Liqa Affaneh
Research Question: How does the quality of K-12 education, specifically within the education system of Chicago Public Schools, have an effect on growing economic inequality in City of Chicago, the state of Illinois, the United States of America, and beyond?
"Getting more poor kids into college won't fix income inequality" By James Piereson and Naomi Schaefer Riley (October 23, 2014)
Summary: This article shuns the notion that U.S. higher education is the problem of the growing rate of income inequality that is the current thinking in Washington when actually the problem begins with the education received in K-12.
"Does income inequality make us take less time off?" By Aaron Taube (November 4, 2014)
Summary: This article explains reasons as to why people are taking less and less days off in the year. It is shown in this article with sufficient evidence that this action is taken to prevent future financial discomfort. People from the middle class are trying to keep up with the higher class as well as the wide gap that has escalated over the years.
"Widening U.S. Wealth Gap Taking A Toll On State Revenue" By Josh Boak (09/15/14)
Summary: This article is about the continuos increase in the gap between higher and lower/middle class and the effects of this widening gap on state or local government. These effects include raising taxes as well as choosing what areas to do budget cuts. All in all, the higher class is not losing out at much than the middle to lower class citizens when it comes to the costs.
"2014 Illinois School Report Cards: Cook County Schools" By Chicago Tribune (2014)
Summary: The information on this site is a compilation of rankings of all Illinois schools in cook county from elementary up until high school. The categories of rankings include number of students in each school, percentage of students with low incomes, percentage of students that meet or exceed average ISAT and PSAE scores, class sizes, and average ACT composite scores.
“Class Size: Federal Funding of Class Size Reduction” By Grace Chen
Summary: This article talks about exactly what the article is titled. Only slight problem is that federal funding for class size reduction is no longer possible by law. Congress had created a CSR program, which is an acronym for Class Size Reduction, as part of an actual act passed by congress to support studies that have been made about students, especially younger minority and disadvantaged children, that perform better when they are in classes with 19 or fewer students. However, the CSR program was later repealed by the NCBL (No Child Left Behind) initiative.
“Illinois real estate and demographic information” By Neighborhood Scout
Summary: This site visually shows a map of public schools in various neighborhoods in different states throughout the United States. The neighborhoods range from a dark shade of blue until the lightest shade of blue; the darker shade being the neighborhood type with highest housing costs and the lightest shade of blue (white/clear) being the lowest housing costs. There are also categories of safest to unsafe crime rates and the best to worst public schools.
"The Electoral Knowledge Network” By Ace Project (1998-2015)
Summary: This is a site that is filled with information everything one needs to know about the electoral system. One section of this website that is beneficial to economic inequality is the encyclopedia of parties and candidates which includes financial regulations of candidate funding.
“The Increasingly Unequal States of America: Income Inequality by State, 1917 to 2012” By Estelle Sommeiller and Mark Price (January 26, 2015)
Summary: This article is very thorough in evaluating data of income inequality distribution from all fifty of the United States from the year 1917 to 2012. The importance of this particular article in regards to economic inequality is the fact that during these years, there have been two economic recessions that have occurred.
“The Middle-Class Squeeze: A Picture of Stagnant Incomes, Rising Costs, and What We Can Do to Strengthen America’s Middle Class” Edited ByvJennifer Erickson (Wednesday 09/24/14)
Summary: This bar graph shows the inconsistencies among the median income for all families in comparison of the price of rents, medical care, child care, and higher education. It is interesting to see that the cost of higher education costs more than medical care as well as child care. I would assume that as important as education is, the ability for Americans to be healthy while receiving an education is just as important.

