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January 4, 2012 | By Michael Hiltzik
Via Kevin Drum , here's a new run at the income inequality fence from the bipartisan Congressional Research Service, and it should bury two shibboleths commonly employed by inequality-deniers: One, that inequality hasn't really increased in recent years, and two, that thanks to broadly held pension fund and mutual fund assets, rising share prices benefit all wage-earners. The report by the CRS, an arm of the Library of Congress, shows that inequality has increased quite smartly, thank you. From 1996 to 2006, total after-tax income in the U.S. rose by more than 20%. How was this gain distributed?
April 24, 2014 | By Harold Meyerson
The most fundamental problem Los Angeles faces is that a huge number of Angelenos can't even afford to live here. Their pay is too low; their rent is too high. Last week, the real estate website Zillow released a survey commissioned by the New York Times that identified the 90 American cities where the median rent exceeded 30% of the median household income. (The 30% figure is the threshold at which rent is generally deemed unaffordable.) The survey ranked those 90 cities by the percentage of their residents' median income devoted to their median rent.
March 5, 2014 | By Emily Alpert Reyes and Martha Groves
From the balcony of her Crescent Drive apartment, Shari Able takes in the luxurious view - a picture-postcard panorama of the homes of Beverly Hills. Her home sits above a Whole Foods stocked with organic kabocha squash and Dungeness crabs. Rodeo Drive's boutiques are a brisk walk away. But the 74-year-old is quick to warn elderly suitors who think her 90210 ZIP Code means a cushy bank account. Her federally subsidized apartment costs her roughly $200 a month, she said. "I told one guy from Long Beach, 'I live in Beverly Hills, but it's the only HUD building in Beverly Hills,'" Able recalled one morning over coffee and madeleines.
April 23, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
Move over, "Fifty Shades of Grey. " Instead of romance, a book by French economist Thomas Piketty on income inequality and capitalism is the No. 1 best-selling book on Piketty's "Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century" is generating so much interest among economists and policy makers that it's temporarily out of stock on Amazon. PHOTOS: The 10 richest people in the world At nearly 700 pages, it's not a book for beach reading by casual readers -- unless a mix of dense economic data and history is your thing.  Piketty examined decades of historical data from 20 countries to compare income inequality over time and concluded that the U.S. economy has seen the wealth of the 1% grow to dizzying new heights.
March 27, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy
An online voter registration system launched by California for last November's election appears to be bringing more lower-income people into the political process, according to an academic study. Researchers at UC Berkeley looked at the 839,297 people who registered to vote online before the election, and found that the breakdown was ethnically similar to those who registered in person or through the mail. However, the results showed more online registrants came from low- and middle-income neighborhoods than expected, according to researchers Lisa Garcia Bedolla and Veronica N. Velez.
January 19, 2012 | By Paul West
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and his wife, Callista, paid $994,708 in federal taxes on gross income of $3,142,066 in 2010, according to copies of the couple's joint tax return that his campaign released at the start of Thursday night's GOP debate. The 31.5% tax rate paid by the Gingriches is roughly double the amount that rival Mitt Romney said this week he pays on his own, much larger income. Romney said in Thursday night's debate that he would make his 2011 returns public, and perhaps some from earlier years, when the latest return is completed later this year.
June 27, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- The government reported more positive signs for the economic recovery Thursday as initial jobless claims dropped last week and consumers' personal income and spending rose in May. The number of people filing for unemployment benefits for the first time fell to 346,000 in the week ending Saturday, down from a revised 355,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said. The drop was in line with analyst projections and brings the figure below the 350,000 level that economists say is consistent with moderate labor market growth.
January 21, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
Whether it's because President Obama recently highlighted the issue or because most Americans are really feeling the pain, the debate over income inequality is now part of the mainstream kitchen-table debate. That's the conclusion to be drawn from a Gallup poll released Monday, on Martin Luther King Day. The survey finds that two-thirds of adults are somewhat or very dissatisfied with income and wealth distribution in the U.S. The poll was taken on Jan. 5-8, or about a month after the president's speech about economic inequality .  The partisan breakdown is about what you'd expect.
June 19, 2013 | By Carla Rivera
A new website announced Wednesday that uses state wage data shows California community college students the value of their certificate or degree. The Salary Surfer provides information on median annual incomes for 179 popular programs including health, business, social sciences, architecture, engineering and other disciplines. The intent is to help students make more informed decisions about their education, Community Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris said in a telephone briefing.
September 19, 2012 | By Rebecca Trounson and Sandra Poindexter, Los Angeles Times
People of all income levels across Southern California suffered losses during and after the Great Recession, but the lowest fifth of households took the biggest hit, new census data show. Los Angeles County households whose earnings put them in the lowest fifth for income in 2011 earned 12% less, on average, than the incomes of that same group in 2007, when the recession began. The declines for low-income households in other Southern California counties were even larger, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis of newly released census data.
