Map: Total Effect of Federal, State and Local Gasoline Taxes

Source: American Petroleum Institute

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County Health Findings

County health rankings are reported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Major findings:

  • For 60 percent of the nation’s counties, rates of premature death (death before age 75) have declined, some dramatically; for 40 percent no progress has been made.
  • One out of four children in the United States lives in poverty; rates of poverty are more than twice as high in the unhealthiest counties in each state compared to the healthiest ones.
  • Unemployment rates are 1.5 times higher in the least healthy counties in each state compared to the healthiest ones.
  • The healthiest counties have higher college attendance rates, fewer preventable hospital stays, and better access to exercise opportunities. The least healthy counties have more smokers, more teen births, and more alcohol-related car accidents.
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Only 40% of Middle Class Students Complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Six to Eight Years

Here’s a little-known, depressing stat: More than half of middle class kids who start college fail to earn a bachelor’s degree within six to eight years. Read more at WND Education 

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Map – Identifying Where Americans Moved in 2014

The following map, utlizing data from census data compiled and mapped by online real estate information firm Trulia, shows net domestic migration — the number of people moving from one place in the US to another. I found the map at Vox.

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Report: Charter School Vulnerabilities to Waste, Fraud & Abuse

Via: Integrity in Education:

“Charter School Vulnerabilities to Waste, Fraud And Abuse,” authored by the Center for Popular Democracy and Integrity in Education, echoes a warning from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of the Inspector General. The report draws upon news reports, criminal complaints and more to detail how, in just 15 of the 42 states that have charter schools, charter operators have used school funds illegally to buy personal luxuries for themselves, support their other businesses, and more. The report also includes recommendations for policymakers on how they can address the problem of rampant fraud, waste and abuse in the charter school industry. Both organizations recommend pausing charter expansion until these problems are addressed.”

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Wisconsin Job Creation Rank Falls to 38th in U.S.

Econbrowser reports on an article, “Wisconsin job creation rank falls to 38th in U.S.,” by John Schmid and Kevin Crowe in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, based upon just-released state level data on the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW).

“Wisconsin gained 27,491 private-sector jobs in the 12 months from September 2013 through September 2014, a 1.16% increase that ties Wisconsin with Vermont and Iowa at a rank of 38th among the 50 states in the pace of job creation during that period.

The state’s national ranking fell from a revised rank of 31st three months earlier, in the previous release of quarterly jobs data, which covered the 12 months through June 2014. In that period, Wisconsin created 36,732 private-sector jobs.

Wisconsin continued to trail the national rate of job creation, as it has since July 2011. The United States created private-sector jobs at a rate of 2.3% in the latest 12-month period, twice Wisconsin’s 1.16% rate, the data show.”

What about regional comparisons?

“Among its peer states in the Midwest, Wisconsin tied with Iowa for last place. Both states created private-sector jobs at 1.16%. Michigan and Indiana led that group of states with 2.02% and 1.64% growth, respectively.”

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Student Loan Debt Is the Enemy of Meritocracy in the US

Thomas Piketty in “Student Loan Debt Is the Enemy of Meritocracy in the US” argues that student debt is associated with greater inequality and it is the enemy of meritocracy.

“…the amount of household debt and even more recently of student debt in the U.S. is something that is really troublesome and it reflects the very large rise in tuition in the U.S. a very large inequality in access to education. I think if we really want to promote more equal opportunity and redistribute chances in access to education we should do something about student debt. And it’s not possible to have such a large group of the population entering the labor force with such a big debt behind 0them. This exemplifies a particular problem with inequality in the United States, which is very high inequality and access to higher education. So in other countries in the developed world you don’t have such massive student debt because you have more public support to higher education. I think the plan that was proposed earlier this year in 2015 by President Obama to increase public funding to public universities and community college is exactly justified.

This is really the key for higher growth in the future and also for a more equitable growth…, you have the official discourse about meritocracy, equal opportunity and mobility, and then you have the reality. And the gap between the two can be quite troublesome.  So this is like you have a problem like this and there’s a lot of hypocrisy about meritocracy in every country, not only in the U.S., but there is evidence suggesting that this has become particularly extreme in the United States. … So this is a situation that is very troublesome and should rank very highly in the policy agenda in the future in the U.S.”

 

Posted in Economy, Financial Aid Default Rates, Government, Higher Education, Inequality, Mobility, Socio-economic Status | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Study: Breastfeeding Improves IQ and Possibly Educational Attainment

A new study supports the hypothesis that breastfeeding is associated with improved performance in intelligence tests 30 years later, and might have an important eff ect in real life, by increasing educational attainment and income in adulthood.

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Keeping Score When It Counts: Graduation Success and Academic Progress Rates for the 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament Teams

The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida (UCF) released its annual study, “Keeping Score When It Counts: Graduation Success and Academic Progress Rates for the 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament Teams.” This study provides the most comprehensive analysis of the academic performance of student-athletes on teams participating in the 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament.

The study examined the Graduation Success Rates (GSR) and Academic Progress Rates (APR) for tournament teams as reported by the NCAA. This study also compared the graduation rate data of white and African-American male basketball student-athletes.

“There is good news to report as almost every category examined got better. The GSR numbers for white male basketball student-athletes increased from 89 percent in 2014 to 93 percent in 2015. The GSR for African-American male basketball student-athletes increased from 65 in 2014 to 69 percent in 2015.

However, the enormous gap between the graduation rates of white and African-American student-athletes in 2015 remained the same as 2014 at a terrible 24 percent. [Emphasis mine]

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Little Wonder the Middle Class is Feeling the Pain: Two Graphs

Little wonder the middle class is feeling the pain.

Compare corporate profits as a percent of GDP (blue line) with wages and salary as a percent of GDP (red line).

And now compare top income shares (Top 1%) with all other income shares.

 

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