[identity profile] madman101.livejournal.com
[INFOGRAPHIC] Uninsured and Unhealthy: The Health Insurance Woes of African Americans

Health care is on the front pages once more as the controversial Affordable Care Act develops into one of the critical pivots on which the success of President Obama’s second term is expected to turn. At stake is not only Obama’s place in history; it’s the entire US economy wherein health care is the lynchpin to turn things around.

In his 2013 state-of-the-union address delivered on February 12, Obama issued strong statements on the issue. “Yes, the biggest driver of our long-term debt is the rising cost of health care for an aging population… We won’t grow the middle class simply by shifting the cost of health care or college onto families that are already struggling, or by forcing communities to lay off more teachers, cops, and firefighters.”

One sector that’s already struggling, and has been for some time now, is African Americans.
Read more HERE. (Offers imbed-to-site InfoGraphics code).

http://financesonline.com Also view InfoGraphics under LJ cut: )

See also: [livejournal.com profile] economic_sanity - And, into my personal journal, I will be posting another econ-related post today or tomorrow, which will viewable w/ others via this tag: http://madman101.livejournal.com/tag/-posted%20to%20o_c_c_u_p_y
[identity profile] madman101.livejournal.com
Joseph E Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economics, is professor of economics at Columbia University. His latest book is The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers our Future. HE IS BEING FEATURED TODAY ON NPR'S "FRESH AIR"!

"Lack of opportunity in the United States means the country's most valuable asset – its people – is not being fully used."...


America likes to think of itself as a land of opportunity, and others view it in much the same light. But, while we can all think of examples of Americans who rose to the top on their own, what really matters are the statistics: to what extent do an individual's life chances depend on the income and education of his or her parents?

Nowadays, these numbers show that the American dream is a myth. There is less equality of opportunity in the United States today than there is in Europe – or, indeed, in any advanced industrial country for which there are data.

This is one of the reasons that America has the highest level of inequality of any of the advanced countries – and its gap with the rest has been widening. In the "recovery" of 2009-2010, the top 1% of US income earners captured 93% of the income growth. Other inequality indicators – like wealth, health, and life expectancy – are as bad or even worse. The clear trend is one of concentration of income and wealth at the top, the hollowing out of the middle, and increasing poverty at the bottom.

It would be one thing if the high incomes of those at the top were the result of greater contributions to society, but the great recession showed otherwise: even bankers who had led the global economy, as well as their own firms, to the brink of ruin, received outsize bonuses.

A closer look at those at the top reveals a disproportionate role for rent-seeking: some have obtained their wealth by exercising monopoly power; others are CEOs who have taken advantage of deficiencies in corporate governance to extract for themselves an excessive share of corporate earnings; and still others have used political connections to benefit from government munificence – either excessively high prices for what the government buys (drugs), or excessively low prices for what the government sells (mineral rights). ...(link above)...

See also(!): EQUALITY TRUST, more: http://truth-out.org/progressive-picks
[identity profile] eviltracey.livejournal.com
I ran across this essay in the Globe and Mail today.

The author talks about an OECD study that showed that, in the U.S., the lion's share of income gains over the past three decades has gone to the wealthiest people. He also wonders if other Western countries are having a similar experience. This subject was under discussion at a conference sponsored by the U.K.'s Resolution Foundation in November. (The author chaired a discussion panel at said conference.)

People will disagree over why rising inequality matters and what should be done about it. I suggest it matters most, at least in the high-income countries because it both undermines hopes for any reasonable degree of equality of opportunity and cements the inequalities in power that have, in turn, allowed the preservation of a wide range of privileges, particularly in taxation.

These outcomes should matter even to those who have no concern for equality of outcome. I would add that some – perhaps a great deal – of the ultra-high incomes at the top are almost certainly the fruit of rent extraction facilitated by a breakdown in the control exercised by principals – outside investors – over their agents – corporate executives and financiers. Huge rewards then are both unjust and inefficient.

The author concludes that inequality is an issue that has to be addressed, but unfortunately offers no ideas on how to fix it. (It's complicated.) Perhaps it is helpful that we are talking about it, and not dealing with it by sticking it to the "American Idol" contestant who seems to come from too affluent a background.

Finally: check out the Resolution Foundation's website.  There are some interesting articles there.

November 2016

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