WBEZ | income inequality http://www.wbez.org/tags/income-inequality Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Income inequality around the globe and the Catalonian independence movement http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2013-09-16/income-inequality-around-globe-and-catalonian-independence-movement <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Catalan independence really fixed.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>New data shows that income inequality continues to grow in the United States. Plus, we find out what&#39;s driving the Catalan independence movement in Spain.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-wealth-distribution-around-the-world-and/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-wealth-distribution-around-the-world-and.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-wealth-distribution-around-the-world-and" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Income inequality and the Catalan indpependence movement" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 16 Sep 2013 11:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2013-09-16/income-inequality-around-globe-and-catalonian-independence-movement Alfredo Sfeir Younis visits 'Occupy' movement and calls for societal change http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-12-20/alfredo-sfeir-younis-visits-occupy-movement-and-calls-societal-change-95 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-December/2011-12-19/alfredo.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chilean economist <a href="http://silentpeacemeditation.com/about-alfredo/">Alfredo Sfeir Younis</a> spent more than 30 years at the World Bank. There he focused on the rights of indigenous peoples, poverty eradication and international trade. &nbsp;</p><p>Along the way he’s also became a Mayan priest.</p><p>These days Alfredo uses his &nbsp;<a href="http://silentpeacemeditation.com/">Zambuling Institute for Human Transformation</a> to combine spirituality and public policy issues.</p><p>Currently he’s on a tour of the U.S. After talking with a range of the “Occupy” movement protestors, Alfredo thinks we must challenge some fundamental values.</p><p>There's no doubt that after our current global economic strife, movements like <a href="http://occupywallst.org/">Occupy Wall Street</a>, the anti-austerity protests in Europe and the Arab Spring present a form of a pushback.</p><p>On this edition of Worldview, we spend the hour with Alfredo to talk about our changing times.</p></p> Tue, 20 Dec 2011 18:01:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-12-20/alfredo-sfeir-younis-visits-occupy-movement-and-calls-societal-change-95 Worldview 12.20.11 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-122011 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/episode/images/2011-december/2011-12-16/alfredo1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chilean economist Alfredo Sfeir Younis spent more than 30 years at the World Bank tackling the rights of indigenous peoples, poverty eradication and international trade. Today, Alfredo leads a slightly different life: He's a Mayan priest and president of the <a href="http://silentpeacemeditation.com/" target="_blank">Zambuling Institute for Human Transformation</a>, an organization that works on the connections between spirituality and public policy. On his current tour of the U.S., he's meeting with "Occupy" protesters. Alfredo argues, in order for humanity to thrive, the world must challenge some fundamental ideas of how we order, value and measure our society.</p></p> Tue, 20 Dec 2011 15:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-122011 Occupy and its adversaries need to find common ground, says rabbi http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-12-06/occupy-and-its-adversaries-need-find-common-ground-says-rabbi-94619 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-December/2011-12-05/occupy1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Occupy movement has been a learning experience for everyone, including <a href="http://www.bradhirschfield.com/" target="_blank">Rabbi Brad Hirschfield</a>, president of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership and Beliefnet.com <a href="http://blog.beliefnet.com/windowsanddoors/" target="_blank">blogger</a>.</p><p>He gives his take on religious congregations' reaction to Occupy Wall Street.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 06 Dec 2011 18:20:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-12-06/occupy-and-its-adversaries-need-find-common-ground-says-rabbi-94619 Income disparity and U.S. political economy http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-09/income-disparity-and-us-political-economy-93898 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-November/2011-11-09/occupy2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>At the heart of the growing Occupy movement is a frustration that economic elites dominate public policy and don’t contribute their fair share to society.</p><p>Last month, we sat down with <a href="http://www.polisci.northwestern.edu/people/winters.html" target="_blank">Jeffrey Winters</a>, a political science professor at Northwestern University, to talk about wealth in America and his book <a href="http://www.cambridge.org/aus/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9781107005280&amp;ss=fro" target="_blank"><em>Oligarchy</em></a>. Jeffrey <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-28/oligarchy-history-how-super-rich-defend-their-wealth-93577" target="_blank">talked to us</a> about the root causes of income disparity, and how America’s super-rich have an entire ‘wealth defense industry” at their disposal to evade paying taxes proportional to what the rest of the country pays. The interview provoked a compelling discussion about the nature of wealth in America. He returns to the program to take calls from listeners.