Thursday, December 10, 2015

Middle class shrinks to barely half of U.S. adults

The American middle class is shrinking. While Americans in the upper-income and lower-income brackets increased, the middle class represents less than half of Americans (from 61% in 1971 to under 50% in 2015). Househould income has substantially shifted from middle-income to upper-income households. Unfortunately, this study confirms that income inequality (the gap between the rich and poor) is widening. Robert Reich argues that the demise of the middle-class has more to do with the concentration of corporate and financial power shaping the economy to benefit the wealthy.
After more than four decades of serving as the nation’s economic majority, the American middle class is now matched in number by those in the economic tiers above and below it. In early 2015, 120.8 million adults were in middle-income households, compared with 121.3 million in lower- and upper-income households combined, a demographic shift that could signal a tipping point, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data.

Click here to read the full Pew Research Center report, The American Middle Class Is Losing Ground.

Click here to read ProPublica report on debt and the racial wealth gap.

7 Criticisms Of Affirmative Action That Have Been Thoroughly Disproved

While the U.S. Supreme Court deliberates over the future of race in college admissions in the second re-hearing of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, Casey Quinlan of ThinkProgress has published an article that debunks seven myths about affirmative action. Justice Scalia even insinuated that black students would attend "lesser" schools where they may be a better match academically. Unfortunately, his comments promotes misunderstanding of why diversity, particularly access, is an educational benefit. Here is the list below (click on the link for further explanation):
  1. Students of color will be treated as undeserving. People will believe they didn’t get admitted on their own merit.
  2. Black and Hispanic students can’t succeed at a selective college.
  3. Asian students are harmed by affirmative action.
  4. Diversity isn’t valuable enough to students to justify upholding the policy.
  5. A perfect system would only admit students of color of low socioeconomic status.
  6. It’s racial discrimination, because if we were fair, we’d admit students based on their academic strength.
  7. We can use affirmative action policies for class to achieve the same results