May 2012 Archives

CNN
By: Jose Pagliery
May 29, 2012

I'm a successful entrepreneur but might get deported

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- It happens every time Celso Mireles, a tech consultant who runs a successful business in Phoenix, hops into his pickup truck and drives past a police car. His stomach turns. His chest tightens.

He could be deported any minute.

TIME
By: Martha C. White
May 31, 2012

Students lose when financial aid goes onto fee-laden debit cards

Thought the student loan crisis was bad as it is? Now add hefty fees into that mix. Providers say students can avoid the fees that pile up when they elect to receive their financial aid on a debit card, but new research from a consumer advocacy group finds that these companies throw up roadblocks to keep the fee revenue rolling in, even as colleges make big bucks off their affiliations with these institutions.

NPR
By: Shankar Vedantam
May 29, 2012

Listening to parents key to financial responsibility

As an increasing number of Americans live into their 80s and 90s, many families are struggling to find ways to make retirement dollars -- that were once supposed to support seniors for years -- now stretch over decades.

The Huffington Post
By: Saki Knafo
May 31, 2012

U.S. child poverty second highest among developed nations: Report

Can government spending lift poor children from poverty?

A new report from UNICEF suggests it's possible. The latest edition of UNICEF's report on child poverty in developed countries found that 30 million children in 35 of the world's richest countries live in poverty. Among those countries, the United States ranks second on the scale of what economists call "relative child poverty" -- above Latvia, Bulgaria, Spain, Greece, and 29 others. Only Romania ranks higher, with 25.5 percent of its children living in poverty, compared with 23.1 percent in the U.S.

The Huffington Post
By: Andrea Levere
May 30, 2012

Policymakers can help low-income families and score political points

In the current polarized political environment, many people assume that more government intervention equals more spending which in turn leads to an ever-expanding federal deficit. This assumption has infiltrated debates over the federal budget and contributed to legislative gridlock.

The Huffington Post
By: Janean Chun
May 25, 2012

Kelli Gilzow, SPRQ Studio: From welfare recipient to CEO

When Kelli Gilzow needed public assistance to get through college, she never thought she'd have to go back on welfare years later as a single mother. But after separating from her husband, who was diagnosed with AIDS, she was forced to move back to her hometown in Maine, live in a shelter run by nuns and apply for welfare to support her two kids.

The Huffington Post
By: Timothy Noah
May 29, 2012

Why Edward Conrad is wrong about income inequality

Edward Conard has gotten a lot of press lately for writing a book that praises income inequality. Writing in the New York Times Magazine, Adam Davidson described Conard's argument this way: "If we had a little more of it, then everyone, particularly the 99 percent, would be better off." Conard is a former partner at Mitt Romney's private equity firm, Bain Capital, and a major contributor to Romney's presidential campaign. That gives readers of Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You've Been Told About The Economy Is Wrong the thrill of being privy to opinions Romney may well share but dare not say out loud.

NPR
By: John Ydstie
May 29, 2012

On the economic ladder, rungs move further apart

America is the land of opportunity -- that's the bedrock of the American dream. Many expect each generation to do better than the last.

TIME
By: Martha C. White
May 29, 2012

The growing debate over prepaid debit cards

At an event in Durham, N.C. on Wednesday, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Richard Cordray announced that the agency is "decid[ing] how we should go about regulating prepaid cards to better protect consumers and to provide clear rules for prepaid providers."

TIME
By: Brad Tuttle
May 30, 2012

Insult to injury: rise in people with student loan debt--and no college degree

It's bad enough to graduate from college with a mountain of student loans in a world where the prospects of landing a good job are terrible. But at least grads have something that should help their careers in the short- and long-term: a college degree.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Ruth Simon
May 24, 2012

USDA is a tough collector when mortgages go bad

Charles Ward fell behind on his mortgage in September, just as his late wife began a losing battle with lung cancer and her medical costs soared.

His lender seized his $2,958 federal tax refund and has taken a $131 bite from each of his last four monthly Social Security checks.

"What little money I had saved up has just disappeared," says Mr. Ward, a 71-year-old former truck driver who bought his $128,000 home in Nelsonville, Ohio, in 2008. He receives about $200 a month in food stamps and takes on odd jobs to make ends meet.

NPR
By: Yuki Noguchi
May 27, 2012

Help wanted. But not for mid-level jobs

Unemployment figures for May come out Friday. While the numbers will show how many jobs have been added or lost, they won't tell us much about the quality of positions filled or illustrate what economists already know: that the middle of the job market is hollowing out.

NPR
By: Ari Shapiro
May 29, 2012


American Dream faces harsh new reality

The American Dream is a crucial thread in this country's tapestry, woven through politics, music and culture.

The Huffington Post
By: Gosnia Wozniacka
May 26, 2012

Undocumented immigrants find paths to college, careers

FRESNO, Calif. -- Going to college seemed inconceivable when Adriana Sanchez, the 12-year-old daughter of farm workers, was brought from Mexico to Central California and the family overstayed their visas.

TIME
By: Christopher Matthews
May 29, 2012

The myth of American decline: An interview with author Daniel Gross

You don't have to look very hard to find proof that over the past five years Americans have evolved into a very pessimistic bunch. Far more of us think the country is headed in the wrong direction than think it's on the right track. Every month there is another book published about America's precipitous decline, and what we can do to change course. Perhaps most tellingly, a majority of Americans erroneously believe that China -- and not the U.S. -- is the world's leading economy. A combination of an economic malaise, stagnant or non-existant growth in wealth and wages, and an acrimonious political climate have combined to cause Americans to vastly overestimate the problems of our admittedly troubled economy.

The Washington Post
By: Steven Pearlstein
May 26, 2012

Identity crisis for American capitalism

Beneath all the folderol about job creation and destruction at Bain Capital or President Obama's alleged war against success and free enterprise, there's actually a legitimate debate to be had about what kind of capitalism we want in the United States.

The Huffington Post
By: Seth Borenstein
May 25, 2012

CEO pay: highest salaries equal 3,489 years for typical worker

WASHINGTON -- David Simon of Simon Property received a pay package worth more than $137 million for last year, and the typical CEO took home $9.6 million, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.

TIME
By: Ron Wyden
May 25, 2012

"Self-employment assistance": How we're helping Americans help themselves

In June of 2008, Adam Lowry and Michael Richardson found themselves unemployed. The tech startup where they worked in Portland, Vidoop, had just closed its doors, and employees were being offered company laptops in lieu of back wages. Common sense would dictate that these promising young programmers should file for unemployment insurance (UI) and begin their search for new employment--which they did. In a way.