"The Hidden Prosperity of the Poor" By Thomas B. Edsall (01/30/13)
Summary: This bar graph shows child poverty rates found within developed countries from 2009 based on children living in households with income below half of household size adjusted median income. Iceland is the least worst country with a child poverty rate and the United States appears to be the absolute worse country with child poverty rates. This does include homelessness but imagine how much higher the rate would be if homeless children were counted.external image 31edsall-childpoverty-tmagArticle-v2.png
“This Country Just Abolished College Tuition Fees” By Joaquim Moreira Salles (10/01/14)
Summary: This article praises the country of Germany for its removal of higher education costs throughout the country as well as for international students. The reason for tuition fees being simply unjust was given as one of many reasons for the removal of tuition fees from higher education.
"Reagan, Obama, and Inequality" By Nicholas Kristof (01/21/15)
Summary: This article compares the presidencies of Reagan and Obama. As a result, there has been an inequality of wealth. The bottom 90%, which has become the middle class and some even dropping to today's consideration of the low class, has been the least benefiting of the economy. Since the 1970s, the economy has continued to grow but the dispersion of wealth has not been equally distributed. The wealthy, of course, received all the wealth as a result of economic means.
School Is Turned Around, but Cost Gives Pause
Sam Dillon
Dillon writes about how the government is granting money to schools to make changes in troubled schools and in turn how this effects the students. Dillon talks debates the cost and oucome of doing this by using Locke High School in California.
--Evan Ostrega

Michael Halpin

Research Question: Chicago for Sale: How the 2008 Parking Meter Deal and the emergence of privatization are making Chicago Unequal.

Broken Bonds

Chicago has been hemorrhaging money for the last 10 years due to the bond crisis we currently find ourselves in. Governments of all levels issue bonds to acquire debt in order to pay for large infrastructure projects that return a profit. However, in Chicago's case, Mayor M. Daley used the bond market to pay for city services, fleet maintenance, legal fees and to pay for debts incurred by older bonds. This app, offered free by the Chicago Tribune, explains what happened to Chicago's bond market and why any resident should be very concerned about the future. Click here to access.

Budget Deficit (2007-2011)

This graph, created by the Civic Federation, demonstrates the severity of Chicago's budget deficit. Although it is widely known that Rahm Emanuel has balanced every single budget in his term and will likely continue to do so, Mayor Daley wasn't as lucky… Instead of implementing system wide cuts like Emanuel, Daley in 2008 privatized Chicago's parking meters to pay down the budget deficit for that year. Between 2007-2011, Chicago's deficit skyrocketed is projected to continue to rise as pension obligations increase, bond expire and the overall cost of maintaining Chicago becomes more expensive. Click here for more information.


How to Sell Off a City

The author, Rick Perlstein, which is the same writer of the widely popular Nixonland has researched the array of privatization deals to write a scathing expose of how the city is being sold off piece by piece. It shows the amount of money being used by stakeholders trying to procure the city's assets for private ownership. The amount of funds used to negotiate and pay for these deals is the hundreds of millions and will have potential costs in the billions for the city. Below is a very entraining graph of the largest deals. Click here for the article.


Piece De Resistance...

The Office of the Inspector General has issued two reports that breakdown the leasing off Chicago's parking meters. The first is the 2009 report that estimated the base cost of the meters after the 75 year deal would be $2.13 billion meaning a loss of potentially a billion to the city. It also provides residents with a brief overview of the deal, the administration and city council's rationale for voting in favor of it and the economic realties of such a deal for Chicagoans. Click here to access. The second report is a simple layout of the concession of powers for the meters regarding the city and Chicago Parking Meters LLC. Click here to access.

Unrelated to Paper:

Falling Out of the Middle Class

As President Obama's State of the Union address, which introduced a new term into the lexicon, "middle-class economics," starts to gain traction this article is totally indicative of the issues the middle class faces. Essentially, the NYTimes article is looking at the latter half of the 20th century as the focal point for this emergence of a crisis and decline in household wages. CLICK HERE for article! (MPH)

