Posts Tagged ‘United States’


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We always talk about $2 a day (the World Bank’s cutoff point for poverty around the globe) as if the problem were “over there” (e.g., the fact that nearly half the world’s population, 2.8 billion people, survive on less than $2 a day).

That’s nice.



Except, according to CBS Moneywatch [ht: ja], a growing number of American workers are struggling to live on just $2 a day.

The number of U.S. residents who are struggling to survive on just $2 a day has more than doubled since 1996, placing 1.5 million households and 3 million children in this desperate economic situation. . .

The measure of poverty isn’t arbitrary — it’s the threshold the World Bank uses to measure global poverty in the [developing] world. While it may be the norm to see families in developing countries such as Bangladesh and Ethiopia struggle to survive on such meager income, the growing ranks of America’s ultrapoor may be shocking, given that the U.S. is considered one of the most developed capitalist countries in the world.


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We all know (or should know) that, even though the official unemployment in the United States has dropped significantly in recent years, the effects of the combination of high rates of unemployment and of the long duration of being unemployed are still being felt by American workers.

And that’s exactly what Henry S. Farber found. Using data from the Displaced Workers Survey, he found that only 50 percent of job losers in the 2007-09 period where employed in January 2010, while about 56 percent of job losers 2007-2009 had held at least one subsequent job. Moreover, the probability of having held a job increased with the time since job loss. For example, 69 percent of workers who lost jobs in 2007 or 2008 had held at least one job by January 2010. In contrast, only 44 percent of workers who lost jobs in 2009 had held at least one job by January 2010. Finally, the fraction of workers who lost jobs in the 2011-13 period who subsequently found another job remains lower (at 68 percent) than in any period prior to the Great Recession.

Farber’s conclusion?

while job loss is a fact of life in the U.S., the employment consequences of job loss in the Great Recession have been unusually severe and remain substantial years later. Most importantly, job losers in the Great Recession and its aftermath have been much less successful at finding new jobs (particularly full-time jobs) than in earlier periods.

Many American workers found it difficult, if not impossible, to sell their ability to labor during and after the Great Recession. And today, years after the so-called recovery began, workers continue to suffer—both unemployed workers who have found it very difficult to find a new job and employed workers who have been “disciplined” by being forced to have the freedom to compete with unemployed and newly hired workers.


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Chart of the day

Posted: 20 August 2015 in Uncategorized
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According to the Wall Street Journal, graduate students in the United States now account for roughly 40 percent of all student debt but represent just 14 percent of students in higher education.

The typical college student who borrowed owed about $27,000 upon graduation in 2012, according to an analysis of federal data from the New America Foundation, a centrist think tank. Those earning a master’s typically owed between $50,000 and $60,000; law degrees, $141,000; and medical degrees, $162,000.