NPR
By: Wendy Kaufman
May 25, 2012

In tight credit market, a tool for small businesses

When small-business owners start looking for money to expand, they often begin at a big bank. The banks are highly visible, well-known and often nearby.

Red flag in bank lending

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The Wall Street Journal
By: Victoria McGrane
May 24, 2012

Red flag in bank lending

Lending stumbled in the first quarter after nearly a year of growth, deepening questions about the recovery and confidence of borrowers and bankers.

The Atlantic
By: Megan McArdle
May 21, 2012

Why school integration is so hard

In yesterday's New York Times, David Kirp, a public policy professor from Berkeley, explains that school integration made a large, long term impact on African-American students.

TIME
By: Martha C. White
May 21, 2012

Why this may be the ideal time to buy real estate

Well, it's only taken half a decade, but the moribund real estate market is finally starting to show signs of life. If you were thinking about making a move on a piece of property, right now is possibly the best time. You can still take advantage of low prices in most places around the country, and mortgage rates are at once-in-a-lifetime record lows: 30- and 15-year fixed mortgages are around 4% and 3%, respectively.

TIME
By: Noliwe M. Rooks
May 24, 2012

Why do we care more about diversity on TV than in our schools?

As soon as it premiered last month, HBO's new series, Girls, was roundly criticized for the lack of racial diversity in the cast. Filmed in Brooklyn, the show chronicles the lives of four white female friends who have recently graduated from college. TV critics immediately questioned how it was possible for the stars to only have white friends and chastised Hollywood for perpetuating the fiction of such extreme levels of racial separation in personal and romantic relationships.

The Huffington Post
By: Marilyn Geewax
May 22, 2012

Medical costs pushing Americans into credit card debt: Survey

Are you carrying debt because of doctor's bills or medicine costs? If so, you're not alone.

Many low-and middle-income Americans are paying for medical bills with their credit cards, according to a recent survey conducted by a research and policy center called Demos. The survey sampled 997 adults in February and March who had carried credit card for at least three months to find an average debt of $7,145 with $1,678 attributable to medical costs. Almost 50 percent of American households bought out of pocket medical expenses on credit, the survey found. (h/t Bucks)

Colleges get career-minded

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The Wall Street Journal
By: Lauren Weber
May 22, 2012

Colleges get career-minded

At Wake Forest University, students can hedge their bets, majoring in history and balancing out Napoleon or the Prussians with a minor in Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship.

The Huffington Post
By: Lisa Bloom
May 22, 2012

The most honest commencement speech you'll never hear

Graduation season is upon us, and with it all the speeches about shooting for the moon, going for the gold, nothing is impossible, yada yada. I myself have delivered three such college commencement addresses in recent years.

The Washington Post
By: Nicole Denny
May 21, 2012

How to prepare for the JOBS Act

Last month, President Obama signed into law one of the most influential pieces of legislation for small to midsize businesses. The JOBS Act provides several avenues for existing small businesses and start-ups alike to raise capital, one of the most difficult barriers of entry for a business to overcome.

The Examiner
By: Sandra Faleris
May 23, 2012

Sam's Club pledges $2 million in grants

The annual U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Summit, involving over 800 small business owners and entrepreneurs across the country, is taking place in Washington, D.C. this week. The goal is to discuss and attempt to solve common legislative and management issues. This year's summit, held on May 21-23, will also celebrate the Chamber's 100-year anniversary.

NPR
By: Marilyn Geewax
May 22, 2012

Time to move grandma: What to do with her home?

Making the decision to move a parent out of the homestead can hurt.

The house may be full of good ghosts and happy memories. But it also has too many steps and too much lawn to mow. So the time comes to pack up and move on.

A decade ago, at least one part of that transition wasn't so tough. When the for-sale sign went up, an eager buyer was likely to show up with a good offer. But today, families are facing a much more difficult real estate environment.

The Huffington Post
By: Bonnie Kavoussi
May 23, 2012

More Americans are going to pawn shops to get fast cash

More Americans are turning to pawn shops to get by, hawking jewelry, electronics, tools, and other personal items for quick cash, according to a new report by Marketdata Enterprises.

The Washington Post
By: Lori Montgomery
May 22, 2012

Mark Warner, Chris Coons, Marco Rubio and Jerry Moran unveil a bipartisan job creation plan

Who says nothing can get done in an election year? Four senators -- two from each party -- are trying to buck the conventional wisdom with a carefully calibrated plan to encourage entrepreneurs and promote job creation.

US News
By: Kimberly Palmer
May 21, 2012

Behind Obama's financial literacy message

The long-awaited financial literacy campaign from the Obama Administration Enhanced Coverage LinkingObama Administration -Search using:News, Most Recent 60 DaysBiographies Plus Newsis finally out, and it's already stirring up controversy. The campaign, designed with the help of financial journalist Beth Kobliner and other members of the president's Advisory Council on Financial Capability, highlights 20 money lessons for children, broken into five different age groups. In addition to a printable poster, the campaign features an interactive website for parents and teachers.

PR Newswire
May 22, 2012

Sam's Club commits to grow U.S. small businesses

WASHINGTON, May 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Sam's Club President and CEO Rosalind Brewer announced today the Sam's Club Giving Program pledge of more than $2 million in donations to five leading non profits in 2012, reaffirming the company's commitment to growing small business in the U.S. The grants focus on micro-lending and support for women-owned and minority-owned businesses, among others.

"At Sam's Club our small business owners are our partners, and we want to put our money where our mission is - which is to be agents for and support our members and the small business community," said Brewer, addressing guests at the DREAM BIG Small Business of the Year awards luncheon today at the Shoreham Hotel. "I realize that I have an incredible opportunity to lead Sam's Club and to be an advocate for our small business owners in America. You are the heart and soul of our economy, and no one takes more risks and works harder every single day than those of you who are out there following your dreams and running your own businesses."

The luncheon was part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Summit, an annual event that draws small business owners and entrepreneurs from across the country to discuss common legislative and management concerns. More than 800 small business owners are attending the summit. Sam's Club is a diamond sponsor of the event.

Sam's Club estimates it serves 600,000 Business Members daily in its more than 600 clubs across the U.S. In addition to providing products, Sam's Club offers Business Members access to microloans and health and wellness plans through third-party providers.

These grants will support organizations and programs focused directly on micro-lending, helping small businesses as they start and build their operations. The organizations receiving funds are:

Accion in the U.S.: $520,674 Accion provides loans, business training and other financial services to hard-working men and women who start their own businesses, helping them achieve higher levels of success and stability. Through its grant, Accion aims to increase direct outreach to small business owners via education and loan kit materials. It also will focus on providing loans and financial education via events and online tools.

Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED): $349,545. CFED helps low income self-employed small business owners access capital and financial services and receive Earned Income and other tax credits. The grant will enable CFED to work with the field of tax preparation providers, including IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites, microenterprise programs and credit unions to build their capacity to serve these business owners through training and technical assistance in program design, delivery and evaluation. The grant will also support CFED's work with local partners to identify and implement program improvements informed by behavioral economics. Finally, CFED will reach hundreds of thousands of people through a media campaign to highlight entrepreneurship and small business development by hard-working lower income people as important engines of job creation and economic growth throughout the U.S.

Count Me In for Women's Economic Independence: $750,000. Count Me In for Women's Economic Independence is a leading national not-for-profit provider of resources, business education and community support for women entrepreneurs. The donation from Sam's Club supports the launch of the Urban Rebound initiative in Los Angeles, Detroit and Charlotte to support 100 women-owned businesses in each market grow their annual revenues to $250,000 in 12 to 18 months. According to Count Me In, the success of this program has the potential to create $75 million in new economic activity and 600 to 900 new jobs.

National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders: $250,000 Through the Sam's Club grant, NALCAB will invest in the expansion and coordination of small business assistance programs in Latino communities across the country. Through grant-making, technical assistance and a national training opportunity, NALCAB will support the expansion of existing small business development programs in seven markets:

Chicago, IL
Laredo, TX
Los Angeles, CA
Minneapolis, MN
Portland, OR
San Francisco, CA
Washington, DC

Step Up for Small Business Challenge: $200,000. Local Sam's Club Managers from throughout the country are encouraged to volunteer their time in May by working for Business Members and local businesses in their communities. The top 10 Sam's Clubs with the most volunteer hours will each win a$20,000 grant to support local small business mentoring and skills-based training programs for their local area.

Sam's Club Giving

Charitable giving at Sam's Club is part of the company's culture and history. Sam's Club provides cash and in-kind contributions to community-based programs that empower young people, families and small business owners to make smart choices that lead to healthy and brighter futures. In 2011, Sam's Club and the Sam's Club Giving Program made cash and in-kind contributions of more than $101.3 million.

About Sam's Club

Sam's Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT), is the nation's eighth largest retailer and a leading Membership warehouse club offering superior products and services to more than 47 million Members in clubs across the U.S., as well as in Brazil, China and Mexico.

The Huffington Post
By: Majorie Backam
May 18, 2012

Foreclosure photo exhibits sheds light on housing crisis

Eleven months after Brandie Barbiere stopped paying the mortgage on her Milliken, Colo., home, her husband found out when he returned from work to see their possessions piled on the front lawn. As a sheriff's deputy supervised the Oct. 5, 2011, eviction, he confronted his wife and wrestled with his anger. A few minutes later he spotted photographer John Moore. "Who the hell are you?" the husband exclaimed.

TIME
By: Josh Sanburn
May 22, 2012

The subprime generation: Stop using dubious financial services!

More young Americans - even those earning between $50,000 and $75,000 - are using payday lenders, prepaid debit cards and other questionable financial services. But there are better alternatives to those "alternatives."

TIME
By: David Wolman
May 22, 2012

How cash keeps poor people poor

Want to help the poor? Start by taking money out of their hands. More specifically, cash--coins and paper bills are the silent enemy of the poor, with costs often out of proportion with their day-to-day convenience.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Leslie Scism and Liz Rappaport
May 17, 2012

Forced homeowner policies assailed

New York's top financial regulator turned up the heat on banks and insurers that sell homeowners policies to struggling borrowers, accusing them of an "intricate web of relationships" that pushes distressed families "over the foreclosure cliff" and also hurts mortgage-bond investors.

The red tape diaries

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The Wall Street Journal
By: Nicholas Owens
May 21, 2012

The red tape diaries

This week is National Small Business Week, a time to celebrate the ingenuity of entrepreneurs--and to consider how government can provide better service to the small enterprises that form the backbone of American industry.

The Huffington Post
By: Catherine New
May 17, 2012

U.S. Bank is the latest to raise overdraft fees

Another bank is raising fees.

U.S. Bank is bumping up overdraft fees for all its accounts beginning June 29, the Minneapolis-based bank confirmed on Wednesday. The bank's new $35 overdraft fee brings it in line with the country's biggest financial institutions, including Bank of America.

The Atlantic
By: Jim Tankerlsey
May 18, 2012

The 100% economy: Why the U.S. needs a strong middle class to thrive

SEATTLE--Nick Hanauer toddled through his early years in a cramped Greenwich Village apartment. His mother waited tables at the Bitter End. His father worked low-level jobs on Wall Street and as an editor at a publishing house. When Nick was 5, his folks left New York to join a family pillow-making business in the Pacific Northwest. They raised their three sons in a three-bedroom house in the suburbs and sent them to public schools. After Nick, the eldest, earned a philosophy degree at the University of Washington, he went to work for his father. In his 30s, he scraped together $45,000 to invest in a small start-up that sought to revolutionize American retail. It was called Amazon.com.

The Atlantic
By: Jordan Weissman
May 17, 2012

Does it matter where you go to college?

Meet Ben. He's a high school senior from a middle class family in Massachusettes who is choosing where to attend college next year. He's down to two schools: prestigious Boston College, or the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, his state's top public campus. Even with the generous financial aid package from BC, he would still graduate with a big mound of loans. UMass, meanwhile, would be more than $15,000 a year cheaper.

TIME
By: Brad Tuttle
May 18, 2012

When consumers pay more due to race or gender

Is there a "woman tax"? By some account, women pay over $1,300 more annually than men for everything from deodorant to sneakers to health care. They're not the only group that pays a premium, though. Men are charged thousands more than women in auto insurance over their lifetimes, and there are indications that African-Americans and Hispanics pay more for homes than other ethnic groups. Doesn't all of this seem sorta illegal?

TIME
By: Martha C. White
May 18, 2012

We're finally paying our bills on time: can we stick with it?

Congratulations, America -- it looks like you're starting to get the hang of this "payment due date" concept. The number of retail credit card accounts in late-stage delinquency is at a six-year low, according to Fitch Ratings, and charge-offs are down 38% from a little over two years ago. But will this new stability last? Credit card companies are cranking out new offers like mad, and we're picking up what they're putting down.

USNews
By: Meg Handley
May 17, 2012

Realtors rally near capitol hill to save homeownership

WASHINGTON, D.C.-- A sea of blue lapped against the foot of the Washington Monument Thursday as more than 10,000 blue-shirted Realtors from across the country descended on the nation's capital to pressure Congress to keep housing at the top of legislators' priorities in coming months.

