Author Archives: colin

Piketty in One Graph

cross posted from CEPR, Graphic Economics This graphic summarizes the key inequality and policy trends (for the U.S.) traced in Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Scrolling through the inequality metrics suggest the key themes in Piketty’s examination of the U.S. … Continue reading

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St. Louis, 1930-2010

Urban Sprawl in Greater St. Louis Learn About Tableau

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Social Security and Senior Poverty

Before Social Security, almost 80 percent of American seniors lived in poverty. As Social Security contributions and payments became established early in the postwar era, poverty among seniors began to fall—and continued to do so under the Great Society, abetted … Continue reading

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TANF and its Limits

Cuts to social programs have only widened the gap between poor Americans and everyone else—especially the retreat from AFDC since 1996. By any measure, the TANF program is aweak substitute for the program it displaced. By the mid to late … Continue reading

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Targetting Social Policy

As a rule, social insurance programs (like Social Security pensions) are generous but poorly targeted [see graphic below], while means-tested programs are well-targeted but meager. As a result, American social policy closes most of the poverty gap for elderly families … Continue reading

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US Social Policy in International Perspective II

Across the OECD, the net redistributive impact (cash benefits received minus direct taxes paid) of social policy for low income households stands at about 40 percent of market income. But it is barely half that in the United States, making … Continue reading

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US Social Policy in International Perspective

The latest numbers from the OECD—which compare inequality, incomes, and poverty rates across its member countries, before and after the impact of taxes and transfers—present yet another reminder of the United States’ dismal ranking among its peers. They also make a … Continue reading

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Jobs Gained and Lost, 1995-2014

cross posted from CEPR Blog This graphic below traces almost twenty years (January 1995 to February 2014) of gains and losses in US manufacturing, finance, and public employment. Job growth (or loss) is indexed, with three choices for a base … Continue reading

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The Spread of Right to Work, 1943-2014

Interactive map of Right-To-Work adoption. From “The Union Difference: Labor and American Inequality,” Dissent (March 2014) Learn About Tableau

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The American Minimum Wage In International Perspective

The graphic below plots national minimum rates across the OECD, both as a share of each country’s median and average wage and in real U.S. dollars. As a share of median or average wages, the U.S. minimum trails the pack—well … Continue reading

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