This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Demography of Inequality in the United States

Back in September, I provided a link to some very nice maps that the Population Reference Bureau posted of poverty in America--ahead of the report on the topic. That report by Mark Mather and Beth Jarosz is now completed and they held a webinar yesterday to discuss the results. Unfortunately, I had meetings all day and missed the webinar, but it is available here along with other materials from this important analysis. To get you going on this, here's part of the setup in their introduction:
High levels of inequality have been linked to a greater likelihood of economic boom and bust cycles, deeper recessions, and a slowdown in overall economic growth. Evidence from the current economic slowdown suggests that the United States is approaching, and may already have reached, a tipping point where inequality is limiting social mobility, consumer spending, educational attainment, and the ability of the United States to compete in the global economy. Unemployment peaked at 10 percent in October 2009 and still exceeds prerecession levels. Many discouraged workers have left the labor force, and young adults—especially those without college degrees—have a hard time finding secure, full-time work. Today, about 45 percent of adults are dissatisfied with "Americans' opportunities to get ahead by working hard," compared with just 22 percent in 2001.
Inequality is not just an abstract concept. It risks undermining what we think of as the core values of America. 

1 comment:

  1. Prof Weeks ... the demographics of inequality is particularly important ... not only in the USA but also on a global scale. I used to think of slums and ghettos as "bad areas" of cities. But now when I think about the world, I see ALL the ghettos as a type of "distributed country" with their own unique problem. These ghettos are growing in size, and will pose enormous problems in the future. They are a symbol of failed policies for economic growth ... that do not give hope to all people. Perhaps this is a topic that is better left for another article by you. The demographics of global ghettos is very important!

    I was going to add a comment about Ebola. Yesterday I saw an article that the USA is CUTTING BACK the building of new ebola clinics in Sierra Leone because we have "concluded" that some are not necessary. Today I see an article from WHO saying that Ebola is still raging inside Serra Leone. See link below. It is not unusual to see conflicting facts about Africa. But this is a heck of a time to realize that some people believe that we've won the battle against ebola!!

    Pete, Redondo Beach