Category Archives: Income Inequality/Gap

Improving Pay Equity Would Mean Great Gains for Women

Source: Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Press release, 2008

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research has found that improving pay equity between women and men would create substantial economic gains for women and their families. IWPR finds that in 2008 dollars the typical woman worker would gain $5,710–an economy-wide gain of a staggering $319 billion–if equal pay were the norm. Over a 35-year working life, the typical woman would gain $210,000.
See also:
Equal Pay for Working Families: National and State Data on the Pay Gap and its Costs, 1999

Senate Investigation of Offshore Tax Evasion Focuses on Swiss Bank UBS and Liechtenstein’s LGT

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice, Tax Justice Digest, July 18, 2008

The Permanent Investigations Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held a hearing and released a 115-page report yesterday on offshore tax evasion, which it says costs the U.S. around $100 billion a year. It focuses on two European banks in what subcommittee chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) calls offshore secrecy jurisdictions, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

The report explains that the Swiss bank UBS has 20,000 accounts for U.S. clients but only 1,000 of those have been reported to the IRS for tax purposes. The remaining 19,000 hold around $18 billion. Liechtenstein’s LGT is known to have had several thousand offshore accounts but it is unclear how many belong to Americans.

The Persistent Problem: Inequality, Difference, and the Challenge of Development

Source: American Political Science Association Task Force on Difference, Inequality, and Developing Societies, July 10, 2008

From the summary:
Global levels of inequality today are at extremely high levels even as conditions for alleviating deprivation are more favorable than ever before. Inequities in the international system and within developing countries threaten to halt progress toward greater democratization and economic development for the poorest countries in the world.

NCSL 50-State Legislative Tracking Web Resources

Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, June 2008

At the request of NCSL’s Legislative Research Librarians (LRL) staff section, NCSL has developed this resource of 50-state compilations covering various issues that concern state legislators and legislative staff. Here you will find a topical, alphabetical listing of legislative and statutory databases, compilations and state charts/maps.

[NOTE: Some of these tracking services are currently out of date. PLEASE NOTE THE DATE of the item you are reviewing].

Labor & Employment

At-Will Employment
Day Laborer Laws (statutes)
Drugtesting in the Workplace
State Divestment Legislation
Equal Pay (statutes and legislation)
Family/Medical Leave Laws (statutes)
Living Wage (legislation)
Medical Donar Leave Laws (statutes)
Minimum Wage Laws (legislation and chart)
Minors – Employment Laws (statutes)
Non-compete Agreements (statutes)
Overtime Laws (statutes)
Sick Leave Laws (statutes)
Telecommuting (statutes and legislation)
Whistleblowers (statutes)
Workforce Development (legislation and resources)

Surging Wage Growth For Topmost Sliver

Source: Lawrence Mishel, Economic Policy Institute, Snapshot, June 18, 2008

Inequality in the United States continues to worsen. Huge gains at the top of the income scale have been fueled by, among other things, a surging inequality in wages (illustrated in the chart below). The ratio of the wage income of the top 1% of earners to that of the bottom 90% more than doubled between 1979 and 2006, increasing from a ratio of 9.4-to-1 to 19.9-to-1. In contrast there was relatively little change in the earnings disparity from 1947 to 1979, when wages at all levels of the economy grew apace.

High Flyers: How Private Jet Travel Is Straining the System, Warming the Planet, and Costing You Money

Source: Chuck Collins, Sarah Anderson, Dedrick Muhammad, Robert Weissman, and Sam Bollier, Institute for Policy Studies, June 2008

The private jet is one of the most powerful symbols of extreme inequality. While flying has become more costly, uncomfortable and degrading for the general public, the growing class of the ultra-rich are flying high in the comfort of their own aircraft. This sharp division is not merely a symbolic matter. The private jet boom imposes real costs on taxpayers, shareholders, and other air travelers, while undermining our environment, social cohesion, and public security.

1. Private jet travel has expanded dramatically.
2. Private jets impose costs and burdens on the rest of us.
A. Costs to the Environment
B. Costs to Taxpayers
C. Costs to Corporate Stakeholder
D. Costs to Commercial Air Travelers
E. Costs to Public Security and Social Cohesion
3. Congress and shareholders should act to restore fairness to the system and limit the burdens of private jet travel on the environment, taxpayers, shareholders, and other travelers.
4. Driving the expansion of private jets are extreme economic inequalities in the U.S. economy. The concentration of wealth and power must be addressed directly through public policies that tax the top and encourage investments that create a healthy economy with equality of opportunity.

15 of the Most Astonishing Retirements, Bonuses and Cash-Outs in Corporate America

Source: HR World Editors, June 17, 2008

While athletes’ contracts grab all the headlines, they can’t hold a candle to the most legendary corporate cash-outs, retirements, and bonuses. Here are 15 of the most astonishing retirement packages, severance payouts and bonuses that corporate America has ever seen.

The Wages of Exclusion: Low-Wage Work and Inequality

Source: Heather Boushey and Shawn Fremstad, New Labor Forum, Vol. 17, Issue 2, Summer 2008

In the United States, low-wage work is commonly defined by referencing the federal poverty line. According to this definition, a low-wage job is one that paid less than $9.83 an hour in 2006. Yet, there is near-unanimous consensus among researchers and policy advocates that the poverty line is a deply flawed measure. Reflecting this consensus, economist Rebecca Blank recently wrote: “It is not too strong a statement to say that, forty-three years after they were developed, the poverty thresholds are nonsensical numbers.” … In this article, we look to establish firmer foundations than the poverty line to define low-wage work.

Surging wage growth for topmost sliver

Source: Lawrence Mishel, Economic Policy Institute, Snapshot, June 18, 2008

Inequality in the United States continues to worsen. Huge gains at the top of the income scale have been fueled by, among other things, a surging inequality in wages (illustrated in the chart below). The ratio of the wage income of the top 1% of earners to that of the bottom 90% more than doubled between 1979 and 2006, increasing from a ratio of 9.4-to-1 to 19.9-to-1. In contrast there was relatively little change in the earnings disparity from 1947 to 1979, when wages at all levels of the economy grew apace.