Weeks after my father passed away from cancer in 2010, my newly widowed mother received a bill for US$11,000.
Spending on pharmaceuticals is on the rise worldwide. And it well should be. Today, we are able to cure some diseases like hepatitis C that were virtual death sentences just a few years ago.
Seventy-one out of the world’s 195 countries saw their democratic institutions erode in recent years, according to the 2018 year-end report by democracy watchdog Freedom House, a phenomenon known as “democratic backsliding.
American views on marijuana have shifted incredibly rapidly. Thirty years ago, marijuana legalization seemed like a lost cause.
The world can limit global warming to 1.5℃ and move to 100% renewable energy while still preserving a role for the gas industry, and without relying on technological fixes such as carbon capture and storage, according to our new analysis.
At the heart of the greatest works of Ancient Greek literature are mighty acts of revenge.
Don Lane’s employment contract for his work as a courier described him as an “independent contractor”. This meant he was neither an “employee” nor a “worker”
Imagine there was a store where there were no prices on items, and you never knew what you’d pay until you’d picked out your purchases and were leaving the shop.
When school officials suspend students, the idea is to maintain a safe environment and deter violence and other problematic behavior on the school campus.
A decade ago, on Jan. 29, 2009, newly inaugurated President Barack Obama signed his first bill into law: the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.
Where’s the weed!? That’s been a common Canadian refrain lately. Shortages appeared almost immediately after recreational cannabis sales began last October.
The 2008 financial crisis continues to plague the world economy and our politics. It’s also messing with how we understand our narratives of global integration.
The end of growth will come one day, perhaps very soon, whether we’re ready or not. If we plan for and manage it, we could well wind up with greater well-being.
Internet shopping has grown massively, especially now that free delivery and returns, with multiple ways of making them, are the norm.
The doctor was desperate. ‘I need to talk to my patients,’ she said, ‘and give them time to ask questions.
Another year, another list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. And another round of Michelin stars, Good Food Guide hats, and Gourmet Traveller Top 100 Restaurants in Australia.
The biggest untold story about how we pay for government involves a big switcheroo by America’s wealthy.
The United States spends much more per person on health care than other developed countries. But it’s largely because prices are higher, not because Americans get more care, according to a new study.
It was once widely anticipated that the process which saw the standard working week fall from 60 to 40 hours in wealthy nations over the first half of the 20th century would continue.
Stocks have been slumping on a variety of concerns, from President Donald Trump’s ongoing trade war with China to worries about an economic slowdown and rising interest rates.
Many of our festive traditions – from exchanging cards and pulling crackers to decorating trees – were popularized by the Victorians.
The Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke fired 16 shots, killing the African-American teenager Laquan McDonald; 14 of those shots were apparently fired while McDonald lay on the ground.
Just like the rest of us, the rich and powerful have had to accept that youth is fleeting, that strength and health soon fail, and that all possessions must be relinquished within a few decades.
The number of farmers markets in the US has grown dramatically in recent years, but with an aging population of farmers, who’s supporting this growth? Meet the “new American farmer.”
The U.S. economy is growing at the fastest pace in five years, American companies are earning record profits and unemployment is at the lowest level in almost half a century.
As a sociologist who studies feminist activism, I often get asked when and how the #MeToo movement is going to trickle down. This is a fair question, and not one easy to answer.
In the wake of controversial and widely publicized incidents involving the use of deadly force by the police against racial and ethnic minorities, President Obama appointed the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing in 2015 to propose ways to improve policing in the U.S.
The right would like us to believe that the inequality we see in the United States, and increasingly in other countries, is a natural outcome of market processes.
Forida, 22, lives in Dhaka, Bangladesh, with her infant son and husband. They live in a dark compound built mostly of tin and wood with six other families and just one toilet. It floods and leaks when it rains, and beside the compound is a polluted pond that attracts mosquitoes. Forida says that if she were paid a little more money, she could one day send her son to school. She could live happily; her family could live a better life.
Sorry to deliver the news, but it’s time to worry about the next crash. The combination of stagnant wages with most economic gains going to the top is once again endangering the economy.
