Topic: Income
Oct. 31, 2017

A continuing decline in poverty: In 2015, nearly 1 in 5 Californians lived in poverty. The poverty rate declined to 19.5 percent, down 1.1 percentage points from 2014, and down 2.3 percentage points since 2011. . . . Work continues to protect against poverty: Only 11.2 percent of individuals living in families with at least one person working full-time (for the full year) are in poverty.

Oct. 27, 2017

The U.S. economy grew robustly in the third quarter despite two hurricanes, propelled by steady spending from American businesses and households.

Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services made in the U.S., expanded at a 3% annual rate in July through September, the Commerce Department said Friday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had projected a 2.7% gain.

Output expanded at 3.1% rate in the second quarter. This marks the economy's best six-month stretch since mid-2014.

Oct. 25, 2017

Stockton, California, announced last week that it will try out a new anti-poverty program that provides $500 per month for a small subset of eligible residents. Earlier this month, the province of Ontario mailed its first monthly checks to 400 lucky Canadians. Advocates for a “universal basic income” (UBI) call these programs “experiments,” or “pilots,” and they hope that positive results will build support for their proposals. But these governments are not testing a UBI; they are running a free lottery. No one should be impressed or persuaded if its winners prove to be fans.

. . . Treating this program as a useful test of the UBI, however, is a marketing gimmick that borders on fraud. The experiments ignore the UBI’s disquieting aspects. It’s generally accepted that people in need should receive short-term support. But limited, means-tested government support is not the same thing as rearranging cultural expectations and economic incentives by making self-reliance optional, which would devalue work, weaken families and communities, discourage young people from launching their adult lives, and subsidize an expanding and idle underclass.

Oct. 23, 2017

How important was international trade for each US state’s economy in 2016? The map and table above help to answer that question. The table above shows GDP for each US state (data here) in 2016, the total trade volume (exports + imports, data here for merchandise trade only, data on trade in services aren’t available by state) last year, and the volume of international trade activities as a share of each state’s GDP, ranked from highest to lowest. Ignoring the District of Columbia, the average trade share for US states in 2015 was 16.7%, and ranged from a low of 4.7% for South Dakota to a high of nearly 39.0% for Michigan. The trade shares by state are also displayed graphically in the map above — the greater the share of state trade activities (exports + imports) in relation to state GDP, the darker the shade of blue.

Oct. 18, 2017

Around $1 million is coming from the Economic Security Project, a network of researchers, elected leaders, and organizers. There are no tax dollars being spent.

Tubbs said over the next six months a study group will determine who gets the money and for how long, anywhere from one to three years. There could be 25 to 75 families involved.

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