NPR
By: Jennifer Moore
May 18, 2012

Son fulfills dream that racism denied his mother

When Terry Walls of Springfield, Mo., decided to go back to college at age 52, he wanted to put to rest a family rumor. He had heard his mother was denied admission to Missouri State University, and he was pointed toward Meyer Library on the MSU campus for answers.

The Huffington Post
By: Mark Hyrwyna
May 16, 2012

Poverty: Salvation Army report concludes Americans don't have accurate picture of poverty

Americans don't quite have an accurate picture of what poverty in the United States looks like, at least according to a new survey.

TIME
By: David Futrelle
May 18, 2012

Was Nick Hanauer's TED talk on income inequality too rich for rich people?

Their slogan is "ideas worth spreading." But the folks at TED - the Technology Entertainment and Design nonprofit behind the TED Talks, beloved by geeks and others interested in novel new ideas - evidently think that some ideas are better left unspread. At least when the ideas in question challenge the conventional wisdom that rich enterpreneurs are the number one job creators.

Food stamps and the $41 cake

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The Wall Street Journal
By: Warren Kozak
May 17, 2012

Food stamps and the $41 cake

Beware of little expenses.
A small leak will sink a great ship.

--Benjamin Franklin

There is a large chain grocery store in my neighborhood that I rarely frequent because the prices are too high. Instead, I will travel an extra 30 blocks to another store where the costs per item are 20%-30% lower.

I arrange my travel around this activity. It takes a little extra effort, but within a year the savings are substantial. As it turns out, I am not alone. The average income of Costco discount shoppers, it was reported recently, is $96,000--so perhaps they're not the millionaires and billionaires the president talks about, yet not the folks one might immediately expect to be watching their pennies either.

Investor's Business Daily
May 17, 2012

War on banks comes to City Hall

Regulation: A leftist movement to pass local "responsible banking ordinances" is sweeping the nation. Now banks will be harassed into making risky loans by city, not just federal, diversity cops.

NPR
By: Mark Memmott
May 17, 2012

Minorities are now majority of U.S. births, Census says

"For the first time, racial and ethnic minorities make up more than half the children born in the U.S," The Associated Press writes.

Preying on the poor

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The Huffington Post
By: Barbara Ehrenreich
May 17, 2012

Preying on the poor

Individually the poor are not too tempting to thieves, for obvious reasons. Mug a banker and you might score a wallet containing a month's rent. Mug a janitor and you will be lucky to get away with bus fare to flee the crime scene. But as Business Week helpfully pointed out in 2007, the poor in aggregate provide a juicy target for anyone depraved enough to make a business of stealing from them.

The Huffington Post
By: Joy Resmovits
May 17, 2012

Education report: Chronic Absenteeism undermines over 5 million students

Danet Robaina-Cline, an attendance counselor at Chaparral High, considers her school lucky.

Like other schools in Las Vegas, a city reeling from the worst ravages of the foreclosure crisis, Chaparral serves impoverished children. They live in foster care or homeless shelters. They must watch over their younger siblings or move several times a year. But because Chaparral is in the middle of a well-funded turnaround process, it's one of the very few schools that can afford an attendance counselor.

The Huffington Post
By: Micah Hauptman
May 10, 2012

The SAFE Banking Act will do what financial regulators thus far have not

The federal government has yet to learn the overarching lesson of the 2008 financial crisis -- that too much risk concentrated in and between the largest financial institutions is a recipe for disaster. Preventing banks from becoming so large, complex, and interconnected that their failure would ravage the economy -- and thus formally ending the policy that any institution is "too big to fail" -- is the safest guarantee against a future "too big to fail"-driven financial crisis and resulting taxpayer bailout.

TIME
By: Brad Tuttle
May 15, 2012

Has graduation season become the most depressing time of year?

College graduation used to be filled with hope and excitement. Lately, though, it seems as if the feeling most likely experienced while dressed in cap and gown is that of dread, with visions of a future burdened by unemployment, underemployment, and student loan payments in grads' heads.

The Portland Press Herald
By: Jessica Hall
May 14, 2012

Looking for customers among the 'unbanked'

To attract a new batch of customers, KeyBank didn't turn to the mega-rich. It wooed the poor.

The Huffington Post
By: Jilian Mincer
May 16, 2012

Foreclosure victims make surprising return to homeownership

NEW YORK, May 16 (Reuters) - When Jennifer Anderson's family could no longer afford their mortgage and lost their home, she expected many years to pass before they would again become property owners.

TIME
By: Dan Kadlec
May 16, 2012

The future of retirement? 401(k)s that look like old-fashioned pensions

One of the biggest flaws in most people's retirement plan is something that previous generations rarely worried about: monthly income guaranteed for life. But the fix is in, and before long your 401(k) may look a lot more like your dad's pension.

TIME
By: Alexandra Sifferlin
May 16, 2012

CDC: Higher income and education levels linked to better health

More educated people who make more money have lower rates of several chronic diseases, including obesity, compared to people with lower education and income levels, according to Health, United States, 2011, a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report.

The Washington Post
By: Valerie Strauss
May 16, 2012

Why education inequality persists--and how to fix it

If it takes a village to raise a child, the same village must share accountability when many children are educationally abandoned. In New York City, the nation's largest school system, on average student outcomes and their opportunity to learn are more determined by the neighborhood where a child lives, than his or her abilities.

The Washington Post
By: Michelle Singletary
May 16, 2012

For graduates, the ABCs of CASH

Every year I like to provide advice to college graduates.

By the time I graduated, I had in place some pretty good money habits thanks to my grandmother Big Mama. Because of her, I've made it my mission to pass on the financial wisdom she taught me.

For college graduates this year, I offer an acronym to help manage your money. It's CASH.

The Washington Post
By: Jennifer Carey
May 13, 2012

E-verify requirement would place another burden on small business

My small business is a melting pot, a microcosm of the world at large. We have employees who come from European, African, South American, Middle Eastern and Asian backgrounds. Some have recently escaped harsh conditions in their home countries, some immigrated years ago with their parents in search of a better life, some are the sons and daughters of immigrants who came decades ago. Despite these vast differences, we all get along.

TIME
By: Dan Kadlec
May 15, 2012

The American Dream takes many forms: opportunity, personal fulfillment, a financial safety net and secure retirement. Home ownership is also part of the popular definition, and while that aspect of the Dream has taken some hits during the housing bust, it remains alive and well--though with a twist.

