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Posted inNews

Chart shows income inequality by county

Following last month’s release of a U.S. Census Bureau report on income inequality in the nation, Al Shaw at Pro Publica has devised an interactive graphic that tracks the main measure of inequality on a county-by-county basis. And while the Census report found that Connecticut ranked in the top seven states overall for unequal distribution […]

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Study: ‘Cash for Clunkers’ was a lemon

The 2009 “cash for clunkers” program was wildly popular, Emily Badger says at Miller-McCune, but a new study finds that it did little for environment or the economy. In all, the federal government spent $2.85 billion on incentives to help consumers buy 678,359 new cars. The stated goal was to give the economy–particularly the auto […]

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College officials: What cost crisis?

As concerns mount about the high cost of college and the massive debt some students incur to pay it, higher-education experts met last weekend to defend their charges—and argue that a degree is still worth the price, Jon Marcus says at The Hechinger Report. “There is no crisis in college costs,” said Robert Archibald, professor […]

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Connecticut ranks high in income inequality

Overshadowed by last week’s Congressional Budget Office report on the soaring incomes of America’s wealthy was another federal study measuring income inequality at the state level–and it found Connecticut among seven states where the inequality is higher than in the country as a whole by all three standards applied (.pdf). Based on data from five […]

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Newspaper endorsements and elections

Newspaper editorial boards that once overwhelmingly backed Republican presidential candidates have become more likely to endorse Democrats in recent elections, Micah Cohen notes at FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver’s political blog for the New York Times. Looking at elections going back to 1972, Cohen found Democrats won a majority of daily newspaper endorsements in only three of […]

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CBO: Incomes of top 1% nearly tripled since 1979

The after-tax incomes of the wealthiest 1 percent of American households grew by 275 percent between 1979 and 2007, according to a new report by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. For the rest of the nation’s top earners–the 81st through 99th percentiles–inflation-adjusted incomes rode by 65 percent in the same period. The bottom 20 percent […]

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Group rates Connecticut in top 10 for energy efficiency

A group that promotes energy efficiency has rated Connecticut No. 8 in its annual assessment of states’ progress toward adopting and implementing various energy-efficiency policies and programs. The non-profit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy cited, among other things, the energy efficiency programs run by state utilities in its ranking. The state was ranked No. […]

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Occupy Wall Street: What took so long?

One question raised by the burgeoning Occupy Wall Street movement, Tom Jacobs writes at Miller-McCune, is why it took three years from the time reckless financial traders caused the 2008 financial crisis for large numbers of people to collectively express outrage. A recent psychological study may provide at least part of the answer. The study […]

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Skeptical climate scientists concede Earth has warmed

A group of scientists known for their skepticism about climate change has concluded that there is valid evidence that the Earth is getting warmer, Michael Marshall reports at NewScientist. After reanalyzing two centuries’ worth of global temperature records, the scientists concluded that their questions about the accuracy of the data “do not significantly change the […]

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RTTT inspiring reforms even among losers

Some of the states rejected for federal Race to the Top money are reforming their school systems anyway, Ben Wieder reports at–and in some cases their efforts are more ambitious than those of states that won. Every state that won a grant so far has requested an amendment to the proposal that took home […]

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Where has global warming gone?

In 2008, both Barack Obama and John McCain warned about man-made global warming, Elizabeth Rosenthal notes in the New York Times Magazine, and once elected Obama promised “a new chapter in America’s leadership on climate change.” Today, most Republican presidential candidates seem to agree with Texas Gov. Rick Perry that “the science is not settled” […]

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With economy down, so’s the birth rate

The Great Recession dragged down more than wages and housing prices: The nation’s birth rate fell sharply as well, Gretchen Livingston reports from the Pew Research Center, and the decline is closely linked to the failing economy. Provisional numbers for 2010 show the number of births in this country fell to just over 4 million, […]