"…Walmart is the largest employer in the United States. Now if we were back in the 1950s, General Motors was the largest employer of the United States. General Motors in today’s dollars was then paying its workers about $50 to $60 an hour. Today, Walmart is paying its average worker, including its part-timers, $8.80 an hour."
Robert Reich (via azspot)
Regardless of how one feels about Walmart specifically, this is not a good statistic for U.S. economic growth (nevermind mobility).
"Of course, Detroit isn’t the only major American city without a prominent private research university (Portland, Minneapolis-St. Paul and San Diego are all vibrant — though the last two have large public research institutions). But it is arguably the most surprising. Detroit was once America’s fourth-largest city, and not lacking in rich philanthropists. More to the point, a century ago, it was the Silicon Valley of its day, bustling with engineering talent, entrepreneurs, and venture capital. Imagine visiting Detroit in 1920 then journeying to the farmland of Palo Alto, CA, and finally the tobacco warehouses of Durham, NC. Which place would you have bet on to become a global research and education powerhouse? Yet among those three, only Detroit failed to do so. Frederick Rudolph’s still-landmark history of American higher education, The American College & University was published in 1962, when Detroit still had over 1.5 million people. The city’s name does not appear in this book, nor in Thelin’s 2004 successor volume A History of American Higher Education."
Could a Private University Have Made a Difference in Detroit? - Justin Pope - The Atlantic (via infoneer-pulse)
A fascinating piece that focuses more about the factors that led to Detroit not having a major private university, while providing some speculation on the effects of that absence.
"Nearly half of the college graduates in the class of 2010 are working in jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree and 38 percent have jobs that don’t even require a high school diploma, according to a January report from the Center for College Affordability and Productivity. The report called into question whether too much public money is being spent on providing students with degrees that make them overqualified for the only jobs that are available."
284,000 College Graduates Had Minimum-Wage Jobs Last Year (via robot-heart-politics)
Is it a commentary on the lack of value in higher education? Or is it about the job market not taking advantage of the talent surplus in the labor pool? Are there corporate, government, or entrepreneurial opportunities being missed because job creators are not taking risks?
"Every dollar spent at a locally owned business generates two-to-four times the economic development impacts as a dollar spent on an equivalent non-local business."
Forbes piece on the amazing power of spending locally. (via poptech)
It’s not only healthy for you to eat fresh and local food, it’s healthy for your neighborhood’s economy.
"Inequality is growing in the United States, and social mobility is slowing. A study by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that 62 percent of Americans raised in the top one-fifth of the income scale stay in the top two-fifths; 65 percent born in the bottom fifth stay in the bottom two-fifths. Education, long praised as the great equalizer, no longer seems to be performing as advertised. A study by Stanford University shows that the gap in standardized-test scores between low-income and high-income students has widened about 40 percent since the 1960s—now double that between black and white students. A study from the University of Michigan found that the disparity in college-completion rates between rich and poor students has grown by about 50 percent since the 1980s."
Has Higher Education Become an Engine of Inequality? - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education (via infoneer-pulse)
An interesting, and challenging question…
"Nothing can take the sting out of the economic crisis like watching millionaires provide each other with golden statues."
— Billy Crystal, crystallizing the Oscars in one sentence.