Source: National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, November 2013
From the press release:
The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) today released a report entitled “Squeezing Seniors: Aging Community Fears National Crisis As a Result of Federal Budget Cuts.” The report releases findings from an October 2013 n4a survey that sampled local Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) in nine states on the effects of stagnant and reduced federal funding, including sequestration, on community aging programs and services partially federally funded via the Older Americans Act (OAA), which provides federal funding to states and communities for a range of community-based aging programs and services for older Americans at risk of losing their independence. Nearly 85 percent of respondents stated that they will not be able to provide sufficient aging services if federal cuts including sequestration continue. As a result of years of stagnant funding followed by the sharp cuts under sequestration, virtually all AAA leaders polled were concerned or very concerned about the ability of seniors in their community to be able to remain living independently without costly institutional care….
Source: National Association of State Retirement Administrators and the National Council on Teacher Retirement, December 2013
…The primary source of Survey data is public retirement system annual financial reports. Data also is culled from actuarial valuations, benefits guides, system websites, and input from system representatives. The Survey is updated continuously as new information, particularly annual financial reports, becomes available. This report focuses on fiscal year 2012. Using graphs, this summary describes changes and trends in selected elements of the survey.
Figure A plots the aggregate actuarial funding level among plans in the Survey since its inception in FY 2001. The funding level in FY 12 declined to 73.5 percent, down from 75.8 percent the prior year. The aggregate actuarial value of assets increased to $2.67 trillion, an increase of 0.9 percent. This increase was outpaced by growth in the actuarial value of liabilities, from $3.49 trillion to $3.63 trillion, or 4.1 percent. Liabilities grow primarily as active (working) plan participants accrue retirement benefit service credits.
Most plans have completed, or are nearing completion, of recognition of the sharp investment losses incurred in 2008-09. Those losses are being offset by asset gains since the market decline….
Source: Committee for Better Banks, 2013
From the summary:
The findings of this report raise major concerns that this is the tale of two banking industries – one of high paid executives and the other of struggling regular workers. Following are some key findings:
- While average wages have steadily declined on Wall Street since the financial crisis of 2008, the top fifty financial CEOs’ compensation collectively rose by 26% in 2010 and by 20.4% in 2011.
- Bank worker wages are so low that almost 1/3 of bank tellers receive some sort of public assistance nationwide.
- There are now 19,800 fewer people employed in the financial industry in New York City than before 2008.
- The Office of the State Comptroller estimates that every financial services position lost means two more in other industries are shed in New York City and that one job is lost
elsewhere in the state.
Low bank wages costing the public millions, report says
Source: Danielle Douglas, Washington Post, December 3, 2013
A Third of Bank Tellers Rely on Government Assistance, Study Says
Source: Karen Weise, Bloomberg Businessweek, December 04, 2013
Workers of the (finance) world unite – and unionize
Source: E. Tammy Kim, Al Jazeera America, December 3, 2013
New effort to organize low-wage bank workers in US targets entire industry
One New York for All of Us: Leveraging New York’s financial Power to Combat Inequality
Source: New Day New York Coalition, 2013
- The city and associated entities pay $160 million a year for bad deals with banks.
- The city, its pension funds, and the MTA pay $563 million in base Wall Street fees each year.
- New York City and State give banks subsidies worth about $300 million a year, without ensuring that New York City communities will benefit.
- Because their wages are so low, 39% of bank tellers and their family members rely on at least one public assistance program, at a total government cost of $112 million.
- During the past 5 years, foreclosures have cost New York City $1.9 billion in expenses and lost revenue.
Source: New Day New York Coalition, December 2013
Source: Virginia Buysse, Ellen Peisner-Feinberg, Mariela Páez, Carol Scheffner Hammer, Meagan Knowles, Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Available online 19 September 2013
From the abstract:
This article describes the results of a comprehensive review of the research literature from 2000 to 2011 evaluating the effects of early care and education practices on the developmental outcomes of dual language learners (DLLs) from birth through 5 years of age. Across 25 studies that met inclusion criteria, study samples consisted primarily of Latino or Spanish-speaking children 3–5 years of age enrolled in center-based programs. The analysis focused on features of the early education programs and practices (intensity and language of instruction) and research methods (sampling, research designs) in relation to child outcomes for the various types of research interventions evaluated in these studies (center-based programs, professional development, curricula, and instructional strategies). On the basis of a few large-scale scientifically sound studies, the review found at least some evidence to suggest that DLLs benefitted from attending widely available, well regulated programs such as Head Start and public pre-k, particularly with respect to improving language and literacy skills. However, because the extant research has not systematically accounted for the separate effects of language of instruction versus type of intervention, very little can be concluded about how these factors contribute to the positive main effects of these interventions.
