Archive for May, 2011

May 31, 2011

‘The Cult of Elizabeth Warren’

What began as a taste-less accusation by Representative Patrick McHenry has become something larger and harder for him to contain.  Last week, Rep. McHenry called Elizabeth Warren a liar, in testimony and in action.  This rude, yet innocuous, statement received a large and near-immediate response: Representative McHenry’s Facebook wall was bombarded by thousands of posts either defending Ms. Warren or attacking McHenry (in ways both political and personal).

This particular phenomenon was the impetus for a recent article by Tiffany Stanley at The New Republic, who wanted to find out the kind of people support Warren so much as to take to the internet and voice their collective distaste at McHenry’s accusations.  What Stanley discovers catches her off-guard: “they were by no means the same Internet-savvy millennials that pioneered Obama’s web support in 2008… But my cursory phone survey lent further evidence to the fact that Warren fan clubbers are overwhelmingly 40-plus, boasting a fair number of retirees in their 60s.”

The rest of the article goes on to explain why these surprising demographic data made sense: her appearances on popular television shows like The Daily Show and Dr. Phil, her grasp on the causes of the financial meltdown, and her ability to break down complicated economic ideas and data and condense them into easily-digestible bits, among other things.

Although the byline of the article refers to supporters of Warren as ‘the Cult of Elizabeth Warren’ (a characterization I wholly disagree with), it lays bare the kind of people that are supporting Warren.  Put simply, it’s us.  Her constituency is that of the working men and women in this country.  This is what needs to be made evident to President Obama and Congress if she is to be appointed as the head of the CFPB.

Link to article: http://www.tnr.com/article/the-hill/89148/elizabeth-warren-facebook-consumer-protection-patrick-mchenry?page=0,0

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May 28, 2011

Two Independent Studies: US Taxpayers Spend $11 Billion Annually on Unintended Pregnancies

 

The Guttmacher Institute, which was designated an official Collaborating Center for Reproductive Health in 2009 by the World Health Organization, released a statement that the June issue of their journal Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, will publish 3 articles: “The Public Costs of Births Resulting from Unintended Pregnancies: National and State-Level Estimates,” “Unintended Pregnancy and Taxpayer Spending,” and “Unintended Pregnancy Rates at the State Level.”

The first two studies independently came to the same rough estimate of $11 billion taxpayer dollars each year for unintended pregnancies, while the third publication provides first-ever estimates of unintended pregnancies by state. Guttmacher Institute cautioned that $11 billion is a conservative estimate and only includes publicly funded health insurance costs associated with pregnancy and the baby’s first year of health care bills.

It is clear that a significant amount of taxpayer money could be saved by collectively reducing unintended pregnancies in all states. Several politicians have recently attacked Planned Parenthood and women’s reproductive rights in the name of “debt reduction,” by limiting funding and passing legislation making abortions close to impossible to attain in some states. Yet these three journal articles, which were peer-reviewed and independently conducted, provide good evidence that debt is actually increased by restricting women’s rights.

Read the full statement here.

 

 

May 17, 2011

We Have a New Page! Videos to Watch.

A new page has been added to our blog.

May 15, 2011

Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the US – 2010

This report presents data on income, poverty, and health insurance coverage in the United States based on information collected in the 2010 and earlier Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplements (CPS ASEC) conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Summary of findings:
• The median household income in 2009 was not statistically different from the 2008 median in real terms.
• The poverty rate increased between 2008 and 2009.
• The uninsured rate and number of people without health insurance increased between 2008 and 2009.

Download Document here:  Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the US

May 14, 2011

15 Facts about Income Inequality

Name Based Racial Discrimination

An experiment carried out in Chicago and Boston during 2001 and 2002 shows that resumes with “white-sounding” names, whether male or female, were much more likely to result in call backs for interviews than were those with “black-sounding” names (even though the resumes were otherwise identical).

Child Poverty

In the United States, 21.9 percent of children are in poverty, a poverty rate second only to that of Mexico’s (among rich nations).

Health Insurance

In 2007, 8.1 million children under 18 years old were without health insurance. Children in poverty and Hispanic children were more likely to be uninsured.

CEO Pay

In the U.S., top CEOs in 1970 made 29 times more than the average worker, whereas now they make 1,039 times more than the average worker.

Wage Inequality

Over the last 30 years, wage inequality in the United States has increased substantially, with overall levels of inequality closing in on unprecedented levels.

Productivity and real income

We are a richer country overall because of a spectacular rise in labor productivity. But who has profited from this rise? Although the growth of labor productivity has expanded total national income, the real income and wages of the median worker have at the same time stagnated.

Read more at: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1663552/infographic-of-the-day-15-facts-about-americas-income-inequality

May 14, 2011

Poverty and Inequality in the US

“The facts are stark…Income inequality is extreme and increasing: The top 1% of Americans control 23.5% of all the country’s income, the highest share controlled by the top 1% since 1928. The U.S. ranks #3 among all the advanced economies in the amount of income inequality. The U.S. poverty rate is estimated at 15.8 percent. Only one advanced economy, Mexico, has a higher relative poverty rate.”

Read more at: http://www.stanford.edu/group/scspi/index.html

May 14, 2011

Corporatism

“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.” – Benito Mussolini

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