The ADP/TDC Economic Inequality Initiative is hosting what promises to be a powerful public panel at the 2017 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Meeting this coming week. Please join us for:
Economic Inequality in the U.S.: A discussion with the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank
Friday, June 9, 2017 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., Ballroom V and VI
America has long been heralded as the “land of opportunity,” but consider the following:
- The average student loan debt for the class of 2012 was $29,400, which doesn’t account for any debt accrued in graduate school.
- Between 1947 and 1972, the average hourly wage, adjusted for inflation, rose 76 percent. Since 1972, by contrast, the average hourly wage has risen only 4 percent.
- In 2011 the poverty rate for female-headed families with children was 40.9 percent.
- In 2009, CEOs of major U.S. corporations averaged 263 times the average compensation of American workers.
- Between 1979 and 2007, wages for the top 1 percent rose almost 10 times as fast as those for the bottom 90 percent: 156.2 percent versus 16.7 percent.
- “The two years in the last hundred that mark the apogees of inequality—when the richest one percent received a record 23.5 percent of total income—were 1928 and 2007” (Robert Reich, Aftershock , p. 5).
- An Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development study found that almost 884,000 excess deaths per year in the United States could be attributed to high levels of income inequality.
Economic inequality, and its impact on mobility, hinders economic growth at the local, regional, and national levels. This panel will include research on the current state of economic inequality as well as potential strategies for addressing the issue. Local foundations, nonprofit organizations, and anchor institutions, including hospitals and universities, can play integral roles in combating inequality. Perspectives from these types of institutions will be provided along with a systems-level view of how to effectively coordinate efforts by collaboratively identifying and leveraging local and regional assets.
- Lee Huang, Senior Vice President and Principal of Econsult, has been responsible for leading projects examining commercial corridors, affordable housing, neighborhood change, transportation financing, MWBE procurement, real estate development, economic development, tax policy, economic and fiscal impact, transit-oriented development, financial modeling, tax increment financing, waterfront development, discrimination in lending practices, higher education, workforce development, technology, historic preservation, and recreational amenities.
- Nyeema Watson, Associate Chancellor of Civic Engagement at Rutgers University- Camden, leads the university’s community and service initiatives.
- Ann Hughes, Director of the Ware Institute for Civic Engagement at Franklin & Marshall College, connects students with the local community to address challenges and develop a deeper understanding of societal issues, while also gaining important professional skills.
- Theresa Y. Singleton is Vice President in the Community Development Studies & Education Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and the Bank’s Community Affairs Officer. Singleton is responsible for overseeing research and outreach initiatives that promote community development and fair and impartial access to credit. She also oversees the Bank’s economic education and personal finance efforts.
The Democracy Collaborative released their latest report, Cities Building Community Wealth (November 2015) written by Executive Vice President and Senior Fellow Marjorie Kelly and Manager of Community Development Programs Sarah McKinley. The report profiles the work of local officials who have taken up the community wealth building approach to creating inclusive and sustainable economies. Already, this report has received favorable coverage from Forbes, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Next City, and YES! Magazine. The report will be the centerpiece of a convening involving mayors, directors of economic development, scholars and practitioners on January 29, 2016, co-hosted by the CUNY School of Law Community and Economic Development Clinic. Find out more about the convening here, and read the report here.
The Next System Project released a collection of essays by Co-Chair Gus Speth entitled Getting to the Next System: Guideposts on the way to a new political economy. This second report in the Next System Project research series outlines the nature of system change, pathways forward, and a vision for a new American Dream. Read more below. The Next System Project also published a poll, adapted from Getting to the Next System, that allows community groups and activists to assess how their work contributes to system change. In other Next System Project developments, co-chair Gar Alperovitz, in an article in Al Jazeera, notes local experiments around the country that draw from traditional socialism, but promote democratic ownership in a “radically decentralized, populist and very American form.” And on November 9, Gar participated in an online panel as part of New Economy Week. Download this report here.
Special Offer from NIFI – FREE Materials for Forums
Making Ends Meet: How Should We Spread Prosperity and Improve Opportunity?
Over the past several months, the Kettering Foundation has been researching the increasingly important issue of economic inequality. The naming and framing of this issue has focused on the growing inequality and the difficulty that families have with surviving economically.
The outcome is a new National Issues Forums (NIFI) issue guide entitled, Making Ends Meet: How Should We Spread Prosperity and Improve Opportunity? The guide will be ready for distribution in early December. Our goal is to have 100 forums by the end of March 2016 so that the results of this research can be reported at the A Public Voice (APV) event in Washington on May 4th.
Hence, a special offer is being presented to the first 100 conveners and/or moderators who agree to conduct a forum. They will receive 20 FREE copies of the issue guide and a copy
of the starter video. The moderator will be expected to have each participant complete the questionnaire following the forum and to mail them back to us. I am asking each of you to consider offering a forum to a group with whom you have contact and who you feel is interested in this issue-your church, a book club, a class you are teaching, a civic organization to which you belong, etc. You can make a significant contribution to spreading awareness of public deliberation and to helping to find a solution to this significant public issue.
Sign up for this offer from NIFI here.
Roosevelt’s Rewriting the Rules report continues to make waves. They just released new opinion research conducted by Democracy Corps which shows that voters have an overwhelmingly positive response to the Rewriting the Rules frame and agenda. The message of the report – which argues that comprehensive reforms can grow the economy and reduce inequality – fuels enthusiasm for the election among key voting demographics.
The opinion research, based on focus groups and a national poll, shows that likely voters soundly reject trickle-down economics in favor of an agenda to rewrite the rules of the economy, challenge corporate interests that manipulate our political system in their favor, and level the playing field to promote growth. Some key takeaways:
• More than 80 percent agree and nearly 60 percent strongly agree that “the rules of the economy matter and the top 1 percent have used their influence to shape the rules of the economy to their advantage.”
• Voters are skeptical of conservative economic principles. The term “trickle down” is greeted negatively by 45 percent of voters – more than twice the number who react positively.
• Progressive economic proposals are far more popular across the electorate, and that popularity grows when the public hears the Rewriting the Rules narrative. Voters are even more supportive when the agenda starts with reforming the corrupt system of financing politics.
For more information check out the poll memo, slides, and toplines