Category Archives: Economics

New Study: Black Women’s Status Exposes American Dream as Myth

By Free Radical

Despite increases in educational attainment and entrepreneurship, Black women still lag behind other groups in key socioeconomic statistical areas.

Despite increases in educational attainment and entrepreneurship, Black women still lag behind other groups in key socioeconomic statistical areas.

On average, Black women are doing the right thing. And by right, they are doing all of the things that most economists, sociologists, political scientists, etc. say one must do to become successful in the country. Nonetheless, they have not been rewarded for the strides they have made according to the new study, “The Status of Black Women in the United States” conducted by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, a nonprofit organization affiliated with George Washington University. The findings were published by the National Domestic Workers Alliance.

The report shows that though 6 in 10 Black women are in the workforce, between 2004 and 2014 Black women working full-time jobs had median annual earnings that were 64.6% of White men.

Though the number of Black women owned businesses rose 178% between 2002 and 2012 (the largest among all racial groups), Black women had

Study of Minimum Wage Shows Mixed Results

By Free Radical

A recent study by Washington University scholars shows that raising the minimum wage has had both positive and negative ramifications for local economies. These issues are of importance for cities such as St. Louis that are in the middle of contentious debates over raising worker pay.

In a working paper, the scholars looked at six states that raised their minimum wages between 2010 and 2015. They found that workers who received a wage increase were no more likely to be fired than workers who did not receive one. This is key as opponents often argue that raising a minimum wage will lead to workers losing their jobs. This position has been derided as paternalistic because most workers who make a minimum wage desire a higher pay. With the study, this excuse for not raising the minimum wage is seen not only as paternalistic, but also inaccurate.

The study, however, also found that businesses hired fewer workers a year after their respective states raised their minimum wage rates.

The research was conducted by Washington University business professors Radhakrishnan Gopalan and Barton Hamilton and graduate students Ankit Kalda and David Sovic.

St. Louis and Missouri is currently embroiled in a fight to secure its recent minimum wage hike. In 2015, St. Louis passed an ordinance to raise its pay floor to $11 an hour by 2018. Though the law was challenged by business groups, the Missouri Supreme Court upheld it earlier this year.

However, last month Missouri legislators voted to prevent local municipalities from raising their minimum wage. The measure is currently awaiting Governor Greitens’s signature or veto.

Homeownership Maintains Decades Old American Inequality

By Free Radical

econpic (3)When thinking of “entitlement” programs, many people immediately think of food stamps, social security, or possibly Medicaid. A recently published nytimes.com long form article by Pulitzer Prize winning writer Matthew Desmond, argues that one of the largest forms of government aid does not go to the poor, but rather to middle class and wealthier homeowners.

The mortgage interest deduction, or MID, allows homeowners to deduct mortgage interest on their first and second homes. In 2015, a whopping $71 billion was spent on the MID alone, making up more than half of all federal homeowner subsidies which totaled $134 billion.

Desmond argues that the MID policy exacerbates inequality in the US. Because tax deductions are

MO Shifts Medicaid Patients to Private Sector

By Free Radical

Nearly 240,000 Missouri state Medicaid patients were moved to private sector companies last week.

Nearly 240,000 Missouri state Medicaid patients were moved to private sector companies last week.

Last week, Missouri transferred nearly 240,000 of its state-provided Medicaid program to private insurance companies. The new program, MOHealthNet requires individuals who are not elderly, disabled or blind to use one of three private sector businesses: WellCare, United Health Group, or Centene Corporation.

The program was offered to only 54 Missouri counties previously. Now it is offered throughout the entire state.

The program’s supporters argue that it is more cost-effective as the state pays one of the three insurance companies a flat fee for each patient. Prior to the program’s implementation, the state paid for