There is a significant perception gap between what the general public think about why people become homeless, and what people who have experienced homelessness say
Kelsey Hrubes knew she had a challenge on her hands when she visited Germany as a study abroad student back in 2015. “I was forced to adapt to cultural norms I had never considered before and try to comprehend everything in a new language,” recalls Hrubes, a software engineer at Microsoft and 2017 Iowa State graduate in German and computer science.
One in every five people in the UK today are living in poverty – that is, living with a household income below 60% of the median national income when housing costs are considered. Food is a key component of household budgets. Poverty is linked directly to how people access food.
A family in India needs fresh water. But this family can’t just turn on a tap. Instead, the women in the household must walk to fetch it, sometimes travelling miles carrying plastic or earthenware pots, possibly with a child or two in tow, to the nearest safe source – regularly repeating the journey up to three times a day.
Halloween is a time when cultural norms are turned upside down: we encourage children to dress up as creatures from nightmares – witches, zombies, vampires – and we send them out to wander the streets in the dark, demanding sweets from strangers.
The purpose of our social, economic and political systems is to enable all Australians to lead good lives. Australia is doing well on some fronts. It ranks third out of 188 countries on the UN Human Development Index, which takes into account life expectancy, education and national income per capita. We also rank 19th on national income per capita.
You might expect that the more equal opportunities in these countries might reduce other differences between the genders, such as what kind of jobs people are more likely to have, or personality traits such as kindness or a tendency for risk-taking.
Why do the richest 1% of Americans take 20% of national income, but the richest 1% of Danes only 6%? Why have affluent British people seen their share of national income double since 1980, while over the same period, the income share of wealthy Dutch hasn’t budged?
If the United States doesn’t address rising inequality, the middle class could start feeling the effects in the form of fewer government services, one expert says.
Newly released data on life expectancy across the U.S. shows that where we live matters for how long we live. A person in the U.S. can expect to live an average of 78.8 years, according to the most recent numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Researchers have created an interactive, map-based tool—the Opportunity Atlas—that can trace the root of people’s outcomes, such as poverty or incarceration, to the neighborhoods in which they grew up.
Few things are more annoying than spending a large sum of money on a purchase, only to discover that someone else got the same thing for a lower price. This often happens with airfares. You go the same website, search the same airline, choose the same seat row and fare conditions, but you’re offered a different price depending on when and where you do it. Why?
Yale economist William Nordhaus has devoted his life’s work to understanding the costs of climate change and advocating the use of a carbon tax to curb global warming.
For millions of American women – both those who’ve survived assault and those who have experienced workplace harassment – seeing a man on the path to promotion despite allegations of harassment is jarring yet painfully familiar.
In the early days of industrial capitalism there were no protections for workers, and industrialists took their profits with little heed to anyone else.
There is currently a grand consensus of academics, policymakers and food campaign groups that “something must be done” to reduce food wastage. Malnutrition is real, but so too is the obesity crisis. But when everyone agrees, you can afford to be a little sceptical. Because food is about much more than just calories and nutrients...
In the last decade or more, economic growth has slowed across the Western world, although a belated though weak recovery has been under way since around 2017.
Racial wealth inequality was an important factor contributing to the riots in many American cities in the 1960s, but a half-century later, the issue has gotten short shrift, researchers report.
When low-income Michigan residents enrolled in an expanded Medicaid program, many got more than just coverage for their health needs—they also got a boost to their wallets, according to a new study.
Buried deep in a note towards the end of a recent bulletin published by the British government’s statistical agency was a startling revelation.
Sanctions are often readily called for, and assumed to be simply applied, when a country is deemed to have violated international law or behaved egregiously.
Ending world hunger is a central aspiration of modern society. To address this challenge – along with expanding agricultural land and intensifying crop yields – we rely on global agricultural trade to meet the nutritional demands of a growing world population.
