Another Perspective on “Out of Control Spending in Public Higher Education:” Spending per Student has Remained Constant

Via MarketWatch

“Contrary to what you’ve heard, spending isn’t out of control in public colleges. Spending per student has barely changed, in inflation-adjusted terms, since the late 1980s. We spent $11,100 per student in 1987, and we spent $11,100 per student in 2012.”

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Evidence of Scott Walker’s Failed Jobs Record

Two graphs from Crooks and Liars  depict Scott Walker’s failed jobs record in Wisconsin. They are self explanatory.

Walkers job growth record

Walkers job growth record vs Doyle

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Study: More Equitable Societies are Associated with Higher Rates of Growth

Carter Price and Heather Boushey summarize their findings on the adverse effects of inequality on economic growth in Economist’s View:

In this paper, we review the recent empirical economic literature that specifically examines the effect inequality has on economic growth, wellbeing, or stability. This newly available research looks across developing and advanced countries and within the United States. Most research shows that, in the long term, inequality is negatively related to economic growth and that countries with less disparity and a larger middle class boast stronger and more stable growth. Some studies do suggest that in the short run, inequality may spur growth before hindering it over the longer term, but overall there is growing evidence that, in the long run, more equitable societies are associated with higher rates of growth.

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Study: Inequality Reduces Income Growth for the Poor, but Helps Growth for the Rich

Does inequality have differential impacts on income growth for the rich and poor. Some argue that trickle-down economics (aka supply-side economics) raises all boats. A new study by van der Weide & Milanovic (2014) finds “it is mostly top inequality that is holding back growth at the bottom.”


The paper assesses the impact of overall inequality, as well as inequality among the poor and among the rich, on the growth rates along various percentiles of the income distribution. The analysis uses micro-census data from U.S. states covering the period from 1960 to 2010. The paper finds evidence that high levels of inequality reduce the income growth of the poor and, if anything, help the growth of the rich. When inequality is deconstructed into bottom and top inequality, the analysis finds that it is mostly top inequality that is holding back growth at the bottom.


van der Weide, Roy & Milanovic, Branko. (2014) . “Inequality is bad for growth of the poor (but not for that of the rich). ” Policy Research Working Paper Series 6963. The World Bank.

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Rich Americans Giving Less to Charitable Organizations while Middle-Class Giving More

An analysis of IRS data by the Chronicle of Philanthropy shows  rich Americans donating less to charity the while middle-class is giving more.

Americans earning at least $200,000 a year cut their charitable donations by 4.6% between 2006 and 2012. Meanwhile, middle-class taxpayers earning less than $100,000 annually bumped up giving to good causes by 4.5% during the same six-year span that encompassed the height of the economic recession

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An Elite Financial Institution Says Income Inequality Damages Economic Growth

The adverse effects of income inequality in America is getting the attention of an elite financial institution – Standard & Poor’s. A report from S&P Capital IQ (“How Increasing Income Inequality Is Dampening U.S. Economic Growth, and Possible Ways to Change the Tide,” Aug. 5, 2014) states:

“At extreme levels, income inequality can harm sustained economic growth over long periods. The U.S. is approaching that threshold.”

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Recall the Top Tax Rate was 91 Percent in the 1950s?

Via Robert Farish, President, Roger Williams University:

“President Eisenhower, in the middle of a huge national expansion of colleges anduniversities, also pushed for an interstate system of highways. How did he pay for such an ambitious agenda? At the time, the top tax rate was 91 percent – essentially a confiscatory rate on earnings above a certain level – but the economic pie was expanding so quickly that those who were very economically successful by and large saw the benefits of creating more broadly shared wealth.”

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More Consumers Say They are Better Off Financially Now than a Year Ago

Via Wonkblog:

For the first time in this upturn, more consumers say they are better off financially now than a year ago compared with the share saying they are worse off. Plus, a high 83% of workers feel very or fairly secure in their current jobs.

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Who’s Leading? The Dollar vs Euro, Yen and Renminbi

Via Barry Ritholtz

U.S. dollar is still king of global currencies. The dollar made up 60.9 percent of foreign exchange reserves and was used in 42.1 percent of global payments. Some countries, though, contest how much influence the U.S. dollar really has.

Continue reading–>

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In Ten Years Light Pollution Will Reduce Our Ability to See the Milky Way in Most Places in U.S.

Casey Cep in the Pacific Standard reports the great majority of places in America will have so much light pollution in ten years inhibiting seeing the stars in the Milky Way:

Brad Plumer wrote a piece for Vox titled “Light Pollution Is Erasing the Night Sky,” which referenced an extraordinary feature from the Arizona Republic by Megan Finnerty. “Scientists estimate that in about 10 years,” Finnerty wrote, “America will have only three dark patches of land where people will be able to clearly see the Milky Way.”

Yes, only three places in all of America where we will be able to gaze at the Milky Way in just one decade. According to Finnerty, “those areas are southeastern Oregon and western Idaho; northeastern Nevada and western Utah; and northern Arizona and southeastern Utah.” But only the Oregon-Idaho area is really safe, since the neon lights of Las Vegas and the sprawling streets of Phoenix are threatening the other two areas. Like travel and tourism around the Northern Lights, the Milky Way might well become something we go somewhere to see, not something we can see from wherever we are. Continue reading – - >

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