The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.
Showing posts with label inequality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label inequality. Show all posts

Friday, April 29, 2016

Inequality Born Of Segregation


A word which draws mixed reactions when heard or observed in any form of communication among Americans.  It takes on an especially divisive aura when the word is immersed in topics that reach the realm of US politics. The word is often scorned or considered an impetus for scorn among large swaths of the US populace. Many in our nation either ignore (for convenience) certain principles of equality or they have forgotten principles of the promise of equality seemingly imbued in the minds of those who crafted the US Constitution. 

Of course, the Constitutional drafters were careful to avoid promulgation of full equality (under the law) for African slaves and colonial women. Yet, principles of equality hang over the US Constitution like the Sun on a cloudless day.  As we complete the metaphor, clouds have shrouded US equality since the signing of the Constitution. 

Aside from inequality for women, racial inequality has been integral to the US. Black social and economic inequality and social inequality was for centuries as American as the Star Spangled Banner. Let's take a look and read of a repost from David Ruccio. The piece relates to inequality as a by-product of national segregation by race.

Vicious cycle of class inequality and segregation

by David F. Ruccio
The United States is characterized by increasing class segregation—as both a condition and consequence of growing inequality.
top 10 percent
We all know that the share of income going to the top 10 percent has steadily increased since the mid-1970s (from an already-high 33.41 percent in 1976 to an astounding 49.85 percent in 2014). That's because a tiny group at the top has been appropriating a growing surplus and then distributing a large share of it to the other members of the top decile.
Now we know, thanks to recent research by Sean F. Reardon and Kendra Biscoff (pdf), that rising income inequality in the United States has been accompanied by increasing residential segregation by income:
Income segregation has increased over the last four decades, and has continued to increase in recent years. In large metropolitan areas (the 117 metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more), the proportion of families living in neighborhoods with median incomes well above or below the median income of their metropolitan area has grown rapidly since 1970. . .In 1970, only 15% of all families lived in such neighborhoods, while 65% lived in middle‐income neighborhoods. By 2012, over one third (34%) of all families lived in either rich or poor neighborhoods, more than double the percentage in 1970. Over the same time period the proportion living in middle‐income neighborhoods declined from 65% to 40%.
And, they admit, this growing class segregation is not going to be easy to break:
In an era of very high income and wealth inequality, families have very different resources to spend on housing, and the housing market responds to this inequality in ways that exacerbate segregation. Given the importance of neighborhood contexts for children’s opportunities, and for shaping the experiences of the affluent, rising income segregation will likely only further exacerbate the economic inequality that has produced it. This self‐reinforcing cycle—where inequality begets segregation and segregation fosters inequality—will be hard to break.
Let's call it the vicious cycle of class inequality and segregation.
As Thomas B. Edsall explains, that vicious cycle is both caused and reinforced by fundamental changes in the American social order and political system: from the fact that the increasingly segregated well-to-do have found ways of supporting and taking advantage of key services (health, education, job search and other opportunities) to aid themselves and their own children to the fact that (as Bernie Sanders recently reminded us) the top decile has been able to exercise much more influence over politics and policy (through voting and political donations) than its share of the electorate would suggest.
And, as we've seen in recent months, the combination of inequality and segregation has exacerbated tensions within the Democratic Party:
The “truly advantaged” wing of the Democratic Party. . .has provided the Democratic Party with crucial margins of victory where its candidates have prevailed. These upscale Democrats have helped fill the gap left by the departure of white working class voters to the Republican Party.
At the same time, the priorities of the truly advantaged wing — voters with annual incomes in the top quintile, who now make up an estimated 26 percent of the Democratic general election vote — are focused on social and environmental issues: the protection and advancement of women’s rights, reproductive rights, gay and transgender rights and climate change, and less on redistributive economic issues. . .
Sanders’s extraordinary performance to date. . .points to the vulnerability of a liberal alliance in which the economic interests of those on the top — often empowered to make policy — diverge ever more sharply from those in the middle and on the bottom.
As the influence of affluent Democratic voters and donors grows, the leverage of the poor declines.
Meanwhile, the vicious cycle of class inequality and segregation makes the rich richer, everyone else poorer—and the yawning gap between them continues to grow.
David F. Ruccio | 29 April 2016 at 8:00 am | URL:

Friday, May 1, 2015

VIDEO Exhibitions on Race (Disparity And A Failure of Fairness)

Let's start with a brief video regarding black and white peers and racism.  

Here’s A Video That Compares Life As A Black And A White Person

CNN International broadcast a revealing 2:00 minute segment regarding economic inequality between white and African-American and Latinos in America.

