Category Archives: Income Inequality

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s Speech At Syracuse University

Recently, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand spoke at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University as part of the State of Democracy Lecture series.

Here is a description of the talk:
Gillibrand’s talk, “The American Opportunity Agenda,” addressed proposals to help more middle-class women workers gain financial security by modernizing America’s outdated workplace policies.

Gillibrand was first sworn in as U.S. senator from New York in January 2009. Prior to her service in the Senate, she served in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing 10 counties in upstate New York’s 20th congressional district. She serves on the Senate agriculture, armed services, and aging committees.

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February 5, 2014 · 5:13 pm

Rockanomics and the US Economy: “It’s a Long Way to the Top . . .”

“. . . if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll.” This quote from AC/DC and Jack Black’s School of Rock is applicable to a short story by NPR’s Weekend Edition.  The segment discusses how the economics of the music industry can teach us lessons about the broader American economy.  Most notably, both are currently in a state of radical inequality. 

Here is a description of the story: 

White House economic adviser Alan Krueger took some ribbing from his boss this week. President Obama noted that Krueger will soon be leaving Washington to go back to his old job, teaching economics at Princeton.

“And now that Alan has some free time, he can return to another burning passion of his: ‘Rockanomics,’ the economics of rock and roll,” the president said. “This is something that Alan actually cares about.”

In fact, Krueger gave a speech this week at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, where he said the music business offers valuable lessons about the broader U.S. economy.

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June 16, 2013 · 11:01 am

Wage Inequality 50 Years After the Equal Pay Act

Yesterday, NPR’s Morning Edition commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act and discussed woman in the workplace today.  

Here is an introduction the story: 

On this day 50 years ago, President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in an effort to abolish wage discrimination based on gender. Half a century later, the Obama administration is pushing Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, designed to make wage differences more transparent.

Some dispute the frequently cited figure that women are paid 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. But even those who argue the gap is narrower agree it’s most prominent when a woman enters her childbearing years.


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June 11, 2013 · 8:54 pm

Abolish the Minimum Wage?

That was the proposition being debated on the most recent Intelligence Squared debate.  The debater included James A. Dorn (Cato Institute) and Russell Roberts (Hoover Institution) arguing in favor of the motion and Jared Bernstein (Former Chief Economist to Vice President Joe Biden) and Karen Kornbluh (Former US Ambassador, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development). 

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April 11, 2013 · 9:25 am

The Vanishing American Dream

New Republic editor Timothy Noah discusses the origin of the term “American Dream” and how inequality is frustrating social mobility in America.  This brief (2:15) video was part of the weekly commentary segment on CBS Sunday Morning.  

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March 21, 2013 · 5:40 pm

What About The Poor?

If one were to believe American political rhetoric, it would seem that there are no poor people in the United States.  Neither Republicans nor Democrats discuss poverty, or “the little guy.”  Instead, both political parties talk of the plight of the mythic “middle class.”  Of course, the middle class is not as large as our politics would suggest.  Especially in the wake of the Great Recession, there is staggering (and disturbing) number of Americans living in poverty–nearly 50 million people, or 1 in 5 children in the US.   This episode of the Moral Maze radio programme (yes, it is British) debates the ethics of poverty, entitlements (“benefits” in the British lexicon), and the social safety net.

The show is a bit on the dry side and runs approximately 43 minutes.  It is, however, relevant to potential SLACE members as this is the format that will be utilized by the SLACE debate podcast.

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March 14, 2013 · 4:54 pm