandedly cut earnings of black Southern workers by as much as 50 percent.

Carruthers and Wanamaker’s findings are notable because they suggest that if black Americans were given equal educational opportunities, they could have had significantly better jobs and compensation, even during periods of systemic and intentional discrimination and disenfranchisement. “Education equality would have been a powerful tool for raising black economic standing in the South,” the authors write. Had schools not been kept separate, or had they actually lived up to the promise of educational equality, the authors hypothesize that the wage gap would be a lot narrower than it is today.

The development that, since the ‘40s, has had the most profound impact on starting to close wage gaps was the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, which effectively ordered more funding for black children’s education by integrating both schools and neighborhoods. Twenty years earlier, in the era Carruthers and Wanamaker were focusing on, many black workers’ best bet was to move: Migration was an effective way for them to beef up their salaries and enter labor markets that were a better fit for their skills (not to mention find school districts that, while still separate, were perhaps not quite so unequal).

Of course, improvements to educational access haven’t been a cure-all. Median wages of black male workers during the fourth quarter of 2015 were only 72.4 percent of those of their white counterparts. And unemployment among black workers is around 8.8 percent, while for whites, it’s closer to 4 percent. And for workers lower down on the totem pole of skills, the gaps are even more troubling. As the Brookings Institution recently noted, nearly half of black male workers who haven’t graduated high school have disappeared from the labor force over the past 45 years, while the share of white male workers without a diploma has declined by less than 20 percent.

Today, many neighborhoods remain effectively segregated, and concentrated poverty means poorer areas don’t yield the taxes and investments to build up high-quality school districts. The result is a black populace that tends to earn lower wages, which keeps cycles of poverty going. School segregation is a major cause of labor inequality in the U.S.—whether it’s intentional or not.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 9, 2016 in The New Jim Crow

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Educated, Professional Black Man and Dating

Found this article and though it encapsulated modern black professional dating, although it was published 2 years ago.

Hate to tell this guy, but even making substantially more than some professional black women I’ve gone out with – it can be difficult. I drive a modest car, having gotten out of the childhood stage of driving the high end cars a long time ago to impress anyone. Other than a job interview or meeting a new client for the first time, I don’t get chance to wear the nice suits anymore due to the “full time casual” nature of the tech industry. Don’t talk about the other homes or properties or possessions until things begin to go well, and avoid talking money. I rent a house to be near work. Have no intention of retiring off to shuffleboard city. Seems that even at my age, many black women are looking for Mr. Perfect – and the least imperfection derails things.

Met an attractive black woman a few weeks ago on a website who lived locally. After exchanging mails back and forth she asked for my real name. Obviously to do a background check, which is not that uncommon with professional women in DC. I suggested she look at my LinkedIn page instead, which discusses some of my work and for whom I worked for – and some of my professional relationships proving that. Told her I had worked in some places that require security clearances, and one which required ongoing background checks and random drug testing. Most people in this city know what that means. Ergo – no criminal background, decent credit, and no drugs or excess alcohol. Told her point blank that some of the work I have done cannot be discussed on an open forum, and as such isn’t going to be on the resume. Several reasons for that, one being under non-disclosure working for companies which don’t want certain financial or business transactions to be public, or a company operating in “Stealth Mode” prior to a public announcement.

She bailed apparently insulted that I knew her program.

 

Well-Traveled, Intelligent Black Man, 34, Seeks ‘Sista’ OK With Him Making Less Money

He’s got a degree. Check. A job. Check. Money. Well, that’s where Terrell Jermaine Starr’s dating story stops adding up.

BY:

When I tell my friends that the last time I had a girlfriend was during my freshman year in college in 1998, they respond with disbelief.

For them it’s bemusing to fathom that a man who is well-traveled, gainfully employed, bilingual, degreed, childless, not living in his mother’s basement and debt-free could go 16 years without being in a relationship and years at a time without having sex. What people don’t understand is that my income isn’t as high as many would expect, and it makes me feel insecure about how women may view my current professional station in life.

I only began working full time in my 30s; I spent all of my 20s traveling around Eastern Europe—mainly through Peace Corps, Fulbright and language study-abroad programs—and earning degrees. I consider myself a very late bloomer who has just recently realized I can make a living keystroking breaking-news stories and Brooklyn Renaissance-ing my way into a literary career. As intellectually fruitful as my 20s were, my worldly and academic sojourns did little for my bank account. All my education and travel were fully paid with scholarships, so I guess that means something.

