Posts Tagged ‘United States’

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According to USA Today, it costs about $130,000 for a household (of 2 parents and 2 children) in the United States to live the American Dream—to purchase the essentials, enjoy some extras, pay taxes, and put aside some money for retirement. (Yes, it surprised me, too.)

The issue of the American Dream comes up in many courses I teach. A typical definition?

the belief that with hard work and the freedom to pursue your destiny you can achieve success and provide better opportunities for your children.

Many of my students believe the American Dream has been achieved, or at least is within reach, for most people.

The problem is, according to the Census Bureau [pdf], only 15 percent of U.S. households (in 2012) had that kind of income. The rest may be chasing—but, in current circumstances, they’re falling short of achieving—that dream.

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St. Louis

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According to David Nicklaus,

St. Louis is not only one of the most segregated large metro areas in the U.S., it also has an unusually large economic gap between black and white. The unemployment rate for African-Americans here is about three times as high as the rate for whites.

According to census figures from 2012, 47 percent of the metro area’s African-American men between ages 16 and 24 are unemployed. The comparable figure for young white men is 16 percent.

Those figures should be just as shocking as the images of armed police confronting unarmed demonstrators, yet we take them for granted.

In Ferguson city itself (according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey), the overall unemployment rate is 13.2 percent: 8.4 percent for whites, almost twice that (16 percent) for African Americans.

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Chart of the day

Posted: 21 August 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

student loans-per recipient

As evidence of the “coming student loan apocalypse,” Shahien Nasiripour provides data about the astounding growth in student loan debt. As you can see in the chart above, average federal student loan debt per borrower has risen more than 50 percent between 2007 (when it was $18,233) and 2014 (now $27,481).*

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That’s what students (and their families owe). By way of comparison, in terms of ability to pay, what’s happened to workers’ pay in the United States during that same period? Well, it’s only gone up (in nominal, not real, terms) 16 percent (from $702.40 in July 2007 to $843.50 July 2014).

In other words, students and their families’ ability to service their student loans is falling further and further behind the amount of debt their forced to take on in order to pay for their education.

Something has to give. . .

 

*Total federal student loans have grown even more: by an extraordinary 112.5 percent over that same period.

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incarceration

Neil Irwin, Claire Cain Miller, and Margot Sanger-Katz have assembled a series of charts documenting America’s enduring—and, in many cases, growing—racial divide. I have reproduced some of them below.

One of the key pieces of information they don’t include has to do with incarceration rates. As you can see from the chart above (from the Pew Research Center [pdf]), African American men were 5 times more likely to be incarcerated in 1960 than white men (relative to the size of each demographic group)—a rate that grew to over 16.5 in 2010.

Here are the other charts:

joblessness

unemployment

higher education

workplace

pay

wealth

health

homicide

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152465_600 August 16, 2014

And one more for good measure. . .

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