In rural areas, employment has never recovered and disability is higher, as are business start-ups

This piece was published in March 2017 in In These Times, and prior to that, in The Conversation, an online resource that describes itself as “an independent source of news and views from the academic and research community,” asked sociologists, economists, geographers and historians to describe the factors that contribute to the differences between life in rural and urban America. Contributor attributions are noted in italics at …

Growing inequality in US and China, but worse for middle and lower classes in the US, and how we assess the growth of poverty worldwide

John A. Powell and the Haas Institute are suggesting Targeted Universalism as a different way—a powerful way—to make the transformational changes we need. Changes we need to improve life chances, promote inclusion, and enhance and sustain equitable policies and programs. To better understand a targeted universalism framework, please enjoy this brief animated video, which explains the difference between targeted universalism and more …

US military should get out of the Middle Easat

Three years ago, in London for a keynote, I had a chance to talk with people from three different Middle Eastern countries and multiple classes.  They all agreed that the best thing the US could do in the Middle East was to get out, and proceeded with long stories why and history of US and western involvement in the region. …

Not just in Athens: Signs of democracy and collective government in early MesoAmerican cities

Excerpt from an article by Lizzie Wade, in Science Magazine, March 2017 Archaeologists now say these “collective societies” left telltale traces in their material culture, such as repetitive architecture, an emphasis on public space over palaces, reliance on local production over exotic trade goods, and a narrowing of wealth gaps between elites and commoners. Intrigued by such outliers, Blanton and …

Deep decarbonization in the US: Brad Plumer’s discussion

An excerpt from Brad Plumer on Vox.com, 3 April 2017  Current electricity trends aren’t nearly sufficient for deep decarbonization. If the US wants to do its part to halt global warming, it’s not enough for electricity emissions to dip moderately. They have to go to zero — within a couple of decades. That’s a mind-bogglingly difficult task, and we’re currently …

Inequality and economics: Tony Atkinson’s enduring lessons

By Andrea Brandolini, Bank of Italy2 LIS Newsletter, Issue No. 1 (March 2017) – Inequality Matters  Tony Atkinson died of multiple myeloma in January 2017. Developing an idea originated by Hugh Dalton (1920), Tony viewed income inequality as the loss of social welfare associated with an uneven distribution of incomes. This focus on social welfare allowed him to derive three important …

Bloomberg: Income inequality battle brewing at state level

By Sharon H. Lee, on Bloomberg Bureau of National Affairs, Mar 1, 2017  In response to growing concerns over income inequality, some states are proposing legislation designed to penalize companies using pay ratio data disclosed pursuant to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s pay ratio disclosure rule. Pay Ratio The SEC’s pay ratio disclosure rule requires public companies to report the ratio …

Who should own and benefit from our country’s infrastructure?

Who should own and benefit from our country’s infrastructure? What is really being lost here is the public interest. Infrastructure should primarily serve public needs, not generate profits for enterprises owned and controlled by companies that care far more about their own bottom lines than the common good. That’s not to say that private interests can never build roads or bridges …

~18% Of Preterm Births (Globally) Are Associated With Exposure To Outdoor Air Pollution

By James Ayre, 27 Feb 2017, Clean Technica Around 2.7 million preterm births globally in 2010 (around 18% of all preterm births that year) were associated with exposure to outdoor fine-particulate air pollution, according to new research from The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) at the University of York. The new work follows earlier research which suggested that air pollution exposure …

The renewable revolution is irreversible

By Emma Gilchrist, Originally published on DeSmog Blog and EcoWatch, 1 April 2017 The solar industry was responsible for creating one out of every 50 new jobs in the U.S. last year and the country’s fastest-growing occupation is wind turbine technician—so no matter one’s feelings on climate change, the renewable energy train has left the station, according to a new …