Obama's 2016 Budget


Budget of the U.S. Government: POLICY....OOOOO!!!!! AAHHHHH! The document details President Obama's spending plan for the 2016 fiscal year. Although it is quite impossible to read the every line item and it is more a blueprint for the administrations economic policies, as opposed to what the government will actually spend, it does set out Obama's vision for the next fiscal year. The overview and tables are a great resource. Also, if you end up deciding to write on specific topic and you want to compare how the administration would want to allocate resources to that topic this might give you some insight! Click here for document! (MPH)

The Economist: A very brief, but informative, article on Obama's budget proposal for the 2016 fiscal year. The article breaks down changes in the tax code, new line items and cuts in certain areas. There are several links that direct to other articles pertaining to the budget. This is great source to help us understand where the administration's economic policies are being directed toward after the emersion of the "middle class economics" concept. Click here for the article! (MPH)

Poor and Suburban

The University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration distributes a seasonal magazine on topics that directly address issues facing communities in the Chicagoland area and beyond. This article uses Lake County's increasing levels of suburban poverty in correlation with poverty rates in other suburban areas to understand anti-poverty efforts designed for suburban poverty issues. Click here for the article! (MPH)

Kids 4 Cash

A recent documentary tells the chilling story of judicial and county corruption surrounding the privatization of juvenile correctional facilities. Two judges, convicted on multiple counts of corruption, ethics violations, fraud and embezzlement were allegedly conducting a scheme that involved incarcerating a high number of a Pennsylvania county's "at risk" youth, many for minor offenses arguably not worthy of incarceration, and sending them to a privatized correctional facility. Both judges were paid a finders fee for convincing the county legislature to the approve and subsidize a correctional facility built and operated by a private equity firm, one of whom's executive was a personal friend of one of the judges. Thousands of children were incarcerated during the tenure of both judges. This is an interesting story of how one may demonstrate age inequality and injustices in a system that is rigged against children/teens. Available on Netflix, please click here for the trailer.

Millennial Skills Gap

‍‍‍‍The Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) has just released a new report on the cusp of research gauging millennial skill sets compared with other developed nations. The U.S. on the whole has lower scores and has slower rates of improvement. This is a great article demonstrating inequality in education and standardization. Click here for the article.



Elizabeth Strom
based off of what you had mentioned in class today, this article might be interesting to tie into effects of what could happen in a city that is mononucleated. article talks about how cities are turning away from a central bussiness district and turning into mixed districts and then the effects on this economically.

Evan Ostrega

Redevelopment, San Diego Style: The Limits of Public–Private Partnerships

Steven P. Erie, Vladimir Kogan,and Scott A. MacKenzie

This article goes into how local governments are turning to public-privte partnerships (p3s) to help with redevelopment. The article talks about how this is effecting local governments in the means of taxes, powers, and resources.

Evan Ostrega

Carrington Lemon

Equal Pay for Equal Work

An interesting read explaining the wage disparities between men and women in the workplace. Currently, women "make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns" and demand equal pay. It hints that Congress will not address the actual cause of the gender pay disparity and why. Then explains how age, occupation, and family life factor into women's decisions to sacrifice wages.

Read about it here: ‘Equal pay for equal work’ isn’t so simple
-Carrington Lemon

Dina Lupancu

This article touches on how the wealthiest 1% are not even 1% of the total wealth but instead more like 0.01% have accumulated it. -DinaLupancu

Question: How does the decision to go to college and earn a degree affect career opportunities and how do they differ from those who choose to enter the workforce straight out of high school? -Dina Lupancu
Good Article to Reference:
Why College?


