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Fifty years after LBJ started the war on poverty, income inequality debate continues


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Fifty years after Lyndon B. Johnson declared a war on poverty, the New York Times looks back to see how some of America’s poorest communities have fared. This article takes a look at McDowell County in Virginia. A county that was so poor that when JFK campaigned there, he was appalled by the conditions. It still faces grave problems today, largely due to the collapse of the Coal Mining industry that gave work to much of the town.

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Research on the Kalamazoo promise, a proposal by school boards to promise college scholarships to anyone who went through the public school system, came out, The Washington Post Reports. The money comes primarily from the business community and from philanthropists. The model has been copied in numerous school districts. Research shows the promise programs increased housing prices and public school enrollment in neighborhoods near the public schools offering the program. While the program improved neighborhood conditions, the programs still benefit middle and upper income family’s more than lower income, and may actually worsen achievement gaps.

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French economist Thomas Piketty’s book about income inequality titled “Capital in the 21st Century” rose to No. 1 on Amazon this week. He talks about the book in an interview with CNN here.

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Eight million people have signed up for Obamacare. Yet not everyone who would like coverage can get it. CNN reports on the millions who have fallen into a “coverage gap.” They have too much money to qualify for Obamacare but still cannot afford the premiums on the exchanges. Politico breaks down and analyses the 8 million, by state and by who is not included in the number.

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Time for your weekly Paul Krugman! Krugman discusses a recent paper that compares public poles to elite interest group preferences and finds that interest groups tend to get their way.

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Explanatory Multimedia Reporting from CU Boulder Journalism Students
Fifty years after LBJ started the war on poverty, income inequality debate continues