</p><p>We're also joined by <a href="http://political-science.uchicago.edu/people/faculty/mccormick.shtml" target="_blank">John McCormick</a>, a political science professor at the University of Chicago and author of <a href="http://www.cambridge.org/gb/knowledge/isbn/item5695990/?site_locale=en_GB" target="_blank"><em>Machiavellian Democracy</em></a>. He proposes a new branch of government, a "people’s council," that could try government officials for war crimes and abuse, veto and propose legislation, and ultimately keep government accountable to the masses. His ideas stem from research into ancient systems such as Rome and Athens, where plebeians held high positions in government alongside elites.</p></p> Wed, 09 Nov 2011 17:13:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-09/income-disparity-and-us-political-economy-93898 Worldview 11.9.11 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-11911-0 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/episode/images/2011-november/2011-11-09/occupy4.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Last month, Northwestern University professor Jeffrey Winters <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-28/oligarchy-history-how-super-rich-defend-their-wealth-93577" target="_blank">joined us to discuss</a> his book <em><a href="http://www.the-american-interest.com/article.cfm?piece=1048" target="_blank">Oligarchy</a></em>, an examination of how the super-rich fight to preserve and increase their wealth, particularly here in the United States. The conversation generated a lot of interest and reaction, so we’ve asked him to come back on the program and take your calls. We'll also get other perspectives on the roots of income inequality, the increasingly global Occupy movement, and how to level the economic playing field. To join in the conversation call us at <strong>312-923-9239.</strong></p></p> Wed, 09 Nov 2011 15:42:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-11911-0 Researcher finds wealth distribution linked to health of societies http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-08/researcher-finds-wealth-distribution-linked-health-societies-93853 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-November/2011-11-08/occupy3.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Americans are taught early on that “all men are created equal.” But people taking part in Occupy Wall Street would argue that’s no longer the case.</p><p>The protesters are angry about the enormous gap between the rich and poor and frustrated by rising unemployment, foreclosures and corporate bonuses.</p><p>British epidemiologist Richard Wilkinson studies income inequality in developed countries. He’s found that people who live in more equal societies tend to fare better on a whole range of social indicators, from education to health to violence.</p><p>Richard, who also co-authored the book <em><a href="http://www.bloomsburypress.com/books/catalog/spirit_level_hc_362" target="_blank">The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger</a></em>, spoke with Worldview's Jerome McDonnell about his findings - including why country like Denmark has far more upward mobility than the United States.&nbsp;</p><p>Click on the audio link atop the page to hear their conversation in its entirety.</p><p><strong>Watch Richard's TED Talk, "How economic inequality harms societies":</strong></p><p style="text-align: center;"><object width="526" height="374"><param name="movie" value="http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><param name="wmode" value="transparent"><param name="bgColor" value="#ffffff"><param name="flashvars" value="vu=http://video.ted.com/talk/stream/2011G/Blank/RichardWilkinson_2011G-320k.mp4&amp;su=http://images.ted.com/images/ted/tedindex/embed-posters/RichardWilkinson_2011G-embed.jpg&amp;vw=512&amp;vh=288&amp;ap=0&amp;ti=1253&amp;lang=&amp;introDuration=15330&amp;adDuration=4000&amp;postAdDuration=830&amp;adKeys=talk=richard_wilkinson;year=2011;theme=medicine_without_borders;theme=rethinking_poverty;theme=unconventional_explanations;theme=not_business_as_usual;event=TEDGlobal+2011;tag=Culture;tag=Global+Issues;tag=data;tag=money;tag=social+change;tag=visualizations;&amp;preAdTag=tconf.ted/embed;tile=1;sz=512x288;"><embed allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" bgcolor="#ffffff" flashvars="vu=http://video.ted.com/talk/stream/2011G/Blank/RichardWilkinson_2011G-320k.mp4&amp;su=http://images.ted.com/images/ted/tedindex/embed-posters/RichardWilkinson_2011G-embed.jpg&amp;vw=512&amp;vh=288&amp;ap=0&amp;ti=1253&amp;lang=&amp;introDuration=15330&amp;adDuration=4000&amp;postAdDuration=830&amp;adKeys=talk=richard_wilkinson;year=2011;theme=medicine_without_borders;theme=rethinking_poverty;theme=unconventional_explanations;theme=not_business_as_usual;event=TEDGlobal+2011;tag=Culture;tag=Global+Issues;tag=data;tag=money;tag=social+change;tag=visualizations;&amp;preAdTag=tconf.ted/embed;tile=1;sz=512x288;" pluginspace="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" src="http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="526" height="374"></object></p></p> Tue, 08 Nov 2011 17:19:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-08/researcher-finds-wealth-distribution-linked-health-societies-93853 Worldview 11.8.11 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-11811-0 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/episode/images/2011-november/2011-11-08/occupy2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>As the Occupy movement raises concerns about income inequality, we talk to British epidemiologist Richard Wilkinson, co-author of <em><a href="http://www.bloomsburypress.com/books/catalog/spirit_level_hc_362" target="_blank">The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger</a></em>. His research suggests that people from countries without huge income gaps live longer and generally better lives. And, the new film <em><a href="http://www.pffamerica.com/2011press1_en.htm" target="_blank"><em>In Darkness</em></a></em><em> </em>by acclaimed director Agnieszka Holland tells the unlikely story of a Polish crook who rescues Jews during World War II. It just premiered in Chicago at the Polish Film Festival of America. <em>Worldview </em>film contributor <a href="http://www.wbez.org/contributor/milos-stehlik" target="_self">Milos Stehlik</a> chats with Holland about Polish cinema and why the festival matters.