But I wasn’t climbing any corporate ladders and adding zeros to my salary year after year during my 20s, like most women my age were doing, so I find myself financially incompatible. I can’t say that I’ve dated dozens of women who’ve told me as much, but my female friends have given me the impression that someone like me doesn’t bleep on their “He is dating, and perhaps marrying, material” radar.

Most of them are making six-figure salaries, or near that amount, and insist that their partners make at least as much. I’m a senior editor at a website—not an entry-level money earner, but I’m not making six figures, either, so I’m pretty much out of their league with regard to dating. Of course, I’m acutely aware of the fact that many black women have “dated and married down” economically, but I surmise they’ve grown weary of doing so. Complaints about men taking advantage of their financial status pervade most conversations I hear over why many women prefer to only date men who are their economic equals. For the record, I’d have no issue dating women who earn more than I do, and I’m not exclusively pursuing women with deep pockets, so don’t tweet me your foolishness.

When I took to Twitter several days ago to ask my female followers if they would date a man who earns less money than they do, all replied, “Yes.” In fact, many of them balked at my claims that I have a hard time dating because of my income. I’ve also been told that my background in Russian affairs and European wanderlust lead many black women to assume that I only date white women. To the contrary, I’m only interested in sistas. (At the egging on of my former boss, I wrote a funny piece about my type of woman called “Sophistiratchet” a few years ago that I encourage you to read, if you have a sense of humor.)

Most women are also shocked that I’ve gone as long as five years without sex. While I’m as sexual a being as any man, women aren’t disposable to me. I’ve never been able to engage in sexual relationships without establishing some emotional intimacy. Yes, such men do exist.

Some of you will quickly dismiss me and conclude that I’m penning this piece as a cheap attempt to evoke sympathy from female readers. That’s not the case. I’m writing about this because women have repeatedly asked why I, a man who wants to date and eventually marry, find it challenging to do so. There is, indeed, a swath of men in the dating pool who feel they are boxed into a space in which their incomes have yet to catch up with their professional statuses, thus making them less appealing.

For every woman who says she wouldn’t mind her partner making less money than she, there are just as many who do mind. Men like me who are professional late bloomers can conceivably find such dating pools nearly impossible to access when women at this age are beginning to think long term. And I repeat: I don’t have an issue with my financial status; it is something, however, that I find many women care about, and it makes me not even try to put myself out there at all because I feel I won’t measure up in their Excel dating-requirements spreadsheet.

You don’t hear us discussing it often because we’d have to admit to our fears of not feeling valued because we aren’t where we are “supposed to be in life.” Think about it: Thirty-four-year-old men aren’t supposed to be five years removed from an internship and expect to find a woman who will view them as potential relationship material. Most women my age have children and may see a man who makes less than they do as another mouth to feed. I’ve been told this, in so many words. Remember that society views me as “old” and “late in the game,” too. Being a man doesn’t make that any less challenging.

While I’m more than happy with myself, most women could care less that I speak several weird languages they’ll never understand, am a good person, have a promising writing career and can carry on a stimulating conversation, if they don’t find my income attractive. I’m not begrudging women who demand that their partners make as much as or more than they do. Most reasons I’ve heard are perfectly reasonable; money is very important. But this notion that I should have no issues dating is dismissive of all the points I’ve made.

To be clear, I’m not suggesting that all high-income women fit into the dilemma I’ve described. I am saying that my background—sans income comparable to or more than that of my potential partner—doesn’t make me the automatic catch my female followers on Twitter claim that I am.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 29, 2016 in and the Single Life

 

Tags: , , , , ,

400 Richest Americans Have More Wealth than black or Hispanic people

Extreme income inequality…

America’s 100 Richest People Control More Wealth Than the Entire Black Population

It’s well known that America’s wealthiest have been getting richer at the expense of the middle class. But the trend looks even starker when you look at the racial aspects. According to a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies, the combined wealth of those on the Forbes 400 list of America’s richest dwarfs that of the nation’s entire black or Latino populations.

The report found that the 100 richest US citizens control about as much wealth as all of the nation’s 42 million African Americans. The total wealth of the nation’s 55 million Latinos stacks up to that of the 186 richest Americans.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 9, 2015 in American Greed, The New Jim Crow

 

Tags: , , , , ,

The “Meritocracy” Lie

The most successful meritocracy in America is the US Military – despite some setbacks due to politicization  during the Bush Administration under Donald Rumsfeld. Coming in second is the US Government. Dead last is commercial industry.