The Atlantic
By: Derek Thompson
May 14, 2012

The student debt crisis we don't talk about

Here's a true story about college in America. In a world of unsure investments -- where home prices rise and fall by 30% and hedging can lose you $2 billion in a jiffy -- college remains perhaps the last sure(-ish) bet. The typical college graduate earns $570,000 more than the average person with only a high school diploma over her lifetime, Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney concluded in their remarkable report on the value of a higher education. With an annual rate of return of 15.2 percent, college has outpaced just about every other general investment category, including gold, corporate bonds, U.S. government debt, and hot company stocks.

The Huffington Post
By: Randi Weingarten
May 14, 2012

Financial knowledge can be economic destiny

When it comes to financial literacy, most Americans are alarmingly uninformed. According to a 2009 study, adults earned only a C grade when their financial acumen was assessed, little better than high school students, who mainly received failing grades. Lack of awareness is an economic millstone for millions of Americans, especially when coupled with the lingering effects of the recession, the troubling recent spikes in poverty, and escalating economic inequality. Add to that the increasing shift toward "you're-on-your-own economics," as President Obama referred to it recently, and you have the makings of economic vulnerability and even ruin for huge numbers of Americans.

Middletown Journal
By: Randy Tucker
May 14, 2012

Consumer debt surge highest since 2001

U.S. consumers continue to reach for their credit cards and sign off on auto loans at a brisk clip, boosting borrowing twice as fast as most economists had predicted.

Total U.S. consumer credit grew by $21.36 billion in March, according to the latest figures from the Federal Reserve. That was the biggest month-to-month jump since 2001 led by a surge in auto loans, personal loans and student loans, which combined for about $16 billion of the increase.

The Atlantic
Matthew O'Brien
May 11, 2012

The rise and rise of the super-rich

This is what a second Gilded Age looks like.

The above chart compares the inflation-adjusted incomes of the top 0.1 percent with annual inflation-adjusted S&P 500 prices, both indexed to 100 beginning in 1913. (Note: The income numbers for the 0.1 percent come from Picketty and Saez. The real S&P prices come from Robert Shiller).

The Atlantic
By: Tami Luhby
May 10, 2012

Climbing the economic ladder? Think north and east

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Where do you have the best chance of climbing the economic ladder?

Try New Jersey or Maryland. Just don't go to Oklahoma or South Carolina.

The Huffington Post
By: Catherine New
May 9, 2012

Chase Liquid: JPMorgan Chase's new play for low income customers

JPMorgan Chase wants it all, catering to everyone from the richest customers who provide hefty returns on deposits to the poorest who are willing to pay fees for a la carte financial services.

The Huffington Post
By: Alexander Eichler
May 12, 2012

San Diego Voters want to fine banks $1000 per day for neglecting foreclosed homes

If San Diego voters had their way, banks would be paying out, big time.

Seventy percent of San Diegans who responded to an opinion poll conducted last month -- including 78 percent of Democrats, and 66 percent of Republicans and Independents -- said they'd like to charge banks $1,000 per day for letting foreclosed homes fall into disrepair, the Center on Policy Initiatives reported this week.

The Wall Street Journal
May 14, 2012

Is now the time to buy your first house

It's been a scary few years for the housing market. But at some point, the nightmare has to end (please?). Is now the time? Should first-time home buyers consider jumping into the market?

After all, home prices have fallen 34% from their 2006 peak and mortgage rates are hovering at or near record lows.

On one side are those who argue that homes are more affordable than they have been in decades, based on how much monthly income a mortgage consumes and whether owning is less costly than renting.

An uptick in home buying by investors already is under way, they say--an indication that those who wait may miss out on a good buying opportunity.

On the other side, pessimists insist that the housing slump is far from over, and that prices will continue falling--perhaps as much as 20% or more.

The Washington Post
By: Thomas Heath
May 14, 2012

Lessons for young adults on how to handle money

After I graduated from college in 1977, I thought good things would happen. Automatically.

Forget that I never scored an internship or even made time for on-campus job interviews or recruiters. Let's be honest, I didn't even try. I didn't know that I had to.

I thought opportunities would magically appear when I became serious. I would not have to learn to be an adult; it would just happen.

The Atlantic
By: Matthew O' Brien
May 10, 2012

How economic growth (and 1%) left the middle class behind

Being rich used to be boring. Well, maybe not quite so much boring as stable. Incomes at the top used to move more or less with the size of the economy -- like everybody else's. These were the halcyon days of broad-based prosperity. Then the 1980s happened.

The Washinton Post
By: Annie Gowen
May 9, 2012

Homelessness on the rise in D.C., Loudoun County, but steady in region, study shows

Although the overall number of homeless in the region remained virtually unchanged from last year, the number of families without homes rose for the third straight year and places such as the District and Loudoun County had significant overall increases, a yearly survey showed.

Poverty's poster child

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The New York Times
By: Nicholas D. Kristof
May 9, 2012

Poverty's poster child

This sprawling Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is a Connecticut-sized zone of prairie and poverty, where the have-nots are defined less by the money they lack than by suffocating hopelessness.

The New York Times
May 3, 2012

Inequality, debt, and the financial crisis

Recent research by economists from the International Monetary Fund and academia offers some new insights about income inequality, with important implications.

The researchers compared the top 5 percent of United States households from 1983 to 2007 with the remaining 95 percent. What they found is that as the rich got richer in the decades before the Great Recession, everyone else tried to maintain his standard of living by going deeper into debt. As income inequality grew over that period so did debt levels, because the rich increasingly invested their growing wealth in bonds and bank deposits, in effect providing money for ever more lending to the poor and middle class.

The Atlantic
By: Brian Fung
May 10, 2012

The deadliness of income inequality

Growing income inequality in the United States has Americans talking about justice and economic fairness, but a new study suggests the burgeoning wealth gap is threatening more than just our pocketbooks. It might be raising our risk for an early death.

The Huffington Post
By: Wynne Parry
May 7, 2012

Positive bias? Black, Latino students get less critical feedback from teachers, study suggests

Black and Latino students may be getting less critical, but helpful, feedback from teachers than their white counterparts, a new educational study indicates.

"The social implications of these results are important; many minority students might not be getting input from instructors that stimulates intellectual growth and fosters achievement," study researcher Kent Harber, a Rutgers-Newark psychology professor, said in a press release.

This positive bias in feedback to minority students may be contributing to the achievement gap between white and minority students, a stubborn national problem, Harber said.

The Huffington Post
By: Alexander Eichler
May 8, 2012

Immigrants twice as likely to start businesses as U.S.-born citizens

There are still plenty of entrepreneurs in America. But more and more of them are actually coming from somewhere else.

Immigrants were twice as likely to start a new business last year as someone born in the U.S., CNN reports. That's in spite of a weak economic climate that seems to have had a flattening effect on the number of overall businesses being created.