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>You may have heard <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-28/oligarchy-history-how-super-rich-defend-their-wealth-93577" target="_blank">our recent conversation</a> with political economist Jeffrey Winters, who shared his provocative theories on Occupy Wall Street and how the super-rich defend their wealth. Tomorrow, he returns to take your calls.</strong></p></p> Tue, 08 Nov 2011 15:28:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-11811-0 New data paints stark portrait of nation’s poor http://www.wbez.org/content/new-data-paints-stark-portrait-nation%E2%80%99s-poor <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-November/2011-11-03/homeless_Flickr_Nima Taradji.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>WASHINGTON (AP) — The ranks of America's poorest poor have climbed to a record high — 1 in 15 people — spread widely across metropolitan areas as the housing bust pushed many inner-city poor into suburbs and other outlying places and shriveled jobs and income.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-03/homeless_Flickr_Nima Taradji.jpg" style="width: 400px; height: 350px; margin: 5px; float: left;" title="(Flickr/Nima Taradji, file)">New census data paint a stark portrait of the nation's haves and have-nots at a time when unemployment remains persistently high. It comes a week before the government releases first-ever economic data that will show more Hispanics, elderly and working-age poor have fallen into poverty.</p><p>In all, the numbers underscore the breadth and scope by which the downturn has reached further into mainstream America.</p><p>"There now really is no unaffected group, except maybe the very top income earners," said Robert Moffitt, a professor of economics at Johns Hopkins University. "Recessions are supposed to be temporary, and when it's over, everything returns to where it was before. But the worry now is that the downturn — which will end eventually — will have long-lasting effects on families who lose jobs, become worse off and can't recover."</p><p>Traditional inner-city black ghettos are thinning out and changing, drawing in impoverished Hispanics who have low-wage jobs or are unemployed. Neighborhoods with poverty rates of at least 40 percent are stretching over broader areas, increasing in suburbs at twice the rate of cities.</p><p>Once-booming Sun Belt metro areas are now seeing some of the biggest jumps in concentrated poverty.</p><p>Signs of a growing divide between rich and poor can be seen in places such as the upscale Miami suburb of Miami Shores, where nannies gather with their charges at a playground nestled between the township's sprawling golf course and soccer fields. The locale is a far cry from where many of them live.</p><p>One is Mariana Gripaldi, 36, an Argentinian who came to the U.S. about 10 years ago to escape her own country's economic crisis. She and her husband rent a two-bedroom apartment near Biscayne Bay in a middle-class neighborhood at the north end of Miami Beach, far from the chic hotels and stores.</p><p>But Gripaldi said in the past two years, the neighborhood has seen an increase in crime.</p><p>"The police come sometimes once or twice a night," she said in Spanish. "We are looking for a new place, but it's so expensive. My husband went to look at a place, and it was $1,500 for a two-bedroom, one bath. I don't like the changes, but I don't know if we can move."</p><p>About 20.5 million Americans, or 6.7 percent of the U.S. population, make up the poorest poor, defined as those at 50 percent or less of the official poverty level. Those living in deep poverty represent nearly half of the 46.2 million people scraping by below the poverty line. In 2010, the poorest poor meant an income of $5,570 or less for an individual and $11,157 for a family of four.</p><p>That 6.7 percent share is the highest in the 35 years that the Census Bureau has maintained such records, surpassing previous highs in 2009 and 1993 of just over 6 percent.</p><p>Broken down by states, 40 states and the District of Columbia had increases in the poorest poor since 2007, and none saw decreases. The District of Columbia ranked highest at 10.7 percent, followed by Mississippi and New Mexico. Nevada had the biggest jump, rising from 4.6 percent to 7 percent.</p><p>Concentrated poverty also spread wider.</p><p>After declining during the 1990s economic boom, the proportion of poor people in large metropolitan areas who lived in high-poverty neighborhoods jumped from 11.2 percent in 2000 to 15.1 percent last year, according to a Brookings Institution analysis released Thursday. Such geographically concentrated poverty in the U.S. is now at the highest since 1990, following a decade of high unemployment and rising energy costs.