April 22, 2014 | By Mary MacVean
African American high school students and boys in low- to middle-income families reported short, fragmented sleep, and that could play a role in their health risks, researchers reported Monday. Anyone who's ever lived with a teenager knows they often don't get the eight to nine hours of sleep the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends. Researchers writing in the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics looked at one group of young people - those in a lower socioeconomic community.
April 21, 2014 | By Carla Rivera
Sichen Hernandez-Martinez is the type of undergraduate who is increasingly in demand at four-year colleges: She had been a community college honors student, a member of campus government and was active in school clubs. After three years at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga, she was admitted to USC, UC Riverside and Cal State San Bernardino. She accepted a scholarship to Pomona College, a selective, private school in Claremont, which she entered as a junior this year. The Pomona admissions committee was as impressed with her academics as it was with her community involvement.
April 19, 2014 | By Hailey Branson-Potts
The walls of Alice Herman's home are covered in photographs. Herman and Sylvia Purdue, her partner of 45 years, smile in scenes from birthdays and hospital rooms. In black-and-white photos from their younger days, their hair is teased, their makeup flawless. After Purdue died a few years ago, Herman was left with two cats and enough money for two months' rent. Years of Purdue's hospital bills had chipped away their savings. Because Purdue died before the Supreme Court struck down a key part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act last summer, Herman could not receive Purdue's Social Security benefits.
April 15, 2014 | By Walter Hamilton
The average American would have to fork over an extra $1,259 in state and federal income taxes this year to make up for the revenue lost because of offshore tax havens used by corporations and wealthy individuals, according to a new report. U.S. companies will use offshore tax havens to avoid paying an estimated $110 billion in taxes this year, according to the analysis by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. Wealthy people will circumvent about $74 billion in taxes. The report underscores the controversial issue of major companies using elaborate maneuvers to sidestep taxes, often by stowing income in overseas subsidiaries set up primarily for tax purposes.
April 11, 2014 | By Kathleen Hennessey
WASHINGTON-- President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama watched their income fall and their federal tax rate go up in 2013, according to IRS returns released Friday by the White House. In a joint filing, the couple reported an adjusted gross income of $481,098, down $127,500 from 2012. The Obamas have seen a steady drop in income during their White House years, largely a result of slowing book sales for the couple. Both have published best-sellers. The Obamas paid $98,169 in federal taxes, down from $112,214 in 2012.
April 6, 2014 | By Kenneth R. Harney
WASHINGTON - When you're raking in tens of billions of dollars in profits by helping credit-elite borrowers buy homes, couldn't you lighten up on fees a little for everyday folks who'd also like to buy? That's a question increasingly being posed to government-controlled home mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and their federal regulators. Though most buyers are unaware of the practice, Fannie and Freddie - by far the largest sources of mortgage money in the country - continue to charge punitive, recession-era fees that can add thousands of dollars to consumers' financing costs.
February 12, 2012 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: I am a 20-year-old college student with a stable, part-time job. I haven't contributed to a 401(k) with this company because I don't plan to be working for it for two years, which is how long I'd have to wait for my contributions and earnings to be 100% mine. I'd like to open a Roth IRA, but I'm not sure I'm eligible. I'm listed as a dependent and our household adjusted gross income is between $145,000 and $155,000. Can I open a Roth? Answer: The short answer is yes, although you may want to reconsider contributing to your workplace 401(k)
June 6, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Maybe it's not all silver spoons and top hats for the fat cats of America: The 400 taxpayers with the highest adjusted gross incomes in the country are seeing their earnings slide while their taxes rise. On average, each earned $202.4 million in 2009 as capital gains and interest income slumped, according to the latest data from the Internal Revenue Service. That's 25% less than the $270.5 million they made the year earlier and 45% lower than the $344.8-million peak set in 2007.
April 6, 2014 | By Emily Alpert Reyes and Tim Logan
Dozens of people shared only three showers in the building that Patricia McDowell called home for the last 2 1/2 years. Roaches skittered across the floor, she said, and lights went out and stayed out. In recent months, McDowell said she had to run an extension cord to another room to keep electricity going. But when the Los Angeles Fire Department told McDowell and dozens of other tenants that they had to clear out of the building at 5700 S. Hoover St., citing dangerous conditions, she panicked.
March 28, 2014 | By Walter Hamilton
Profit at Tribune Co., the parent of the Los Angeles Times and other newspaper, radio and television properties, fell sharply last year amid a further decline in newspaper advertising and a significant drop in earnings at its broadcast division. The Chicago media company reported net income of $241.6 million for the year, down 43% from $422.5 million in 2012. Total operating revenue fell 8% to $2.9 billion, with a 6% decline in publishing and an 11% drop in broadcasting. For the fourth quarter, revenue dropped $97 million, or 11%, to $773 million, partly because the quarter included one fewer week than the previous year's final three months.
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