links for 2011-02-22

  • Eight charts that explain everything that's wrong with America.
  • Economists David Card and Alan B. Krueger's 1994 study, published in the American Economic Review, compared 410 fast-food restaurants in New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania before and after the 1992 increase in New Jersey's minimum wage. They found no indication that the increase in the minimum wage reduced employment. That research is expanded on in Myth and Measurement: The New Economics of the Minimum Wage, published in 1997 by Princeton University Press. In 1998 the National Bureau of Economic Research published their further work on the 1992 New Jersey increase in the minimum wage, which found "similar or slightly faster employment growth in New Jersey relative to eastern Pennsylvania after the rise in New Jersey's minimum wage." Of course, right wing opponents of living wages don't want to let the evidence get in the way of dogma about minimum wages.
  • IN 2008, A LIBERAL Democrat was elected president. Landslide votes gave Democrats huge congressional majorities. Eight years of war and scandal and George W. Bush had stigmatized the Republican Party almost beyond redemption. A global financial crisis had discredited the disciples of free-market fundamentalism, and Americans were ready for serious change.

    Or so it seemed. But two years later, Wall Street is back to earning record profits, and conservatives are triumphant. To understand why this happened, it's not enough to examine polls and tea parties and the makeup of Barack Obama's economic team. You have to understand how we fell so short, and what we rightfully should have expected from Obama's election. And you have to understand two crucial things about American politics…

  • Only 5 states do not have collective bargaining for educators and have deemed it illegal.

    Those states and their ranking on ACT/SAT scores are as follows:

    South Carolina -50th = 844
    North Carolina -49th = 865
    Georgia -48th = 854
    Texas -47th = 893
    Virginia -44th = 896

  • As a vital component of Pew’s efforts to foster effective solutions to some of America’s most pressing challenges, Pew's Grading the States 2008 report, developed in partnership with Governing magazine, is an assessment of the quality of management in the 50 states.

    The report examines amd measures four key areas- money, people, infrastructure and information.

  • Do high unionization levels lead to state budget deficits, as some claim? John Sides shows that the answer is no [CHART]. Looking at this chart, what I think you would see is that unionization levels have a strong relationship to progressive taxation. New York, Hawaii, and Washington are all high-tax states, especially on rich people, while the non-union south has generally low levels of taxation and regressive tax structures.