• This review evaluated the research from 2001 to 2011 to examine the effects of educational practices on DLLs from birth through 5 years of age.
• The review found at least some evidence for the benefits of attending widely available, well regulated early childhood programs.
• Very little can be concluded about the separate contributions of language of instruction versus type of intervention on the positive main effects of these interventions.
Head Start narrows academic gap for Latino kids
Source: Dave Shaw, Futurity blog, November 27, 2013
Source: Scott Klinger, Katherine McFate, Center for Effective Government, December 2013
From the summary:
The American corporate tax system is badly broken. Some corporations pay more than a third of their profits in federal income taxes, while other equally profitable firms pay nothing at all. On average, corporations pay just 12.6 percent of their profits in federal income taxes, according to a recent study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
Corporate and political leaders keep telling us that cutting corporate tax rates will create jobs.
Our examination of the evidence found no relationship between cutting tax rates on corporate profits and job growth.
We examined the job creation track record of 60 large, profitable U.S. corporations (from a list of 280 Fortune 500 companies) with the highest and lowest effective tax rates between 2008 and 2010 and found:
* 22 of the 30 corporations that paid the highest tax rates (30 percent or more) on their reported profits created almost 200,000 jobs between 2008 and 2012. Only eight of the 30 firms paying high tax rates reported reducing the number of employees between 2008 and 2012.
* The 30 profitable corporations that paid little or no taxes over three years collectively shed 51,289 jobs; half of these low-tax firms created some jobs, and half shed jobs between 2008 and 2012.
* Lowe’s, the nation’s second-largest home improvement store, paid over 36 percent in taxes on reported profits of $9 billion between 2008 and 2010, and hired an additional 28,820 employees between 2008 and 2012.
* Verizon, the nation’s largest wireless provider, reported $32 billion in U.S. profits between 2008 and 2010, yet received tax refunds totaling $951 million and reduced the number of employees by almost 56,000 between 2008 and 2012.
Source: Ben Olinsky and Asher Mayerson, Center for American Progress, December 4, 2013
From the summary:
For more than 30 years, conservative politicians have tried to sell Americans on the notion that giving tax cuts to the wealthy will spur economic growth and job creation, generating broad-based economic prosperity. Their marketing of this “trickle-down economics” has been successful: After decades of campaigning, many Americans now accept the oft-repeated assertion that lower taxes and less regulation leads to job growth. Congress followed suit, lowering tax rates sharply for the highest-income earners, while leaving tax rates relatively unchanged for other groups. When President Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, the marginal tax rate for the highest income bracket was 70 percent, but that fell to just 28 percent by the time he left office. Even after modest increases since then, the top marginal tax rate for top earners today hovers at just more than half of what it was in 1980 (see figure 1). At the same time, Congress and the courts have taken repeated steps to roll back labor and financial regulation, further contributing to the skyrocketing wealth of the top 1 percent.
Yet empirical economic data show that these misguided policies did not deliver on their promises, as our nation’s economy after the tax increases of 1993 significantly outperformed the periods after tax cuts in the 1980s and 2000s. Investment growth, productivity growth, employment growth, middle-class income growth, national fiscal health, and overall economic growth were weaker or declined under trickle-down policies.