Australia as a nation has never been richer. But it is now also more unequal than at any time since the early 1980s. This inequality takes many forms, not least between suburbs and neighbourhoods. And our research suggests the few celebrated examples of famous Australians who emerged from disadvantaged neighbourhoods are the exceptions to the rule for children who grow up in them.
Though the flooding from Hurricane Florence is predicted to be unprecedented, residents of the coastal North Carolina towns threatened by the storm surge know what it’s like to take on water. Some homes in these areas have been repeatedly flooded — and repeatedly bailed out by federal flood insurance.
House prices in London fell by 0.6% in June, according to the UK’s official statistics body, the ONS. It might not sound like much but follows years in which prices grew by an annual average 7.5% between the end of 2009 and the end of 2017.
Vancouver residents felt a sting to their sense of urban pride when they saw the news that their city had lost to Calgary in a ranking of the world’s best cities by The Economist magazine. The magazine creates the index for their professional, globetrotting demographic.
Most recently, New Zealand announced that its 2019 budget will report on how national spending impacts on well-being. City authorities are developing “smart” approaches to measuring happiness, mobilising an ever increasing array of mobile apps and behavioural data that aim to sense, map and explain our daily happiness. For example, the Smart Dubai Office launched their Smart Happiness Index earlier in 2018, which promises to assess the performance of their city managers based on happiness gain per funds spent.
GDP – or gross domestic product – is the rate at which the total value of goods and services produced in the U.S. grew. Together with unemployment and inflation, it usually receives a lot of attention as an indicator of economic performance in the U.S.
American workers’ occupational status reflects that of their parents more than previously known, a new study shows.
The findings reaffirm more starkly that the lack of social mobility in the United States is in large part due to the occupation of our parents.
Many Americans deeply believe that people should pull themselves up by their bootstraps. After all, individual responsibility is a core American value. Too much emphasis on an individual’s responsibility, however, may result in overlooking the societal and historically causes that keep racial minorities such as blacks at an economic and health disadvantage.
Scholars of international political economy, such as myself, recognize that trade hasn’t always been good for poorer Americans. However, the economic fundamentals are clear: Tariffs make things worse. Tariffs are a tax on imports. As taxes go up, so do the prices of foreign goods. Unfortunately, protecting a few narrow industries can generate much broader costs. Not least, consumers now have to pay more for everyday goods.
A college education has many funders. Federal and state governments provide support, as do the institutions of higher education themselves. And then, of course, there is the money paid by the students’ families. Improving access will require additional support from one or more of these sources.
Last week, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City held its much anticipated annual central banking conference in Jackson Hole. This year’s topic “Changing Market Structures and Implications for Monetary Policy” garnered even more attention than usual.
While many economists assume the “invisible hand” theory influences markets, new research finds a disruptor has turned this long-held concept—which Adam Smith introduced in 1759—on its head. The disruptor does not have anything to do with technological advancements or innovation like one might expect—in fact, it’s much simpler. It’s a third party who interrupts a trading relationship.
The Mudgirls collective redefines expectations about what a construction site is supposed to look like—child care, breastfeeding breaks, and all.
As American baseball legend Yogi Berra once supposedly quipped, “It’s déjà vu all over again.” Three years ago the crisis was in Greece, now it’s Turkey. Another European summer and another European economic crisis. It’s tempting to say that being in Europe is all the two situations have in common.
Women comprise 42% of Australia’s homeless population. Not only do many women become homeless due to family violence, homelessness can expose them to further gendered violence. Research shows homeless women experience violence – or feel vulnerable to it – in crisis accommodation, such as private rooming houses and motels, to which housing services often refer them due to the scarcity of more suitable alternatives.
Life expectancy in the UK varies dramatically depending on where you live. As a recent BBC Panorama investigation highlighted, “the rich live longer and the poor die younger”.
Ontario’s minister of children, community and social services just announced that the Canadian province’s landmark basic income pilot project would be terminated.
A range of neighbor-to-neighbor efforts address basic needs, from healthcare to food access, that are going unmet by local government agencies.
Everywhere on social media, Canadians are encouraging one another to go “Trump-free” — that is, to shop for groceries without buying a single American product.
