A project of the Center for Community Change

Economy

Mapping the Impact

Today I stumbled across this interactive map which charts the impact of immigrant students, workers and entrepreneurs in every American state. The project, known as Map the Impact, is informative and engaging; it deploys relevant statistics and persuasive figures that underscore how much immigrant populations contribute to the economy on the state level. Here’s the (paraphrased) entry for Maryland as a good, local example:

On average, a foreign-born Master’s or PhD degree holder working in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) field will create an additional 2.6 jobs in-state. As STEM careers move to play a greater role in the national economy, this figure is sure to rise. Additionally, immigrant-owned businesses in Maryland generate an annual income of $2.8 billion. If these entrepreneurs are provided secure pathways to citizenship, as the legislation currently under debate in the Senate promises, they will surely expand their role as job creators and business leaders. Thirdly, research predicts a massive shortage of registered nurses and medical professionals in Maryland by 2020. Immigrants are already filling these gaps: over a quarter of the state’s physicians graduated from foreign medical schools, almost entirely composed of immigrant students.

Perhaps these numbers aren’t mind-boggling; maybe the Maryland statistics don’t necessarily scream out for an overhaul of the immigration system. What they do indicate, however, is that immigrants are immensely important to the economy’s wellbeing. More and more reports prove—last week’s CBO findings are the prime example—that immigration reform is, in fact, a force multiplier for the national economy. Job creation, a shrinking deficit, more secure funding for Social Security: all these things can and will be accomplished if Congress commits to passing the bill. The impact of an enlightened, reformed immigration system is clear in maps, charts and graphs. Now is the time to see it in writing.

Click here for more on the Map the Impact project.

Economic Injustice Needs More Attention

The Brookings Institution pointed out that high-income kids who don’t graduate from college are 2.5 times more likely to end up rich than low-income kids who do get a degree. Economic disparity is becoming more widespread because inequality breeds more injustice, and achieving economic justice appears to be stuck in a vicious cycle that moves from one generation to the next.

According to the study, children from rich families have access to better resources and therefore have a better chance of getting a higher education. They are also more likely to end up marrying people who have similar economic backgrounds and their children will be raised in rich families. Rich parents who don’t have to hold multiple jobs to support themselves have more time to educate their children, and more money to send their kids to better schools, only perpetuating this vicious cycle.

Economic injustice is not just an issue in the United States. In China, the slang word “ping die (拼爹)” is the idea that people are not only judged by their own skills and merit, but by the wealth and political power of their fathers because a person’s family has so much influence on their own future.

I happen to know two friends, both of whom study at the same university. One comes from a wealthy background and the other does not.  Even though they both attend the same university, I believe that life will be much easier for my rich friend. His future is “bright”: he will work for his father’s company, marry a rich girl and later he’ll take over as head of the company. Though my other friend attends the same university and works just as hard if not harder, he may have to work harder for the things he accomplishes, and may find himself on a more difficult path in life.

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The apples stand for: INCOME

More economic injustice leads to less mobility and can discourage people, especially young people who are in the process of pursuing their dreams. The American dream should be based on the attainability to change one’s social economic status through hard work and effort, not the income level of the family they were born into.

Why Economic Justice Is So Hard to Reach

As the Brookings Institution has pointed out, nowadays in America, more inequality leads  to less mobility and the economic justice is becoming more and more unattainable. Our American Dream should be based on the attainability to change one’s social economic status (SES) through hard work and effort. But that is much harder to achieve as Tim Noah  writes. It is harder to climb our social ladder when the rungs are further apart. High-income kids who don’t graduate from college are 2.5 times more likely to end up rich than low-income kids who do get a degree. Achieving economic justice appears to be stuck in a vicious cycle that starts from one generation to the other and leads to problems to current society.

For more information: http://cfor.cc/11R7J0I

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