In the News

Poverty and low wages, not income inequality, are hurting women's fortunes, according to the Economic Policy Institute, and the obvious way to solve that issue is to simply pay people more money. "If we don't boost wages, then we're not going to get middle-class income growing, and we'll never lift people out of poverty," the institute's president, Lawrence Mishel, told The Washington Post.

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Even at the mall or a discount store, where women are courted and catered to, they are paid less than men. Women in US retail jobs earn on average $4 an hour less than men, or 72 cents for every dollar men make, according to a new report by Demos, a liberal nonprofit public policy organization. The overall pay gap for women in the US is around 80 cents.

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In the coming days, you will be hearing a lot about working women. Not the women leaning in, not the women opting out, but the working women living in or near poverty.

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An industry that’s one of the largest employers of women and one of the fastest job creators in the country also has a huge pay gap. The average female retail salesperson makes $10.58 per hour, while her average male colleague makes $14.62, according to a new study from Demos, a think tank focused on income inequality.

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This is the face of today's fast food workers -- 70% of whom are over the age of 20, nearly 40% have children and a third of them have spent some time in college, according to U.S. census data. [...]

Public policy group Demos says CEO compensation in the industry just since 2000 quadrupled to $24 million, while average fast food worker's wage only increased 0.3%.

Fast food CEOs also make 1,000 times more than the average worker in the industry.

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At the McDonald’s annual shareholder meeting on May 22, CEO Don Thompson claimed that his company “has a heritage of providing job opportunities that lead to ‘real careers.’”

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Irresponsible spending habits are not a cause of credit card debt in U.S. households, according to a new report, The Debt Disparity: What Drives Credit Card Debt in America.

The national survey of working age low- and middle-income households by public policy organization Demos finds that they accrue credit card debt due to lack of insurance coverage, expenses for children and unemployment.

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ACA International
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The sylvan silence of McDonald’s suburban Chicago corporate headquarters provides executives of the world’s largest fast-food corporation a retreat far from its 860,000 U.S. workers—who face a schedule of days defined by sizzling grease, fast-paced work and low wages. 

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College is the gateway to the middle class for most young people, but the price has never been higher. And a new study shows that New Jersey has actually exacerbated the student debt crisis by shifting the costs of college onto students and families.

According to the national think tank Demos, funding for higher education in New Jersey has dropped by 17 percent since 2006. That has forced every public college and university in the state to raise tuition and fees, far outpacing financial aid packages.

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Activists want to put the brakes on CEO Don Thompson's multimillion dollar pay package. Health advocates are petitioning LeBron James to stop peddling McDonald's junk food to kids. 

And, hundreds of fast-food workers are expected to protest for higher wages, starting a day before the meeting. All of this is happening as McDonald's is fighting a slump in sales. [...]

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