You can pretty much figure out whether an organization will be monochrome or open based on the management’s performance objectives. Those companies who hire minorities tend to have objectives built in to the senior management’s performance. Those which do not either don’t care, or don’t want any changes to their monochrome workforce.

The False Promise of Meritocracy

Managers who believe themselves to be fair and objective judges of ability often overlook women and minorities who are deserving of job offers and pay increases.

Americans are, compared with populations of other countries, particularly enthusiastic about the idea of meritocracy, a system that rewards merit (ability + effort) with success. Americans are more likely to believe that people are rewarded for their intelligence and skills and are less likely to believe that family wealth plays a key role in getting ahead. And Americans’ support for meritocratic principles has remained stable over the last two decades despite growing economic inequality, recessions, and the fact that there is less mobility in the United States than in most other industrialized countries.

This strong commitment to meritocratic ideals can lead to suspicion of efforts that aim to support particular demographic groups. For example, initiativesdesigned to recruit or provide development opportunities to under-represented groups often come under attack as “reverse discrimination.” Some companies even justify not having diversity policies by highlighting their commitment to meritocracy. If a company evaluates people on their skills, abilities, and merit, without consideration of their gender, race, sexuality etc., and managers are objective in their assessments then there is no need for diversity policies, the thinking goes.

But is this true? Do commitments to meritocracy and objectivity lead to more fair workplaces?

Emilio J. Castilla, a professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, has explored how meritocratic ideals and HR practices like pay-for-performance play out in organizations, and he’s come to some unexpected conclusions.

In one company study, Castilla examined almost 9,000 employees who worked as support-staff at a large service-sector company. The company was committed to diversity and had implemented a merit-driven compensation system intended to reward high-level performance and to reward all employees equitably.

But Castilla’s analysis revealed some very non-meritocratic outcomes. Women, ethnic minorities, and non-U.S.-born employees received a smaller increase in compensation compared with white men, despite holding the same jobs, working in the same units, having the same supervisors, the same human capital, and importantly, receiving the same performance score. Despite stating that “performance is the primary bases for all salary increases,” the reality was that women, minorities, and those born outside the U.S. needed “to work harder and obtain higher performance scores in order to receive similar salary increases to white men.”

These findings led Castilla to wonder if organizational cultures and practices designed to promote meritocracy actually accomplished the opposite. Could it be that the pursuit of meritocracy somehow triggered bias? Along with his colleague, the Indiana University sociology professor Stephen Bernard, they designed a series of lab experiments to find out. Each experiment had the same outcome. When a company’s core values emphasized meritocratic values, those in managerial positions awarded a larger monetary reward to the male employee than to an equally performing female employee. Castilla and Bernard termed their counter intuitive result “the paradox of meritocracy.”

The paradox of meritocracy builds on other research showing that those who think they are the most objective can actually exhibit the most bias in their evaluations. When people think they are objective and unbiased then they don’t monitor and scrutinize their own behavior. They just assume that they are right and that their assessments are accurate. Yet, studies repeatedly show that stereotypes of all kinds (gender, ethnicity, age, disability etc.) are filters through which we evaluate others, often in ways that advantage dominant groups and disadvantage lower-status groups. For example, studies repeatedly find that the resumes of whites and men are evaluated more positively than are the identical resumes of minorities and women.

This dynamic is precisely why meritocracy can exacerbate inequality—because being committed to meritocratic principles makes people think that they actually are making correct evaluations and behaving fairly. Organizations that emphasize meritocratic ideals serve to reinforce an employee’s belief that they are impartial, which creates the exact conditions under which implicit and explicit biases are unleashed.

“The pursuit of meritocracy is more difficult than it appears,” Castilla said at a recent conference hosted by the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford, “but that doesn’t mean the pursuit is futile. My research provides a cautionary lesson that practices implemented to increase fairness and equity need to be carefully thought through so that potential opportunities for bias are addressed.” While companies may want to hire and promote the best and brightest, it’s easier said than done.

GapJumpers, a Silicon Valley start-up, is focused on making meritocracy a reality by taking a skills-first approach to identifying the highest-performing talent.  Modeled after research showing that blind auditions block biased evaluations, GapJumpers developed an online technology platform that enables hiring managers to hold blind audition challenges. In the challenges, job applicants are given mini assignments that are designed to assess the applicant for the specific skills required for the open position. All submissions are evaluated and ranked, and the top-performing submissions (minus any applicant identifiers) are then reviewed by the hiring manager who selects candidates to bring in to interview. The result: About 60 percent of the top talent identified through GapJumpers’ blind audition process come from underrepresented backgrounds.

