Tag: Income Inequality

Bad News for Germany’s Economy Might Be Good News for the Far Right

BERLIN — Despite Germany’s 10-year economic boom, a far-right party has managed to become Germany’s main opposition in Parliament, enter every state legislature in the country and vie for first place in elections in the former Communist East next month. And now the economy is slowing. At a moment when populism is riding high in […]

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Why the U.S. Has Long Resisted Universal Child Care

Most Americans say it’s not ideal for a child to be raised by two working parents. Yet in two-thirds of American families, both parents work. This disconnect between ideals and reality helps explain why the United States has been so resistant to universal public child care. Even as child care is setting up to be […]

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‘Fire Pantaleo,’ Lead Poisoning and the Perils of Going National

[What you need to know to start the day: Get New York Today in your inbox.] When Bill de Blasio embarked on his long shot campaign for president, he hoped to convince voters that his record as New York City mayor argued for a chance to prove he could pursue progressive policies from the White […]

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Yes, America Is Rigged Against Workers

The United States is the only advanced industrial nation that doesn’t have national laws guaranteeing paid maternity leave. It is also the only advanced economy that doesn’t guarantee workers any vacation, paid or unpaid, and the only highly developed country (other than South Korea) that doesn’t guarantee paid sick days. In contrast, the European Union’s […]

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Much Ado About a Little More Housing

The agenda said the Montgomery County Council would vote on an ordinance allowing homeowners in the county, a wealthy Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C., to create basement or backyard apartments, a modest proposal to ease a crucial shortage of affordable housing. The protesters who filled the front rows of the Council chambers last week thought […]

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Why Do the Democrats Keep Saying ‘Structural’?

As the Democratic race for the 2020 presidential nomination heats up, a newly fashionable term has entered the political lexicon: “structural.” During Tuesday night’s debate, Elizabeth Warren said that the Democrats need to be “the party of big, structural change,” while Pete Buttigieg spoke of “structural democratic reforms.” Bernie Sanders vows on his website “to […]

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In an Industrial Corner of France, 18,000 Jobs Are On Offer. Why Aren’t People Taking Them?

OYONNAX, France — Along a vast alpine plain, hundreds of factories are cranking out plastic perfume bottles, automobile parts and industrial tools. Trucks chug through mountains ferrying thousands of ready-made wares for export. On billboards and warehouses, “We’re hiring!” signs flutter in the breeze. Jobs are plentiful in Ain, a sprawling manufacturing region in eastern […]

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Everyone Claims They’re Worried About Global Finance. But Only One Side Has a Plan.

Global finance has become a popular target from both the left and, more recently, the right, particularly the nationalist right. As Senator Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri, said at the recent National Conservatism Conference, what he called the “the cosmopolitan economy” has encouraged multinational corporations to move jobs and profits overseas and then “rewarded these […]

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State and Local Taxes Are Worsening Inequality

Economic inequality is on the rise in Illinois, and the state government is part of the problem. Illinois taxes low-income families at much higher rates than high-income families, asking the most of those who have the least. Low-income households in Illinois pay about 14 cents in state and local taxes from every dollar of income, […]

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Mellody Hobson of Ariel Investments: ‘Capitalism Needs to Work for Everyone’

Mellody Hobson was raised by a single mother and endured economic hardship as a child. The phone was shut off. The car was repossessed. Her family was evicted. Today, Ms. Hobson is one of the most senior black women in finance. She serves on the boards of JPMorgan Chase and Starbucks, and this month was […]

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The Hard Immigration Questions

This article is part of David Leonhardt’s newsletter. You can sign up here to receive it each weekday. The history of American opposition to immigration is to a large extent a history of racism, which was often promoted by powerful or influential people. Calvin Coolidge wrote in 1921 that “Biological laws tell us that certain […]

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When ‘Good Stories’ Happen for Bad Reasons

Feel-good news stories are hard to resist. And why wouldn’t they be? The rest of the news is stressing us out. Political divides are deepening. The world is getting hotter. Ending, maybe. So we all take comfort in stories about people being kind to one another. Like the one about the woman in Missouri who […]

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Where Segregation Persists, Trouble Persists

The revival of the argument over school busing illuminates a continuing predicament for Democrats and proponents of racial equality. Integration works, but how do we get it to fly in the face of white intransigence? There is a large body of evidence that shows that African-American children perform better when they move out of high-poverty […]

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Why Midsize Cities Struggle to Catch Up to Superstar Cities

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Within sight of a couple of huge brick smokestacks, looming witnesses to a past built on tobacco and powered by coal, there is something weirdly out of place about Wake Forest University’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine. It is run by Dr. Anthony Atala, lured to town 15 years ago from his perch […]

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A Prosperous China Says ‘Men Preferred,’ and Women Lose

TIANJIN, China — Bella Wang barely noticed the section on the application inquiring whether she was married or had children. Employers in China routinely ask women such questions, and she had encountered them before in job interviews. It was a surprise, though, after she accepted a position as a manager at the company, a big […]

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The Trump Economy Is Leaving Many Americans Behind

A major new poll released Sunday showed that Donald Trump’s approval rating is on the rise, particularly for his handling of the economy. How can Democrats make their case for why the economy may not be as good as it can appear? Here are three examples of groups of Americans who are being left behind. […]

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The ‘Texas Miracle’ Missed Most of Texas

LONGVIEW, Tex. — On the eastern plains of Texas, local leaders are trying to stop the bleeding of talent to the bright lights of Dallas and Austin. They are sprucing up downtown, completing 10 miles of walking trails, investing in parks and schools and making other improvements that they hope will entice young workers to […]

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At Column No. 500, a Look Back at Lessons Learned

When my first Wealth Matters column ran in December 2008, I wrote that I wanted to examine the strategies the wealthy used to manage their money and their lives in a way that people with far less money could learn from. Having spent the last week going through 499 columns in preparation for No. 500, […]

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Belief in Bootstraps Is Strongest Where Pulling Up Is Toughest

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — A widening income gap and sagging social mobility have left dents in the American dream. But the belief that anyone with enough gumption and grit can clamber to the top remains central to the nation’s self-image. And that could complicate Democratic efforts to frame the 2020 presidential election as a referendum on […]

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