Renee’s Round-up: Inequality and Opportunity

If you’ve been reading the Every Child Matters blog, you’ve heard us reflect on income inequality and the “opportunity gap.” Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen an unprecedented amount of attention on those issues. From the Democratic Debate in Las Vegas to the Nobel Prize in Stockholm, the inequality conversation has been front-and-center on some of the world’s biggest stages. We’ve rounded up some of the stories you may have missed.

The Wall Street Journal introduced us to Angus Deaton, winner of this year’s Nobel Prize in Economics.

Angus Deaton, 2015 Nobel Laureate in Economics

His work has focused on finding new ways to measure household consumption and standards of living, and he has shaped the way policy-makers talk about solutions to income inequality and global poverty.

Mother Jones covered the “worrying” results of this year’s Global Wealth Report. In most developed nations, inequality is on the rise. And while the United States holds nearly 42% of the world’s private wealth, we lead the pack when it comes to unequal distribution of wealth. In fact, the top 10% of Americans control more than two thirds of the country’s net wealth.

Opportunity Nation released this year’s Opportunity Index data. With their interactive map, you can see how your community compares to others across the country, and learn about the factors that expand or restrict upward mobility.

One of those factors, of course, is education. NPR’s Marketplace highlighted a new report showing “staggering” inequities for poor students and students of color in urban schools.

Another key to opportunity is affordable childcare, which makes it possible for parents to work outside the home or pursue a degree to further their career. In a newly-released report, the Economic Policy Institute found that quality childcare is out of reach for most families. The report concludes that funding for childcare services should be “a paramount concern” for policy-makers.

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