According to a May 2018 report from the Pew Research Center, since 2000, suburban counties have experienced sharper increases in poverty than urban or rural counties.
An increasing number of people are sleeping outside in tents, doorways, and under bridges. In the United States, 192,875 people were unsheltered on a given night in January 2018, a 9% increase from 2016.
While researching how hard it is for low-income Americans to eat healthy on tight budgets, I’ve often found a mismatch between what people want to eat and the diet they can afford to follow.
Living and working conditions are the primary causes of good health, and disease and premature death as well. Far more than eating green vegetables and going to the gym more often, living and working conditions have a big impact on health. This has been known in Canada since at least the mid-1850s and any visitor to the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website will find ample documentation of this fact.
The name of an illness can affect the level of care a person receives. Cancer sufferers experiencing fear and uncertainty may have access to cancer care centers.
High student debt levels and low salaries can make it difficult for graduates to get ahead. Even though for-profit colleges get a bad rap for being predatory and leaving students saddled with debt but no degree, a significant number of private nonprofit and public colleges have the same issues.
The past several years have seen increased calls for colleges and universities to demonstrate their value to students, families and taxpayers.
President Donald Trump’s trade policy leaves international economists like me scratching our heads.
Offers of extended warranties are increasingly becoming the norm for TVs and other relatively inexpensive goods.
Societies tend to become more unequal over time, unless there is concerted pushback. A society that fails to invest in its children, to protect its land and water, or to build a future is courting collapse. The process feeds on itself, growing like a cancer...
Following the success of the West Virginia teachers strike earlier this year that led to a 5 percent pay raise, teachers throughout the nation are rising to demand better conditions and better pay.
The VA has long been in crisis. Nevertheless, it has pioneered evidence-based medicine and, overall, gets better outcomes at lower costs than many private health care providers.
What drives people to cooperate with each other? And what characteristics lead a person to do something that will both benefit them, and those around them?
It is understood that childrens’ emotions in school are connected to their learning and academic achievement.
There are many indexes that aim to rank how green cities are. But what does it actually mean for a city to be green or sustainable?
Poverty remains a widespread problem. In the UK, 30% of children are growing up in poverty. More than half of these children are in working households, and poverty is on the rise even for children whose parents work in government-funded jobs.
Each year in the United States, approximately 5 to 7.5 million students in the nation’s K-12 schools miss a month or more of school. That means 150 to 225 million instructional days are lost every school year.
New research strongly suggests the days of high manufacturing employment in the United States, and just about every other country, are over
Children from low-income families who attend a school that offers free breakfasts do better academically in math, science, and reading, report researchers.
Skeptics may wonder, does the gender of the person who represents you in Congress really matter? Currently, only about 20 percent of all members of Congress are women - 22 of the 100 U.S. senators are female, as are 84 of the 435 members of the U.S. House.
Democratic governments regularly supply weapons to what are sometimes called “outlaw states” – oppressive regimes that violate the basic rights of their own citizens, or aggressive regimes that wrongfully threaten the security of outsiders.
On a finite planet, endless economic growth is impossible. There is also plenty of evidence that in the developed world, a continued increase of GDP does not increase happiness.
The UK’s employment rate has been at a record high. Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that unemployment in the UK fell by 60,000 between October and December 2015, with the highest number of people in work since records began in 1971.
Republicans continue to use long-debunked myths about the poor as they defend lower taxes for the rich and deep cuts to the social safety net to pay for them.
The U.S. middle class has always had a special mystique. It is the heart of the American dream. A decent income and home, doing better than one’s parents, and retiring in comfort are all hallmarks of a middle-class lifestyle.
Preliminary analysis of a European-wide survey has found young people are more in favour of introducing a universal income than their older peers.
In his recent presidential address to the American Economic Association, Nobel Laureate Bob Shiller drew attention to the importance of narratives in economics and, particularly, in financial markets.
To improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nutrition and health we need real community consultation, improved public governance and political will. After years of neglect and a notable absence in last week’s Closing the Gap report, nutrition is finally being recognised as integral to closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.