Whites get wealthier, while Blacks and Hispanics lag further behind

chart racial wealth gaps

The economy in black white-animation.cnnmoney (VIDEO LINK)

5 disturbing stats on black-white inequality
black white divide wealth

25% of Blacks live below the poverty line (VIDEO LINK)

The data does not lie while you may relish in the fact you live a life well beyond the dreams of others, now there is no comfort in poverty. There should be no comfort in knowing there are people in our nation who willnever recieve aevne a modicumof the life youlive. And, in many cases they are victims of s system with no ladder to the top.

Since many of you are viewing this piece in an environment where you might be absconding with a bit of time for which you receive pay (AT WORK! and no on break or lunch time), I will end this piece and revisit the issue in a subsequent piece.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

David Ruccio's Chart Of The Day: Disposable Income:.US Income Distribution

David Roccio's.....

on economics, culture and society

Chart of the day

Posted: 22 February 2015

This chart, devised by Branko Milanovic, illustrates the remarkable economic recovery that has taken place in the United States beginning in 2010—a recovery, that is, not for the vast majority of people, but for a tiny minority at the top.

Consider the first period (blue line). It is remarkable that real income of all groups declined. But the hardest hit were the rich, with percentage losses increasing as we move toward to right portion of the graph, and the very poor. I am not an expert on US welfare system, but it seems to me that the system failed to protect the poorest people from substantial income losses between 2007 and 2010. But for the bulk of the population, the years of the Great Recession meant a modest real income decline. The median person’s real income went down by a little over 3 percent. The upper middle class (the people between the 80th and 90thpercentiles) did not see much change in their real income. But the top 10% clearly lost out: notice how the blue line starts decreasing ever more steeply as you move toward the top 1%. The Gini coefficient decreased by less than 1 point.

Now, look at the red line which shows the real change in the second period. It is almost a mirror-image of what happened in the first. The growth was zero or positive along the entire distribution, the strongest among the very poor (around the lowest 5th percentile) and among the rich (the top 10%). Median inflation-adjusted per capita income decreased by just under 1%. For the two top percentiles, which got clobbered by the recession, real income growth was in excess of 10%.

In other words, those at the very bottom lost a great deal during and immediately after the crash and, as a result of special measures (like an expansion of the food stamp program and increases in state minimum wages) they’ve recovered some of what they lost—and they’re still poor. For pretty much everyone else, they lost out (as a result of growing unemployment and stagnant wages) and they still haven’t recovered (even though the unemployment rate has declined but their wages are still pretty much where they were before the crash). And those at the top? They lost a great deal (because of the initial decline in corporate profits and the stock market crash), and as a result of the nature of the recovery (which has successfully restored the profits of large corporations and the stock market), and have now recovered most of what they lost—and they’re still rich.

So, after a brief hiatus (in 2009), the United States is back to having the most unequal distribution of income of all the rich countries on the planet.

And, unless things change (and I don’t mean the Fed’s tinkering with interest rates), it’s only going to continue to get worse.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

DAVID F. RUCCIO : Charts, Headlines As A Tool For Lies

Essayist DAVID F. Ruccio      


on economics, culture and society

How to lie with headlines and charts

Posted: 17 February 2015
David Leonhardt’s headlines reads “Inequality Has Actually Not Risen Since the Financial Crisis” and his chart, provocatively titled “The Rich Have Gotten Poorer Since 2007,” shows that the incomes of the highest-earning households (top 1, top .01, and top 10 percent) have fallen even more than the income of others.
Well, yes and no. Yes, incomes at the top have fallen more than the incomes of everyone else since 2007—but those at the top are certainly not “poorer.” And, even more important, no one has claimed top incomes didn’t fall off during the Great Recession. Of course they did, since those at the top receive most of the capital gains generated in the economy and the crash in equities wiped away a good portion of their wealth.
But the real questions are, what happened before the crash? And what’s happened since the recovery began? And there the charts don’t lie: those at the very top have made out like bandits while everyone else is forced to continue to subsist on their meager, unchanging incomes.
In fact, Leonhardt’s own text challenges both his headline and key chart:
None of these facts, to be clear, changes the larger story: Inequality is far higher than for most of the last century. The Great Depression and the New Deal helped reverse the high inequality of the 1920s. The last several years haven’t reversed more than a small fraction of the post-1980 rise in inequality.
It’s even possible that inequality will soon surpass its 2007 peak, because the affluent often fare better than any other group in the second half of an economic expansion. On the other hand, the current data doesn’t reflect several of Mr. Obama’s efforts to fight inequality, such as the expansion of health insurance or top-end tax increases. Whatever happens in the next few years, top incomes will almost certainly remain vastly higher than they were in previous decades, while incomes for the middle class and poor will remain only marginally higher. This stagnation has damaged living standards and caused widespread frustration.
That’s the real problem, which headlines and charts about the very rich not having yet recovered all their losses simply can’t hide.