The Financial Benefit of College

Additional Notes:
  • College is a very sound investment when done with forethought and strategy. Research analysts and experts have concluded, based on sound statistical analysis, that college graduates with a bachelor’s degree earn up to 56% more per year than those with a high school diploma or its equivalent and 31% more than those with an associate degree. Attending and graduating from college with a degree in a growing and viable career field so you can gain a mastery of real-world skills and industry-relevant knowledge, will position you at the forefront of your field, and help you realize your career aspirations. Additionally, college degree holders can expect their real wage to increase over time while those with a high school diploma may experience a decline.
  • Benefits of earning a college degree
    • higher earning potential
    • more job opportunities
    • greater benefits
    • job satisfaction
    • job stability
    • benefits to children
    • ability to make better choices
    • ability to communicate more effectively
  • Examining The value of a college degree

Taking a look at NOT going to college: The rising cost of not going to college



---Dina Lupancu

This image shows the change in income between the American society. Since the idea of Trickle-Down has be instituted, we see the spread of wealth span out. The question we are presented with, is this disparity solely due to this idea of the wealthy will benefit the lower classes by making more annually or are there other factors in our society that cause this problem.

the link to the article is below.

Fernando Martinez

Income Inequality Partially Driven by Tax Laws, University of Illinois Expert Says

Summary: This article briefly touches upon the somewhat favorable treatment of the economic elite in the current tax code. It also suggests a possible change that Prof. McKenzie talked about in class. We might want to look up some more research regarding this.


Ahmad Mohammad

The Unequal State of America- Redistributing Up

The federal government has emerged as one of the most potent factors driving income inequality in the United States - This article explores possible reasons to this ever growing issue that has proven to be a stain on a society that claims to be exceptional. Has the war on poverty been successful or dug a deeper hole and sider divide between the haves and have-nots?

-Ahmad Mohammad

Evan Ostrega

Trickle-down Theory in the United States today.

Evan Ostrega

Research Question:
Will the push by certain politicians to destroy collective bargaining and unions cause disparity between cases to expand? In the sense that with unions gone, does this open up the possibility for a purely capitalistic society?

Trickle-down economics are not working . Kathleen Miles writes in this article Next Time Someone Argues For 'Trickle-Down' Economics, Show Them This that as the top 20 percent of Americans have been consistently more annually each year, the lower 60 percent have been making less and less. This is the not the concept behind Reaganomics. In 2013, the U.S. was found to have the highest economic disparity between classes in the developed world. The outlook does not look good if we stay on this path.


Margaret Vesely

Research Question:
My question that I would like to address would be, what possibilities do children from low income families have in accessing and fulfilling a higher education with the likelihood of overcoming poverty? What are the chances that children from both low income and middle-income families have the ability to completing a degree in higher education? In order to understand the economic inequality for families in the United States compared to other metropolitan U.S. cities, I will want to see what are the turnouts in higher educational completion for both New York and Los Angeles.

Both Children from middle class families and low income families are having difficult time funding higher education. Children from lower class families are not getting the knowledge from the available resources in order to have the ability to complete any further education after high school. And even though if some middle class families have the ability to save for their children's future education, it doesn't cover it all, and it results in children dropping out prematurely. Both classes of children are having difficulty in balancing out their everyday lives, including their jobs, while continuing their education's. With raising college tuition prices, their only hope in funding their education is if they take out student loans. The average student graduating an undergrad degree from public or nonprofit schools has approximately $28,400 per borrower. For a middle class family that earns a net combined income of $70,000 or for a low class family that makes a net combined income of $31,000, it'll still take on average 10 years to pay off which will then cost about $7,000 in interest.
% of top income needed to pay average net price (after grants are subtracted) for 2011-2 at a typical in-state public college
% of top income needed to pay average net price (after grants subtracted) for 2011-2 at a typical private college

