Policy Shop Weekly Digest: Income Inequality, Student Debt, Racial Inequality

I had 3 posts over at Demos’ Policy Shop this week. Here is a rundown with links:

What Would It Look Like If Income Gains Had Been Shared?. Excerpt:

Every income group except the top 20 percent would be better off. Instead of receiving an income $16,900 in 2007, the poorest fifth of families would have received $22,800. The next fifth would have received $49,000 instead of $40,000, and the next fifth $72,600 instead of $64,612, and the next fifth $99,200 instead of $96,600. The richest fifth would have taken a hit obviously, but only them, which I find somewhat surprising. Needless to say, this alternative income distribution would have been a major welfare improver, especially for the poorest families.

The Weak Corporate Power Theory of Student Debt. Excerpt:

So the recent history of student debt throws some serious cold water on the corporate power theory. Corporations got cut out of the cash machine that was the old FFELP program in 2010, and the only things they have to claim since then are some rather boring contracts to administer student loan accounts for the DOE. If there is a coherent political theory for what’s driving the student debt situation, the corporate power theory is not it.

In Reality, Middle-Class Blacks And Middle-Class Whites Have Vastly Different Fortunes. Excerpt:

Middle class blacks and whites are not in similar economic situations. In fact, up and down the entire income ladder, blacks are in far worse shape than their white peers. The black-white gap is not just about differential racial concentration among economic classes; rather, it manifests itself within every single economic class.