Workers & Economic Inequality

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A Taxing System

The current system of tax credits does its job to help some families in need—but there are large gaps in the system that can hurt others who need it most.

Tags: universal childcare, tax credits, eitc, child tax credit, child poverty

Race shouldn’t overshadow economic class concerns

The class versus race question is a hotly debated topic, one which manifests into questions about the relative inequality between whites and blacks or rich and poor. A recent article in the Baltimore Sun questioned which distinction is more relevant today when talking about likelihood of success in life. TCF senior fellow Rick Kahlenberg is quoted in the article:

"We continue to struggle with racial discrimination in this country, but class has become a far-larger impediment to a person's life chances than race."

Read the article about inequality in the Baltimore Sun.

Tags: segregation, racial inequality, race, poverty

Are Student Debt Forgiveness Scams The Next Mortgage Meltdown?

The student debt epidemic has become an increasingly serious issue, so large that some agencies believe that student debt forgiveness scams are soon to become the next mortgage meltdown. With student loan debt now at $1.2 trillion, borrowers are becoming so desperate that they are vulnerable to scammers who offer debt relief. Casey Quinlan's article in Think Progress cites Sam Adler-Bell's experience of being targeted by one of these companies himself. 

“When they’re already really freaked out because they’re in default and they’re otherwise distressed … Given those circumstances, the first thing that’s going to come up when they Google, both the ads and the actual non-ad results, are for-profit companies and not the department of education’s own walk-through of how to consolidate your loans. It’s totally understandable how people are falling for these scams,” Adler-Bell said.

Read Quinlan's full article that features Adler-Bell.

Tags: student loans, low-income students, for profit colleges, debt

Concentrated poverty is the new urban panic

An article published in Al Jazeera America cites Paul Jargowsky's "Architecture of Segregation" report, asking whether it is best to address concentrated poverty by breaking up distressed neighborhoods or attempting to fix them. The author concludes that relocation is not the answer.

Not well known to those who live in other neighborhoods are the many residents who devote their time to helping neighbors and working for change. Our policies need to support and reward that work. We must invest in decent schools and services, demand more respectful and effective policing and through media coverage, educational materials and public meetings actively challenge racist stereotypes that have caused generations of damage to our people and our cities.

Read the full article from Susan Greenbaum in Al Jazeera America.

Tags: neighborhood integration, low-income housing, high-poverty neighborhoods, concentrated poverty

Is It Time for a Civil-Rights Movement for the Poor?

Like so many before her, Atlantic reporter Alana Semuels asks "What is to be done?" in response to alleviating the financial burdens put on the poor. She discusses the effects that poverty has on housing, schools, higher education, and the workforce naming TCF senior fellow Rick Kahlenberg's latest work—a critique and expansion of Robert Putnam's book Our Kids—throughout the article. She quotes Kahlenberg saying:

“If you look back at the last 50 years, I think one of the things we can be most proud of is the civil-rights revolution and the way that it changed our country for the better in really profound ways,” he told me. “At the same time, we’ve seen our economic divide grow much worse than it was a half century ago. So it seems to me there may be some lessons from the policies adopted as a result of the civil-rights movement in housing and education and employment that could be applied to our economic situation.”

Read Semuels's Atlantic full article here.

Tags: income inequality, housing segregation, higher education, class segregation


Workers & Economic Inequality

Workers & Economic Inequality

In recent decades, and especially since 2000, the richest Americans have enjoyed soaring income and wealth while the rest of the population's living standards have stagnated. The Century Foundation was one of the first institutions to raise serious concerns about these trends and propose ideas for improving economic conditions for all Americans- not just the fortunate few.

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