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    Want to Help the Poor? Repeal Ethanol Mandate, Don’t Raise Minimum Wage

    Many Senators propose raising the minimum wage to reduce poverty. However, minimum-wage increases have no statistically significant effect on poverty rates. Few of the workers who would get raises come from poor families. Worse, higher minimum wages discourage hiring and reduce access to entry-level jobs. Congress should look to effective … More

    New Study: Does Income Inequality Harm Opportunity?

    Income inequality is a hot topic for 2014. The liberal Center for American Progress recently launched a new center devoted to the subject, and President Obama has been making it a centerpiece of his speeches. But what causes income inequality; is it inherently bad; and what (if anything) should be … More

    The Typical Worker Earns More Today Than in 1989

    Do American workers have lower living standards today than in 1989? To anyone with a camera GPS library stereo video recorder TV smartphone in his or her pocket, it doesn’t look like it. But the Census Bureau recently released a report finding real median household incomes lower today than 24 … More

    You Won’t Believe This Surfer Living the Food Stamps Dream

    This is Jason Greenslate’s typical day: “Wake up, go down to the beach, hang out with my friends, hit on some chicks, start drinking.” He also plays in a rock band. And he’s living off food stamps. He has no income—he’s not interested in getting a job—and he’s eating on … More

    Are Americans Better Off Today Than They Were Four Decades Ago?

    Many pundits and politicians argue that middle-class incomes have stagnated over the past generation. But more accurate data show that the typical household’s income has risen by at least one-fifth in recent decades. Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich expressed this view when he argued that we have gone through … More

    Left Claims 80 Percent of Americans "Economically Insecure"

    Eighty percent of U.S. adults are “economically insecure,” according to media reports of a new study. But just what is “economic insecurity”? Are most Americans experiencing severe hardship? The measure of “economic insecurity” used by the researcher, Mark Rank of Washington University in Missouri, gives no understanding of a household’s … More

    $150,000 in the Bank and Drawing Income from Social Security’s SSI

    An individual with $150,000 in the bank received Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a program intended for blind, disabled, or elderly individuals with limited financial resources, revealed the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in a recent report. SSI, though administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), is funded by general tax revenue. … More

    Morning Bell: 17 Reasons the $17 Trillion Debt Is Still a Big Deal

    Remember the debt? That $17 trillion problem? Some in Washington seem to think it’s gone away. The Washington Post reported that “the national debt is no longer growing out of control.” Lawmakers and liberal inside-the-Beltway organizations are floating the notion that it’s not a high priority any more. We beg … More

    Raising the Minimum Wage to $9 Would Harm Most Vulnerable Job Seekers

    President Obama’s budget proposes raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour. This would hurt the very workers the President wants to help. When the price of something rises, people—both consumers and employers—purchase less of it. Americans responded to the higher cost of gas by driving less. Businesses similarly respond … More

    Blame Income Inequality?

    Scott Winship’s recent piece in National Affairs, “Overstating the Costs of Inequality,” elevates the national debate over the role that income inequality plays in economic mobility and growth. Winship, an economist at the Brookings Institution, finds “simply very little evidence to suggest that…income disparities between the rich, middle class, and … More