</p><p>Extreme poverty today continues to be prevalent in the industrial Midwest, including Detroit, Grand Rapids, Mich., and Akron, Ohio, due to a renewed decline in manufacturing. But the biggest growth in high-poverty areas is occurring in newer Sun Belt metro areas such as Las Vegas, Riverside, Calif., and Cape Coral, Fla., after the plummeting housing market wiped out home values and dried up construction jobs.</p><p>As a whole, the number of poor in the suburbs who lived in high-poverty neighborhoods rose by 41 percent since 2000, more than double the growth of such city neighborhoods.</p><p>Elizabeth Kneebone, a senior research associate at Brookings, described a demographic shift in people living in high-poverty neighborhoods, which have less access to good schools, hospitals and government services. As concentrated poverty spreads to new areas, including suburbs, the residents are now more likely to be white, native-born and high school or college graduates — not the conventional image of high-school dropouts or single mothers in inner-city ghettos.</p><p>The more recent broader migration of the U.S. population, including working- and middle-class blacks, to the South and to suburbs helps explain some of the shifts in poverty.</p><p>A study by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies found that the population of 133 historically black ghettos had dropped 36 percent since 1970, as the U.S. black population growth slowed and many blacks moved to new areas. The newest residents in these ghettos are now more likely to be Hispanic, who have more than tripled their share in the neighborhoods, to 21 percent.</p><p>Just over 7 percent of all African-Americans nationwide now live in traditional ghettos, down from 33 percent in 1970.</p><p>"As extreme-poverty neighborhoods emerge in more places, that is shifting the general makeup of those populations," said Kneebone, the lead author of the Brookings analysis.</p><p>New 2010 poverty data to be released next week by the Census Bureau will show additional demographic changes.</p><p>The new supplemental poverty measure for the first time will take into account non-cash aid such as tax credits and food stamps, but also additional everyday costs such as commuting and medical care. Official poverty figures released in September only take into account income before tax deductions.</p><p>Based on newly released estimates for 2009, the new measure will show a significant jump in overall poverty. Poverty for Americans 65 and older is on track to nearly double after factoring in rising out-of-pocket medical expenses, from 9 percent to over 15 percent. Poverty increases are also anticipated for the working-age population because of commuting and child-care costs, while child poverty will dip partly due to the positive effect of food stamps.</p><p>For the first time, the share of Hispanics living in poverty is expected to surpass that of African-Americans based on the new measure, reflecting in part the lower participation of immigrants and non-English speakers in government aid programs such as housing and food stamps. The 2009 census estimates show 27.6 percent of all Hispanics living in poverty, compared with 23.4 percent for blacks.</p><p>Alba Alvarez, 52, a nanny who chatted recently in Miami, said she is lucky because her employer rents an apartment to her and her husband at a low rate in a comfortable neighborhood on the bay. But her adult children, who followed her to the U.S. from Honduras, are having a tougher time.</p><p>They initially found work in a regional wholesale fruit and vegetable market that supplies many local supermarkets. But her youngest son recently lost his job, and since he has no legal status, he cannot get any help from the government.</p><p>"As a mother, I feel so horrible. There's this sense of powerlessness. I wanted things to be better for them in this country," Alvarez said. "I (recently) suggested my youngest go back to Honduras. It's easier for me to help him there than here, where rent and everything is so expensive."</p></p> Thu, 03 Nov 2011 18:47:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/content/new-data-paints-stark-portrait-nation%E2%80%99s-poor Bolivia festival hints at income disparity http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-17/bolivia-festival-hints-income-disparity-93197 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-October/2011-10-17/bolivia.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Today, socioeconomic polarization in the United States is more palpable than ever. Earlier this month, an iconic sign <a href="http://LINK%20http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-10-05/we-are-1-signs-flip-jab-occupy-chicago-movement-92865" target="_blank">popped up</a> in the windows of the Chicago Board of Trade with the words “We are the 1%.” The sign was a flib jab at Occupy Wall Street’s slogan “We are the 99%,” and outraged protesters around the country calling for more income equality.</p><p>But boasting about wealth isn’t just limited to the U.S. Bolivia is one of South America’s poorest nations. If you have wealth in Bolivia’s indigenous culture, it’s considered bad taste to flaunt it — that is, except at Fiesta del Gran Poder, “The Feast of Big Power.”</p><p>Sponsored by the wealthy, the fiesta is an opulent street party held each year right around summer solstice. Economists estimate that up to $40 million is spent each year on the merry-making. Annie Murphy from <a href="http://www.worldvisionreport.org/" target="_blank"><em>World Vision Report</em></a> takes us into this world of conspicuous consumption.</p><p>This story was provided to us by the <a href="http://www.prx.org/" target="_blank">Public Radio Exchange</a>.</p></p> Mon, 17 Oct 2011 18:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-17/bolivia-festival-hints-income-disparity-93197