Far from generating broad prosperity, these misguided policies have also led to an unprecedented level of income inequality in the United States. …
The Impact of Inequality on Growth by Jared Bernstein
The Impact of Redistributive Tax and Transfer Programs on Risk-Taking Behavior and Labor Mobility by Adriana Kugler
The Great Laissez-Faire Experiment: American Inequality and Growth from an International Perspective by David R. Howell
Source: Arloc Sherman, Off the Charts blog, November 25, 2013
…Almost 1 in 5 American families struggled to meet one or more of nine basic needs in 2011, the Census Bureau reported earlier this year. These included difficulty meeting essential expenses, not paying rent or mortgage, getting evicted, not paying utilities, having utilities or phone service cut off, not seeing a doctor or dentist when needed, or not always having enough food. Several of these measures of financial difficulty worsened between 2005 and 2011, according to the Census data…. In 2011, 36 percent of the poorest fifth of U.S. households experienced one or more hardships in fulfilling their basic needs in the previous 12 months. (The poorest fifth tends to overlap closely with the population in poverty.) …
Census Data Show Poverty and Inequality Remained High in 2012 and Median Income Was Stagnant, But Fewer Americans Were Uninsured Figures Also Show SNAP’s Strong Antipoverty Impact
Source: By Arloc Sherman, Danilo Trisi, and Matt Broaddus, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, September 20, 2013
Source: Heidi Shierholz, Economic Policy Institute, Briefing Paper #369, November 26, 2013
From the summary:
In-home workers—those whose worksites are private homes—are critical to the U.S. economy. They free the time and attention of other workers by tending to children, cleaning, providing essential support that allows seniors and people with disabilities or illnesses to live at home, and performing other home care tasks. They are professionals but tend to work in the shadows, socially isolated and often without employment contracts, leaving them with little job security and vulnerable to exploitation….
…This paper directly examines in-home occupations and the workers who hold in-home jobs, including how much they earn, the hours they work, whether they receive benefits, and whether they and their own families are able to make ends meet. Key findings include:
* In-home workers are more than 90 percent female, and are disproportionately immigrants. One out of every nine foreign-born female workers with a high school degree or less works in an in-home occupation. In-home occupations are growing rapidly, driven by sharp growth in direct-care work, including personal care aides and home health aides.
* In-home workers receive very low pay, and many have trouble getting the hours they need.
– The median hourly wage for in-home workers is $10.21, compared with $17.55 for workers in other occupations. After accounting for demographic differences between in-home workers and other workers, in-home workers have hourly wages nearly 25 percent lower than those of similar workers in other occupations.
– In-home workers are more likely to work part time than other workers. This is due in many instances to their own preferences, but it is also the case that a larger share of in-home workers than other workers want (and are available for) full-time jobs, but have had to settle for a part-time schedule.
– The median weekly pay for in-home workers who have or want full-time work is $382, compared with $769 for workers in other occupations. After accounting for demographic differences between in-home workers and other workers, in-home workers who have or want full-time work have weekly wages 36.5 percent lower than those of similar workers in other occupations.
* In-home workers rarely receive fringe benefits.
– Only 12.2 percent of in-home workers receive health insurance from their job, compared with 50.6 percent of workers in other occupations. The majority of in-home workers who receive health insurance from their job are agency-based direct-care aides (18.4 percent of whom have employer-provided health insurance). Only 4.9 percent of maids and 6.3 percent of nannies receive employer-provided health insurance.
– Only 7.0 percent of in-home workers are covered by a pension plan at their job, compared with 43.8 percent of workers in other occupations. The majority of in-home workers who are covered by a pension plan at their job are agency-based direct-care aides (10.7 percent of whom are covered by a pension plan). Less than 3 percent of maids and nannies are covered by a pension plan.
* In-home workers have a higher incidence of poverty than workers in other occupations.
– Nearly a quarter—23.4 percent—of in-home workers live below the official poverty line, compared with 6.5 percent of workers in other occupations.
– Twice the official poverty threshold is commonly used by researchers as a measure of what it takes a family to actually make ends meet. More than half—51.4 percent—of in-home workers live below twice the poverty line, compared with 20.8 percent of workers in other occupations. …
State-by-state demographics of in-home workers
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, Issue Brief, October 2013
…In states that do not expand Medicaid, nearly five million poor uninsured adults have incomes above Medicaid eligibility levels but below poverty and may fall into a “coverage gap” of earning too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to qualify for Marketplace premium tax credits. Most of these people have very limited coverage options and are likely to remain uninsured. This brief describes the coverage gap and presents estimates of the population that falls into this situation. An overview of the methodology underlying the analysis can be found in the Methods box at the end of the report, and more detail is available in the accompanying Technical Appendices….
Source: Thomas H. Davenport, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 91 nos. 7 & 8, July–August 2013
We live in an era of big data. Whether you work in financial services, consumer goods, travel and transportation, or industrial products, analytics are becoming a competitive necessity for your organization. But as the banking example shows, having big data—and even people who can manipulate it successfully—is not enough. Companies need general managers who can partner effectively with “quants” to ensure that their work yields better strategic and tactical decisions.