Hiring managers do not expect this outcome. “The high percentage of underrepresented applicants that make it through the skills-first screening process is often met with suspicion,” says Sharon Jank, a social psychologist and Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University, who is conducting her doctoral research with GapJumpers.  In her work, Jank has observed that “hiring managers tend to be surprised that the top performing submissions they pick to advance very often come from applicants without an elite education, training, or experience.  This suggests blind performance auditions are a powerful tool to manage bias and address the pervasive and incorrect assumption that elite pedigree best predicts performance of on the job skills.”

“Our biases lead to sub-optimal talent selection decisions when evaluating resumes,” says GapJumpers cofounder Kédar Iyer. “By scaling the successful and proven method of blind performance auditions, GapJumpers’ results show that real work performance trumps labels on a resume.”

In addition to blind auditions, transparency and accountability also support more meritocratic outcomes. Recently, Castilla published the results from a longitudinal study he conducted with the same large service-sector company that he had studied years earlier. After learning from Castilla’s analysis that there were pay disparities in their organization (white men received more compensation than equally performing women, minorities, and non-U.S.-born individuals) the company asked Castilla to recommend practices to close the pay gap….More Here

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 3, 2015 in The New Jim Crow

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Why the Poor Stay Poor in America

In summary – America is Failing

At least five large studies in recent years have found the United States to be less mobile than comparable nations. A project led by Markus Jantti, an economist at a Swedish university, found that 42 percent of American men raised in the bottom fifth of incomes stay there as adults. That shows a level of persistent disadvantage much higher than in Denmark (25 percent) and Britain (30 percent) — a country famous for its class constraints.

Meanwhile, just 8 percent of American men at the bottom rose to the top fifth. That compares with 12 percent of the British and 14 percent of the Danes.

Despite frequent references to the United States as a classless society, about 62 percent of Americans (male and female) raised in the top fifth of incomes stay in the top two-fifths, according to research by the Economic Mobility Project of the Pew Charitable Trusts. Similarly, 65 percent born in the bottom fifth stay in the bottom two-fifths.

Where you are born counts… What you should notice is that the Red State South still serves as the boat anchor holding the rest of the country back. That is in huge reason today due to failed Republican Tax CUt policies necessitating a reduction in every service from social services to education. You get what you pay for, and in the case of conservative tax cut and slash policy – what you get is stagnant economic mobility. Ergo the poor stay poor.

In America, the Poorer You Are, the Poorer Your Children Will Be

This country’s terrible social safety net is making it impossible for working-class parents to keep up with their wealthier peers.

When people talk about “balancing work and family,” they’re usually talking more about the workplace than what’s going on at home. Now we’re starting to get data on what the workaday life looks like from a kid’s eye view, and it doesn’t look good.

When debating the issue of work-life balance, arguments over unlimited vacation and employment discrimination center around women’s barriers to opportunity—the perennial glass ceiling that Anne Marie Slaughter and Sheryl Sandberg rage at when lamenting not “having it all.” For working-class folks crushed by on-call schedules or poverty wages, it’s often hard to find any life outside work, let alone to balance work and family lives. But centering the conversation not on career ambition but the life course of a family helps put the false dichotomy of work vs. life in perspective.

In their new book “Too Many Children Left Behind,”Bruce Bradbury, Miles Corak, Jane Waldfogel, and Elizabeth Washbrook help illuminate these gaps by comparing the impacts of inequality across four wealthy countries—the United States, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. They found that poor children in the US are “doubly disadvantaged relative to their peers in the other three countries” because the government’s “social safety net and supports for working families do the least among the four countries to combat inequality”—particularly our national lack of guaranteed paid time off and vacation.

That’s old news, but the center of the researchers’ narrative is not necessarily workers’ lives but their children’s. Poverty limits access to basic resources like nutrition and decent childcare. But a geometrically expanding class divide looms over all income brackets, as wealthier parents zealously splurge on “enrichment expenditures”:

spending on books, computers, high-quality child care, summer camps, private schooling, and other resources that offer a motivating and nurturing environment for children. A generation or more ago, during the early 1970s, a typical family in the top fifth of the income distribution spent about $3,850 per year on resources like these, four times as much as the typical family at the bottom of the income distribution, which spent about $925…. by 2005 it had grown tremendously, to $9,800 versus $1,400.

