On July 11th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a version of the farm bill that eliminates all nutritional aid to hungry Americans in need, which is provided mainly through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Not since 1973 has Congress separated subsidies to farmers from individuals in need of food security. At a moment when Congress is seeking substantial changes to SNAP, it is important to ask: Who exactly is affected by changes?
A recent New York Timeseditorial states that under the Obama administration the homeless population has remained steady. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 which provided $840 billion as stimulus monies included a $1.5 billion program that providing housing, rental assistance and temporary aid to people who had suddenly become homeless. But the editorial also notes, while conditions might be improving for homeless individuals, things are bleak for families with children. The National Women’s Law Center reported findings that in 2010, over 40 percent of single-mother families were poor; African-American and Hispanic single-mothers families living in poverty were 48 percent and 50 percent respectively.
Over the last decade, working women’s access to and participation in employer-sponsored retirement plans have improved relative to men. In fact, from 1998 to 2009, women surpassed men in their likelihood of working for an employer that offered a pension plan—largely because the proportion of men covered by a plan declined. Furthermore, as employers have continued to terminate their defined benefit plans and switch to defined contribution plans, the proportion of women who worked for employers that offered a defined contribution plan increased. Women’s higher rates of pension coverage may be due to the fact that they are more likely to work in the public and nonprofit sectors and industries that offer coverage, such as health and education.
The ranks of America’s poor are on track to climb to levels unseen in nearly half a century, erasing gains from the war on poverty in the 1960s amid a weak economy and fraying government safety net.
Census figures for 2011 will be released this fall in the critical weeks ahead of the November elections.
The Associated Press surveyed more than a dozen economists, think tanks and academics, both nonpartisan and those with known liberal or conservative leanings, and found a broad consensus: The official poverty rate will rise from 15.1 percent in 2010, climbing as high as 15.7 percent. Several predicted a more modest gain, but even a 0.1 percentage point increase would put poverty at the highest level since 1965.
Poverty is spreading at record levels across many groups, from underemployed workers and suburban families to the poorest poor. More discouraged workers are giving up on the job market, leaving them vulnerable as unemployment aid begins to run out. Suburbs are seeing increases in poverty, including in such political battlegrounds as Colorado, Florida and Nevada, where voters are coping with a new norm of living hand to mouth.
Report from the National Center for Health Statistics.
Objectives—This report shows trends since 1982 in whether a woman wanted to get pregnant just before the pregnancy occurred. This is the most direct measure available of the extent to which women are able (or unable) to choose to have the number of births they want, when they want them. In this report, this is called the ‘‘standard measure of unintended pregnancy.’’
Methods—The data used in this report are primarily from the 2006–2010 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. The 2006–2010 NSFG included in-person interviews with 12,279 women aged 15–44. Some data in the trend analyses are taken from NSFG surveys conducted in 1982, 1988, 1995, and 2002.
A study published in the journal Organization Science finds that when managers have to explain their pay-raise decisions to employees, they tend to give more money to men than they do to women -- even if the workers' performance is equal.
A new study in the journal Organization Science finds that when managers have to explain their pay-raise decisions to employees, they give more money to men than they do to women -- even if the workers' performance is equal.
In the study, originally done for Emory University, 184 managers were given a set amount of money that they needed to distribute among employees with identical skills and responsibilities. Half of the managers were told they would need to justify their decisions to their employees, and half were told there would be no discussion afterwards.
Unfortunately, women can't overcome an initially low raise by negotiating because the corporate budget has already been spent. In many companies, each manager receives a budget for raises that is then divided among employees. All workers are notified at the same time (or over a very short time period) of their increases. Because every penny has already been allotted, there is no money left to give to someone who questions a small raise. Managers won't typically go to an employee with a higher raise and say, "Oops! Jane needs a few more bucks, so we're taking a percent off your raise and giving it to her!"
The only way a raise can go through at this point is for an exception to be granted. And that requires a lot of hard work on the part of the manager and (most likely) the manager's manager. HR and senior management must be convinced that this additional raise, outside of the spent budget, is worth the money. And managers, who are cognizant of their own reputation, will try to do this without stating that they made a mistake in allocating raise money.