NPR
By: Corey Dade
May 9, 2012

Government jobs cuts threaten black middle class

The planned downsizing of the U.S. Postal Service, which wants to shed thousands of jobs and reduce hours at post offices, struck Baltimore native Eric Easter at his core.

For him, it will mark the end of an era in which a post office job has meant stability and a path to a better life, as it did for him and his six siblings living in public housing in the 1960s.

TIME
By: Christopher Matthews
May 10, 2012

Which states have the most economic mobility?

Americans love economic mobility. It's kind of a founding myth for us: We see ourselves as having broken free from rigid, aristocratic Europe to form a meritocracy that guaranteed a chance to move up in the world. Though there has been much talk lately about rising income inequality in the United States, what has worried pundits on both the left and the right has been recent reports that Americans aren't as economically mobile as citizens in other Western nations.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Arthur C. Brooks
May 8, 2012

Arthur Brooks: America and the value of 'earned success'

I learned to appreciate the American free enterprise system by quitting a job in Spain.

At age 19, I dropped out of school to pursue a career as a French horn player. After a few twists and turns, I wound up in the Barcelona Symphony, which was a Spanish government job.

Even as a foreigner, I had the same lifetime work status as a clerk at the water department. Nobody ever left these jobs, except with lavish disability packages. (One colleague who injured his lips moonlighting at a dance-hall gig ended up spending the next 20 years collecting a full salary to stay home.)

The Washington Post
By: Tom Jackman
May 9, 2012

NoVa's poor have been hurt disproportionately by recession, new economic analysis says

Though median incomes in Northern Virginia remain high, those at the bottom of the scale have suffered disproportionately, and the number of people in our area seeking help buying food has more than doubled since 2007, according to a report released Tuesday by The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis in Richmond.

The Atlantic
By: Megan McArdle
May 8, 2012

Inequalilty: Is our hottest economic trend an overrated problem?

Income inequality remains remarkably prominent in political and policy debates nearly four-and-a-half years since the start of the Great Recession and less than six months from the consequential 2012 elections. To flesh out this otherwise trite observation, consider what Lexis Nexus says about how often "inequality" has appeared in the national paper of record, The New York Times. During the three years from September 2008 -- when the collapse of Lehman Brothers ushered in the financial crisis -- through August 2011, the Times published one inequality piece every 1.8 days. I wouldn't read too much into this number. I suspect that a more-careful analysis that honed in on prominent articles and columns that were clearly about economic inequality would produce a significantly smaller estimate.

NPR
By: Greg Allen
May 9, 2012

Fla. court to rule: Can a lawyer be undocumented?

It sounds like a typical American success story: A young boy becomes an academic standout, an Eagle Scout and high school valedictorian. Later, he attends college and then law school, all on full scholarships.

The Huffington Post
By: Catherine New
May 7, 2012

Josh Crawford has not had a bank account in more than a decade and likes it that way

Josh Crawford, 42, of Squaw Valley, Calif., has not had a checking account or credit card in 14 years. But that has not stopped him from participating in the electronic-payment economy.

TIME
By: Mark Kantrowitz and Mark Schneider
May 8, 2012

Stop fighting over interest rates--There's a better way for Congress to fix student debt crisis

Interest rates on federal subsidized Stafford loans were cut from 6.8% to 3.4% during the current economic downturn. This "temporary" reduction is scheduled to expire this summer, halfway through an election year. With potentially millions of student votes at stake, President Obama, presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney and some members of Congress are racing to support an extension. But as politics triumphs over policy, underlying facts about student loan levels go ignored along with an opportunity to help students make better enrollment and borrowing decisions.

TIME
By: Martha C. White
May 7, 2012

Swipe fee caps are here-- so where are the savings?

One of the most contentious parts of the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation enacted in the wake of the credit crisis was the Durbin Amendment. You may not know it by name, but you know its primary effect: higher bank fees. It's also the reason behind those infamous debit card fees banks were threatening to implement last year. Trade groups that pushed for the fee cap said the trade-off would be worth it, because customers would see lower prices in stores. So how's that working out?

Not so great.

The Huffington Post
By: Catherine New
May 4, 2012

Payday Hound comparison site points to alleged illegal lender, Offshore Loans

A new online comparison site may be serving as a gateway to dangerous lending practices.

The newly launched Payday Hound website advertises itself as offering "impartial and informed" reviews, comparing the rates and fees of dozens of online loan shops, including so-called payday lenders, pawn shops and other short-term lenders. But much of the site's information raises alarms about the security of taking out online loans, consumer advocates said.

Real SNAP Stories

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The Huffington Post
By: Billy Shore
May 7, 2012

Real SNAP Stories

Millions of Americans today still feel the sting of unemployment, rising food and fuel prices and a sluggish economic recovery. However, even as families knocked off course by the economic downturn fight to get back on their feet, Congress is considering slashing funds for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps).

The Huffington Post
By: Bonnie Kavoussi
May 7, 2012

Number of PhD recipients using food stamps surged during recession: Report

In this economy, even having multiple degrees isn't a guarantee against poverty.

The number of PhD recipients on food stamps and other forms of welfare more than tripled between 2007 and 2010 to 33,655, according to an Urban Institute analysis cited by the Chronicle of Higher Education. The number of master's degree holders on food stamps and other forms of welfare nearly tripled during that same time period to 293,029, according to the same analysis.

CNN
By: Parija Kavilanz
May 7, 2012

Manufacturers to banks: We need money now

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- American manufacturers say business is booming again, but many are complaining that banks aren't lending them money to ramp up production.

In a new quarterly survey of small to mid-sized manufacturers, 26% of 268 respondents cited "lack of capital to grow" as their biggest challenge at a time when they need loans to hire more workers, buy new equipment and aggressively market themselves.

CNN
By: Jose Pagliery
May 8, 2012

On the rise: Immigrant entrepreneurs

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Working for a new company? There's a more than one-in-four chance your new boss wasn't born here.

Immigrants created 28% of all new firms last year. They were also twice as likely to start a new business when compared to those born in the United States.

The Huffington Post
By: Laura Hibbard
May 4, 2012

Dawn Loggins, student, heading to Harvard after being homeless, abandoned by parents

When facing homelessness, bullying, and being abandoned by family, many people might be tempted to give up hope. But for 18-year-old Dawn Loggins, who was just accepted into Harvard University, this was not the case.

