News Brief - October 24

Friday, October 24, 2008 | News

Inequality

Study shows gap growing between rich and poor
“What will happen if the next decade is not one of world growth but of world recession? If a rising tide didn’t lift all boats, how will they be affected by an ebbing tide?”
It may be about time we retire this whole “rising tide” analogy. Some boats are apparently not boats at all, but seaplanes…

‘More inequality’ in rich nations
“The most equal distribution of wealth is in the Nordic countries, including Denmark, Sweden and Finland.”
Perhaps some of us are too quick to dismiss the Nordic track.

Inequality in major US cities rivals Africa: UN
“”The life expectancy of African Americans in the United States is about the same as that of people living in China and some states of India, despite the fact that the United States is far richer than the other two countries,“ [the report] said.”

Pennsylvania Women Stop Closing Wage Gap With Men
“But in the current decade, despite a so-called economic expansion between 2001 and 2007, the progress of women in the Pennsylvania workforce stopped.”

Health Insurance

Health costs soar past wages
“So, it probably cuts into the amount of wage increases that they can get.”

Utahn’s wages not keeping up with rising insurance coverage costs
“The average Utahn’s work-based health insurance premium has increased five times faster than the average wage since 2000, the group says.”

Education, Schools

How one failing St Paul school made the grade
“We find out their learning styles, then we can address each child’s needs,” Johnson said.“
Not leaving children behind doesn’t have to be rocket science.


USDA to kill Phila. school lunch program
”The 17-year-old program aimed at poor students is unique because it doesn’t require students and their families to fill out application forms for free or reduced-price meals. This maximizes student participation.“
It also reduces administrative cost and stigma associated with free lunches.

Povert (of sorts)

Fuel poverty campaigners lose high court battle
”Campaigners failed today in a high court bid to force the government to spend more to end fuel poverty.“
Apparently there is a lack of legal as well as political will.

Poverty in America: The Problems and Solutions
”Communities know what they need. It is not more welfare or school vouchers… but jobs, programs which work in schools and for young people. Good public transportation and job training, learning how to be resourceful and make things again, self-sufficiency, and a deep respect for learning need to be privileged more than what television and advertising put out there.“

Poverty and Politics (Netherlands)
An example of the discussion that ensues when individuals are highlighted instead of the conditions or systems in which we live.

Wages

Lawmakers must halt runaway minimum wage
”It was never designed to be a living wage. It was supposed to be an earnings floor for workers in entry-level, low-skilled or unskilled, often menial jobs, protecting a vulnerable work group from exploitation. If someone doesn’t want to earn just the minimum wage, then the solution is to get the education and/or skills and training needed to go up the wage ladder to qualify for better jobs.“
I’m assuming that the Yakima Herald Editorial Board realized the power of their argument, were promptly trained, and are now the New York Times Editorial Board.

Coweta wages in ‘rapid decline’
”[The economist] said more jobs isn’t necessarily a good thing, if they aren’t the right kinds of jobs. Fruth compared the situation to a baseball team’s roster. Adding a bunch of “scrubs,” he said, doesn’t lift the team batting average, and certainly doesn’t make for a better team, even with more players.“

UNH Study: State’s households struggle with less livable wage
”The study also projects a continued decline in livable wage jobs in New Hampshire due to the state’s transformation from a production-based to a service-based economy.“

 

  

News Brief - August 26

Tuesday, August 26, 2008 | News

Wages

The high cost of low wages
“Can something be done to secure good jobs for all?”

Study: States differ widely on responses to wages vs. necessities gap

Benefits

Ohio paid sick days plan remains controversial:
Ohio businesses eyeing voter approval of paid sick days
Strickland sides with business, says leave plan is bad for Ohio

Weigh benefits carefully in today’s job market

Poverty, inequality

The Worst of Poverties
“There is evidence that to live in a society with major disparities — in health, wealth and education — is worse for all members of society, not excepting the better-situated members, the article says.”
All the more reason why we need policies that work for everyone.

‘It’s kind of rough’: Single parenthood, stalled wages contribute to poverty in Janesville
Good example of a bad frame…
“Kathy, 36, was supposed to go to the Rock County Job Center to look for a job today, but…”I been gonna get them done, but something happened, then something else happened…“ she told one company.”
…Please tell me everyone understands why this communication strategy won’t work…

Make poverty reduction a priority
Kathy, 36, will be your spokesperson.  Still interested in that priority?