Even though middle class families have the capability to start a savings plan for their children from birth, the rising prices of higher education makes it difficult for them to fund it after their savings have been extinguished. Here's a little-known, scary stat: More than half of middle class kids who start college fail to earn a bachelor's degree within six to eight years.
"A college degree, once a ticket to the middle class, is now a must-have to maintain that status."
"Only 40% of college entrants who were high school seniors in 2004 and whose families earned between $46,000 and $99,000 had secured bachelor's degrees by 2012, according to the first measure.This compares to a graduation rate of 63% for those from the top of the income ladder, and 28% and 20% for moderate- and lower-income students, respectively."
"About one-third of middle class students who dropped out told the Education Department they left due to financial considerations, about the same rate as those from other income groups, said Nate Johnson, head of Postsecondary Analytics, a higher education research and consulting firm."
"The study found that families with incomes of up to about $31,000—who were the lowest-earning 25% of all American families with kids in college at that time—paid, on average, $12,300 to send a child to a public university, after grants and scholarships were subtracted. That was the equivalent of 40% of that group’s top annual income. In the fall of 2007, that same group would have paid only 29% of their income, a full 11 percentage points less." A year of public college costs low-income families 40% of their annual salary now, up from 29% in 2007.Yes, College Costs Are Eating Up More of Your Income "
The data show that when it comes to funding college, “it pays to be rich,” says Margaret Cahalan, director of the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education, a Washington, D.C., think tank. The findings, she says, are further evidence that claims the poor are getting more or better financial aid than the middle or upper classes “are simply not true.”

Going to College for The American Dream is not available for everyone

Upper and Middle class families are able to start college savings for children from birth while lower class citizens are unable afford it in their budgets. - Margaret Vesely Posted January 22
Obama's 529 College Savings Plan Tax Hike Is An Assault On The American Dream

The New York Times; Closing Education Gap Will Lift Economy, a Study Finds

America's education system has been slowly declining and falling behind quite a few advanced industrialized countries. There have been multiple studies in the United States that have shown that there is an achievement gap between the wealthiest and poorest kids. Researchers have discovered the effect it has on our economic growth and tax revenue, and how if we were to start focusing on advancing our education system it would increase our gross domestic product in the next few decades.
Following WWII, Americans incomes have had a steady slight increase in income. But, that has since dissipated and most Americans that have experienced either a plateau or a decrease in their earnings. All the while the top earning Americans have experienced an increase.
To be able to achieve a dramatic increase in children’s achievement scores would be to focus on education from an early age, having smaller class sizes, and concentrate on investing into our future and children’s future by reinforcing the educators. MV

Income and wealth

Thomas Piketty's new book
Why did the middle class not benefit from economic growth while the 1% did?
List of articles and books on social mobility from Brookings Institution

America's Class War Explained in One Chart (the article explains this):


Growth of Real Hourly Compensation for Production/Nonsupervisory Workers and Productivity, 1948–2011

New report on global wealth inequality from OXFAM

Opportunities -- access to education
What has happened to the cost of going to college?
What are the consequences of heavy student debt loads on the life choices of young people?
What is happening to K-12 education because of privatization? Charter schools, etc.

"In 2013, female full-time workers made only 78 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 22 percent"
What is the nature of gender economic inequality?

Several factors play into the discrimination by sex in the workplace.
Some interesting articles addressing some possible reasons why.

Possible solutions...

Glass Ceiling wage percentiles

external image EtycXYdoBz6t7ZA-zDar_jhQZx1jyI6tswARzOq_B73ppYDv1NcACy1l6NqessLWTMv3AVhVPuCdxKFntK-LP2eNtgE2HBZ656eDWGAmVb0XIVKCIGyHXtf_pNy8BU64T7P_Sfb2Fg

A great, simple breakdown of the nature of the gender pay gap.
Has the problem really gotten better over the years? Also, do "women of color" suffer even greater inequalities when it comes to the pay gap?

Even though women are increasing their presence in high paying occupations, equal pay is not a reality... Take a look at this article, it gives some stats regarding the numbers.

Stanford University conducted a study, begging the question "Have women gone as far they can?". This is a very interesting question... give it a read when you have time!

Pay Equity and Discrimination fact sheets from the Institute for Women's Policy Research. This link has several articles. All of them contain such useful information... pretty interesting stuff!

Not a huge fan of Forbes but this articles title pulled me in. It is a pretty short article and explains a lot of what I want to explain and expand on in my paper.

The articles title says it all... Some Companies Fight Pay Gap by Eliminating Salary Negotiations.