The Huffington Post
By: Charles Passy
May 4, 2012

Safes are becoming a more popular commodity for Americans

When Carlos Felipe decided to shop for the ultimate night's sleep, he headed to the New Jersey showroom of Hollandia, an Israeli manufacturer that creates custom beds running as much as $35,000. And sure enough, Felipe, a sales representative, found plenty of appealing features and options, from the adjustable bed frame powered by German-made motors to the hypoallergenic, antimicrobial latex mattress (the cover is "treated with aloe vera for a soft feel," Hollandia boasts). But the accessory that most caught Felipe's eye was designed to help him rest easy in a different way. It was a small safe, good for holding a few valuables or gold coins, ingeniously built into the base of a bed -- a modern-day answer to the idea of stashing your savings under a mattress. A duly impressed Felipe plans on using it to store his wife's jewelry and some extra cash: After all, he asks, what thief would look for such valuables in the frame of the bed itself?

CNN
By: Jose Pagilery
May 3, 2012

Banks slash retailers' debit card fees

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- With every swipe of a customer's debit card, small businesses and other retailers must pay transaction fees to the card issuer.

But those fees have been sliced almost in half, due to a government cap that was imposed last year, according to a Federal Reserve report released this week.

The Nation: end student debt

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NPR
By: The Editors
May 4, 2012

The Nation: end student debt

The student loan crisis finally reached center stage in Washington after the House GOP budget called for letting interest rates double on government-subsidized loans (and for deep cuts in Pell grants and other student support). If it passes, students who borrow the maximum will end up paying as much as $1,000 a year in added interest. President Obama sensibly called for extending the lower rate, stumping at colleges and on talk-shows to enlist students and others in the cause.

The Washington Post
By: Annys Shin
May 6, 2012

In D.C., low-cost apartments disappearing at rapid rate

For a year, Julio Benitez, 61, has complained to his landlord about the unpatched walls, leaky bathtub and broken electrical outlets in his apartment. Down the hall, where Paul Fisette, 28, moved in a month ago, everything is new, from the paint to the appliances. When the garbage disposal broke recently, the landlord replaced it by 11 a.m. the next day.

The Washington Post
By: J.D. Harrison
May 2, 2012

United States' new business formation rate continues dropping steadily

Spend some time walking through Silicon Valley or New York City, and you'll likely leave under the impression that entre¬pre¬neur¬ship is alive and well in the United States. But spend some time wading through some of the latest census data, and you may come away with a very different impression.

Columbus Dispatch
By: Mark Williams
May 5, 2012

Payday lender's debit card criticized

CheckSmart has come under attack again from consumer groups for one of its products, just as its parent company prepares to take the Dublin-based payday lender public.

Cape Gazette
By: Kara Nuzback
May 4, 2012

Bill to limit payday loans passes House


Dover -- A bill to limit the number of payday loans a borrower can take passed the House this week, amid continuing controversy. Proponents say the bill is a step toward regulating an industry that takes advantage of people with financial hardships, but others say working people with no collateral need payday loans when there is nowhere else to turn.

The Huffington Post
By: Curtis Arnold
May 2, 2012

The prepaid debit card comes of age

More than one in eight American consumers now carry reloadable prepaid debit cards, according to a new report from Javelin Strategy & Research. Stronger rewards, cheaper fees, and changing attitudes about traditional banks all contributed to the growth of prepaid debit, even during a period that saw many banks shrink the number of their traditional checking, savings and credit card accounts.

The Huffington Post
By: Bonnie Kavoussi
May 3, 2012

Most young adults receive financial help from mom and dad


Here's another sign that young people are struggling to make it on their own.

Of young adults between the ages of 19 and 22, 62 percent rely on financial help from their parents, according to new research by Patrick Wightman, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan, cited by USA Today. On average, a young adult taking cash from mom and dad receives $12,185 per year.

The Atlantic
By: Jordan Weissman
May 3, 2012

The poor are getting poorer; is it time to raise minimum

One of the harshest realities of America's slow economic recovery -- and there are many -- is the fact in spite of modest job growth, pay for workers is falling. Year over year, average inflation adjusted wages have dropped by 0.6 percent for all private sector employees. They're down a full 1 percent for non-supervisors -- your retail salespeople, your shop floor factory workers, your cashiers. In other words, even as the overall employment picture has improved in fits and starts, the working poor are getting poorer.

The Washington Post
By: Peter Whoriskey
May 4, 2012

Economy adds 115,000 jobs in April; unemployment rate drops to 8.1 percent

The unemployment rate dropped a notch to 8.1 percent in April, the Labor Department reported on Friday, but the pace of job growth has fallen off, amid other signs that the economic recovery may be losing momentum.

The economy added 115,000 payroll jobs last month, a meager showing compared with earlier this year when the jobs tally was rising at twice that rate and sowing optimism about the nation's economic prospects.

The New York Times
By: Paul Krugman
May 3, 2012

Plutocracy, paralysis, perplexity

Before the Great Recession, I would sometimes give public lectures in which I would talk about rising inequality, making the point that the concentration of income at the top had reached levels not seen since 1929. Often, someone in the audience would ask whether this meant that another depression was imminent.

Young finances

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USA Today
By: Hadley Malcolm
May 1, 2012

Young finances

When senior Brode Albrecht graduates from Kimberly High School this spring, he hopes to have at least $10,000 in assets and savings to put into a retirement plan he's already started.

"I'm knowledgeable enough that I know I can handle and manage my finances," he said.

CNN
By: Tami Luhby
May 2, 2012

Debt inequality is the new income inequality?

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The rich are getting richer, and everyone else is going deeper into debt trying to keep up.

The bottom 95% of Americans have seen debt levels balloon compared to their earnings over the past 20 years or so, as falling incomes made them more dependent on credit to maintain their lifestyles.

CNN
By: Tami Luhby
May 2, 2012

Debt inequality is the new income inequality?

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The rich are getting richer, and everyone else is going deeper into debt trying to keep up.

The bottom 95% of Americans have seen debt levels balloon compared to their earnings over the past 20 years or so, as falling incomes made them more dependent on credit to maintain their lifestyles.

The Huffington Post
By: Lloyd Chapman
April 25, 2012

Congress needs to decide how big a "small" business is

Today, under various federal laws, the term "small business" can define a range of companies, from businesses with less than 50 employees, to publicly traded corporations as large as Lockheed Martin -- the federal government's largest prime contractor.

This question of how big a "small business" is, is of critical importance to our national economy.

NPR
By: Jess Gitner
April 27, 2012

Our listeners tell of joys and trials of living in multigenerational households

Morning Edition is in the midst of a special series called "Family Matters: The Money Squeeze." It profiles three families struggling with the complexities of living in multigenerational households and facing difficult financial decisions: how to afford care for an elderly relative while paying for college and saving for retirement.