So poor parents struggling just to cover basic food and shelter face both massive income inequality in their day-to-day lives, plus a seven-fold gap in the amount they can “invest” to help their children thrive in the future. Given that social mobility is already suppressed at all income levels—with children’s future earnings highly correlated with the earnings of their parents—the Herculean amount of “catch up” poor parents must undertake just to get on the same footing as their higher-earning peers makes the great American wealth gap seem even more devastating, for both today’s working households and generations to come.

Moreover, the gender gap straddles the class divide: the “earnings advantage” provided by parents’ wealth, or lack thereof, is skewed against women. A child is likely to inherit a greater share of his dad’s wealth than mom’s. Beyond the perennial “equal pay” debate and the simplistic notion of “78 cents on the dollar,” how does that reality of gender inequality play out in family dynamics, in those difficult late-night conversations on who should stay home with a newborn, or stay late at the office?

But the most enduring impact of these deficits may be impossible to quantify. Economic disadvantage intertwined with structural inequality has a savage effect on a child’s long-term educational prospects—including basic preschool-level skills, like language aptitude and sociability, and failing primary-school grades. And the “achievement gap” (which is itself a notion often politicized with complex racial biases) has folded into a deepening black-white education divide over the last three decades.

Other research has revealed that economic status is a growing factor in academic outcomes, as “the relationship between income and achievement has grown sharply” over the last 50 years. So wealth trumps intellect on many levels.

Closing the gap takes more systemic solutions than just “leaning in.” Class lines reflect a deficit of democracy, created by neglect of government institutions. Research suggests much of the education gap is perpetuated or aggravated while children are wending through the highly segregated school system.

Co-author Jane Waldfogel says via e-mail that in addition to better workplace benefits, policy solutions might come through richer, more accessible early education and childcare: “Universal preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds would help level the playing field by ensuring that all preschoolers receive educationally oriented early education (rather than the case now, where more affluent families can buy preschool, while lower income families have to make do with lower quality care).”

Federal programs like Head Start and childcare subsidies have for years suffered massive funding gaps, leaving tens of thousands of kids underserved. But some states are directing resources into expanding preschool—with pioneering programs in New York City—though it remains to be seen whether lawmakers who have failed to adequately fund K-12 are really willing to invest enough public dollars in the long-term to create a sustainable universal pre-K system.

Waldfogel’s research reveals a need for not just income supports but simply less need to work all the time. For young children of parents who are either out working around the clock, or constantly stressed at home, overwork translates into a materially and emotionally impoverished home environment. During the developmental years, research shows “inequalities in income and family resources are in turn linked with disparities in more proximal factors such as books in the home, lessons and activities outside the home, and parents’ spanking.”

Although many factors shape a household’s social climate, the connection between a parents’ economic frustrations and a pattern of a lack of nurture, even cruelty at home, suggests a troubling through-line in this inheritance of inequity: Wealth doesn’t trickle down, yet economic violence does.…More…

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

What Happened to That American Exceptionalism? There is None Anymore…

America has been on the decline since Raygun – despite on small moment of high achievement and expectations during the Clinton Administration.

The lang fall into mediocrity in America can be traced directly to the steps of the conservatives in America. Al most every country which is superior to the US in any category has a government and social system which conservatives would call “socialism”. Quite frankly – socialism is kicking our ass.

I am going to start with parts of an article in Fortune Magazine… 12 signs America is on the decline.

1. Median household income

Rank of U.S.: 27th out of 27 high-income countries

Americans may feel like global leaders, but Spain, Cyprus and Qatar all have higher median household incomes than America’s (about $54,000). So does much of Europe and the industrialized world. Per capita median income in the US ($18,700) is also relatively low–and unchanged since 2000. A middle-class Canadian’s income is now higher.

2. Education and skills

Rank of U.S.: 16th out of 23 countries

The US ranked near the bottom in a skills survey by theOrganization for Economic Co-operation and Development, which examined European and other developed nations. In its Skills Outlook 2013, the US placed 16th in adult literacy, 21st in adult numeracy out of 23, and 14th in problem-solving. Spots in prestigious US universities are highly sought-after. Yet higher education, once an effective way out of poverty in the US, isn’t anymore – at least not for lower-income and minority students. The authors quote studies showing, for example, that today 80% of white college students attend Barron’s Top 500 schools, while 75% of black and Latino students go to two-year junior colleges or open-admissions (not Top 500) schools. Poor students are also far less likely to complete a degree.

3. Internet speed and access

Rank of U.S.: 16th out of 34 countries

Broadband access has become essential for industry to grow and flourish. Yet in the US, penetration is low andspeed relatively slow versus wealthy nations—thought thecost of internet is among the highest ($0.04 per megabit per second in Japan, for example, versus $0.53 in the US). The problem may be too much concentration and too little competition in the industry, the authors suggest.

