Today America faces a large and growing Opportunity Deficit. Up and down our once-flourishing economy, a new and unnatural sclerosis is taking hold. For millions of working families of or aspiring to the middle class, the American Dream is slipping out of reach.
This Opportunity Deficit presents itself in three principal ways: immobility among the poor, trapped in poverty; insecurity in the middle class, where families just can't seem to get ahead; and cronyist privilege at the top.
On the first two fronts there is some good news. A new generation of conservative leaders is emerging to meet these growing challenges. These reformers understand that it's not enough to just cut big government. To restore equal opportunity to all Americans, we also have to fix broken government. more >>
WASHINGTON — A panel of experts on economics and theology who have recently come together to author a book on poverty believe that anti-poverty efforts need a biblical answer, but the Bible does not teach socialism.
Various experts brought together by the American Enterprise Institute presented their views on combatting poverty Tuesday afternoon at an event titled "For the least of these: A biblical answer to poverty."
The panel, which was cosponsored by the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics, was comprised of some of the authors involved in a book of the same name released by WestBow Press last February. more >>
A sign of the grim economic realities many people are grappling with in the sluggish economy is that a growing number of Californians between the ages of 50 to 64 have been painfully moving back home to live with their parents due to economic hardship.
The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development revealed that the number of Californians in that age group who live in their parents' home increased by 67.6 percent to 194,000 for seven years through 2012, according to the Los Angeles Times.
"The numbers are pretty amazing," said Steven P. Wallace, a UCLA professor of public health who presented the data. "It's an age group that you normally think of as pretty financially stable. They're mid-career. They may be thinking ahead toward retirement. They've got a nest egg going. And then all of a sudden you see this huge push back into their parents' homes." more >>
President Barack Obama and his feminist friends have been trotting out their tiresome slogan that women are paid only 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. Every reputable scholar who has commented has proved that this is a notorious falsehood that anyone should be embarrassed to use.
U.S. law calls for equal pay for equal work, but the feminist slogan is not based on equal work. Women work fewer hours per day, per week, per year. They spend fewer years as full-time workers outside the home, avoid jobs that require overtime, and choose jobs with flexibility to take time off for personal reasons. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, men are twice as likely as women to work more than 40 hours a week.
Women place a much higher value on pleasant working conditions: a clean, comfortable, air-conditioned office with congenial co-workers. Men, on the other hand, are more willing to endure unpleasant working conditions to earn higher pay, doing dirty, dangerous outside work. In 2012, men suffered 92 percent of work-related deaths. more >>
A large number of seminary graduates are dealing with overwhelming debt upon graduation, according to a new study by a research organization connected to Auburn Theological Seminary.
Many of these graduates are forced to moonlight at other jobs to make ends meet, found the Center for the Study of Theological Education.
I grew up in a family who had to stretch their money the best way they could. So I understand those in our nation who labor hard to pay their monthly bills. As our economy continues to struggle, the President and his congressional allies are proposing another hike in the federal minimum wage.
I have already written about the racist roots of the minimum wage. The Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 was intentionally designed to prevent blacks from being hired for federally funded work projects. Raising the minimum wage also raises the cost of all kinds of goods and services for consumers, rich and poor: if the grocery store has to pay more to have its shelves stocked, it will have to raise the price of groceries. And I have also written about how raising the minimum wage will undoubtedly raise unemployment rates among the lowest skilled workers.
This third concern was raised in a recent report by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which analyzed the probable effects of the proposed minimum wages increases. The report stated that the changes would most likely eliminate at least 500,000 jobs (or as many as 1 million) by the time they were in full effect. In return, they would raise the annual income of families in poverty by about $300 a year. more >>