The Washington Post
By: Associated Press
May 3, 2012

US applications for unemployment aid drop sharply, a good sign for future hiring

WASHINGTON -- The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell last week by the most in nearly a year. The figure was a hopeful sign that hiring could pick up in coming months.

NPR
By: NPR Staff
May 2, 2012

Explosion in free online classes may change course of higher education

Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are teaming up in a $60 million venture to provide classes online for free. The move is the latest by top universities to expand their intellectual reach through the Internet -- a trend that is changing higher education.

The Huffington Post
By: Marcus Baram
May 2, 2012

Filing the gap: As government shrinks, communities seek local solutions

It's been a long road back for Christina Fitzgerald.

After nearly two years spent looking for work in several cities, Fitzgerald arrived in Charlotte, N.C., in 2010, pregnant and homeless at age 41, living out of her Honda Accord and still unable to land a job. She found temporary shelter at a maternity home, but longer-term steps eluded her. Then she heard about Project Hope, a comprehensive program of housing-based services for those at risk of -- or experiencing -- homelessness.

"Now I have some stability in my life," she says, lauding the program's help with her job search, financial planning, and perhaps most important, finding an apartment with a graduated rent-payment plan for her and her new daughter, Emily. None of it has been easy, she says, but after an intense approval process, "Project Hope did a lot for me."

The New York Times
By: Adam Davidson
May 1, 2012


The purpose of spectacular wealth, according to a spectacularly wealthy guy

Ever since the financial crisis started, we've heard plenty from the 1 percent. We've heard them giving defensive testimony in Congressional hearings or issuing anodyne statements flanked by lawyers and image consultants. They typically repeat platitudes about investment, risk-taking and job creation with the veiled contempt that the nation doesn't understand their contribution. You get the sense that they're afraid to say what they really believe. What do the superrich say when the cameras aren't there?

TIME
By: Martha C. White
May 1, 2012

Should colleges earn money from prepaid student debit cards?

Prepaid debit cards are becoming the de facto debit cards for a growing number of people these days. This is partially because issuers are promoting the heck out of them and partially because people, especially younger people, view them as preferable to a traditional bank account. As a result, a small number of colleges are experimenting with -- and profiting from -- hybrid student ID cards that are also prepaid debit cards. Is this a clever way for cash-strapped schools to avoid socking students with yet another tuition hike, or are colleges doing their students a disservice?

The Atlantic
By: Kentaro Toyama
April 30, 2012

The rise and fall and rise (literally) of the most important curve in economics

Happy birthday, Simon Kuznets! (Also, you might be wrong.)

Today is the birthday of Simon Kuznets, who was awarded the 1971 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences "for his empirically founded interpretation of economic growth." He passed away in 1985, but like many of his fellow Nobelists, Kuznets left a prolific legacy. He is widely noted as the architect of the national income accounts that allowed accurate estimates of Gross National Product. He laid much of the foundation for the study of business cycles. And, he proposed the idea that with industrialization, nations experience a rise and a subsequent decline in economic inequality that is often characterized as an inverted "U."

This last hypothesis bears his name as the "Kuznets curve," and it has had lasting influence. But was he right? Does continued economic growth eventually lead to decreasing inequality?

The Atlantic
By: Emily Richmond
April 27, 2012

New research suggests federal education grants are working

A new study found student test scores improved in California's lowest-achieving campuses that implemented aggressive reform measures, suggesting the federal School Improvement Grant program is showing early promise in the Golden State.

The federal SIG dollars -- with more than $4.6 billion awarded nationally since 2009 -- are earmarked for schools ranking in the bottom 5 percent for student achievement in each state. California received over $400 million in SIG funds, the most of any state, and the first-round grant awards went to 82 of its lowest-performing campuses.

The Huffington Post
By: Jared Bernstein
May 2, 2012

Tax cuts and job growth: They're just not that into each other

Bruce Bartlett has a nice piece in the New York Times this week on the (non-)relationship between the tax wedge and employment rates across countries. The wedge is the gap between what employers pay and what employees receive after taxes come out. Reduce the wedge, the theory goes, and since you're making employees cheaper to employers, they'll hire more of them.

Poverty on the plains

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Journal Democrat
By: Center for Rural Affairs
April 30, 2012

Poverty on the plains

Lyons, Neb. -- April 27, the Center for Rural Affairs released a report that challenges many conventional assumptions about where poverty and food insecurity exists in the central United States. The report concludes that rural counties in the Midwest and Great Plains are experiencing higher incidence of poverty as well as greater rates of food insecurity, especially among children, than urban centers in the region. These findings challenge conventional thought and policy debates which often conclude, directly or implicitly, that poverty and food insecurity are primarily urban issues.

San Francisco Chronicle
May 1, 2012

Mobile banking for the underbanked: Plastyc CEO to speak at payments 2012 NACHA Conference

New York, NY (PRWEB)

Mobile banking and payment capabilities are critical to the underbanked according to Plastyc CEO Patrice Peyret, who will join industry experts from the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) and Citibank in a panel session on the topic today at the Payments 2012 conference in Baltimore, MD.

The Huffington Post
By: Harlan Green
April 29, 2012

What has caused record inequality? (and greater recessions)?

Economists Lawrence Mishel and Heidi Shierholz of the labor think tank Economic Policy Institute (EPI) have been asking this question in their latest work that is at the root of our various economic crises:

TIME
By: Erika Christakis
May 1, 2012

Too busy for a summer job? Why America's youth lacks basic work skills

Do today's kids make terrible entry-level workers? That's a question much on employers' minds as graduation season kicks off and young adults begin their first full-time jobs. We've all heard the stories: assistants who won't "assist," new workers who can't set an alarm, employees who can't grasp institutional hierarchies.

Bosses who toiled in the pre-Self Esteem Era salt mines have little patience for these upstarts. A popular advice columnist had some choice words last week for a young employee who dismissively waved her sandwich at a superior requesting back-up during a critical meeting; the young woman explained that she was on her lunch break and was merely "setting boundaries" with a "disrespectful colleague who sorely needs them." Moreover, she noted, being "errand girl" wasn't in her job description.

The Washington Post
By: Michael A. Fletcher
April 30, 2012

Fewer Americans form households after recession, hampering economic recovery

It had been a long road, but when Sabrina Torres received her master's degree in 2010, she was sure it would eventually pay off in a good job that would allow her to afford an apartment.

She is still waiting. The American University graduate's financial struggles have prevented her from living on her own, making her part of a dramatic slowdown in household formation that is both a consequence of the economic downturn and a continued obstacle to overcoming it.

The recession reduced the rate at which Americans set up new homes or apartments by at least half. Although the number of new households has begun to recover over the past year, its growth rate continues to lag behind its historic pace, according to Census Bureau statistics.

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