4. Health

Rank of U.S.: 33rd out of 145 countries

When it comes to its citizens’ health, in countries that are home to at least one million people, the US ranks below many other wealthy countries. More American women also are dying during pregnancy and childbirth, the authors note, quoting a Lancet study. For every 100,000 births in the United States, 18.5 women die. Saudi Arabia and Canada have half that maternal death rate.

5. People living below the poverty line

Rank of U.S.: 36th out of 162 countries, behind Morocco and Albania

Officially, 14.5% of Americans are impoverished — 45.3 million people–according to the latest US Census data.That’s a larger fraction of the population in poverty than Morocco and Albania (though how nations define poverty varies considerably). The elderly have Social Security, with its automatic cost-of-living adjustments, to thank, the authors say, for doing better: Few seniors (one in 10) are poor today versus 50 years ago (when it was one in three). Poverty is also down among African Americans. Now America’s poor are more often in their prime working years, or in households headed by single mothers.

6. Children in poverty

Rank of U.S.: 34th out of 35 countries surveyed

When UNICEF relative poverty – relative to the average in each society—the US ranked at the bottom, above only Romania, even as Americans are, on average, six times richer than Romanians. Children in all of Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan fare better.

7. Income inequality

Rank of U.S.: Fourth highest inequality in the world.

The authors argue that the most severe inequality can be found in Chile, Mexico, Turkey — and the US. Citing the Gini coefficient, a common inequality metric, and data from Wall Street Journal/Mercer Human Resource Consulting, they say this inequality slows economic growth, impedes youths’ opportunities, and ultimately threatens the nation’s future (an OECD video explains). Worsening income inequality is also evident in the ratio of averageCEO earnings to average workers’ pay. That ratio went from 24:1 in 1965 to 262:1 in 2005.

8. Prison population

Rank of U.S.: First out of 224 countries

More than 2.2 million Americans are in jail. Only China comes close, the authors write, with about 1.66 million.

9. Life satisfaction

Rank of U.S.: 17th out of 36 countries

The authors note Americans’ happiness score is only middling, according to the OECD Better Life Index. (The index measures how people evaluate their life as a whole rather than their current feelings.) People in New Zealand, Finland, and Israel rate higher in life satisfaction. A UN report had a similar finding.

10. Corruption

Rank of U.S.: 17th out of 175 countries.

Barbados and Luxembourg are ahead of the US when it comes to citizens’ perceptions of corruption. Americans view their country as “somewhat corrupt,” the authors note, according to Transparency International, a Berlin-based nonprofit. In a separate survey of American citizens, many said politicians don’t serve the majority’s interest, but are biased toward corporate lobbyists and the super-rich. “Special interest groups are gradually transforming the United States into an oligarchy,” the authors argue, “concerned only about the needs of the wealthy.”

11. Stability

Rank of U.S.: 20th out of 178 countries.

The Fragile States Index considers factors such as inequality, corruption, and factionalism. The US lags behind Portugal, Slovenia and Iceland.

12. Social progress index

Rank of U.S.: 16th out of 133 countries

A broad measure of social well-being, the index comprises 52 economic indicators such as access to clean water and air, access to advanced education, access to basic knowledge, and safety. Countries surpassing the US include Ireland, the UK, Iceland, and Canada.

“If America’s going to be great again, we’ve got to start fixing things,” Friedman said.

Just for the heck of it, I am going to add a couple more…

Economic Mobility

If you work hard you can achieve”…A poor kid has a better chance of achieving reaching the higher economic levels in other countries. The US lag is getting worse.

The following chart only compares the 27 industrialized countries. The US actually drops to 17th if you include Second World Countries.

Infant Mortality

Your baby has a 2.5 times greater chance of dying prenatal, or postnatal covering the first year of life than in Japan or Finland. For black mothers that is about 4 times greater.

The US ranks 27th of the 27 Industrialized Nations… Comparing it to all nations we are about 40th behind Cuba.

Suicide Rate

America is in the middle of the pack. However the rate of suicides in the US exceeds that of Libya, the Central African Republic, Brazil, and China to name a few. Mental health care in the US is seriously lacking.

Racial Discrimination and Violence Against Minorities (Ethnic or racial)

America is a sad 37th.

Educational Attainment

Guess what guys…America has dropped to 16th.

Face i…This country would be far better off deporting Republicans than Illegal Immigrants.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: