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ProPublica looks at "Dark" side of big data


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Many critics of America’s growing inequality argue that income inequality is causing the U.S. to become an oligarchy, in which politicians are bought by the elite. A ProPublica investigation – “Buying Your Vote: Dark Money and Big Data” – is shedding light on money in politics. A recent story from that investigation profiles Sean Noble and his role in moving hundreds of millions of dollars of the Koch Brother’s fortune into politics.

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 Harvard economist Larry Summers wrote a column for the Financial Times arguing that there is a lot of historical precedence behind the federal government redistributing income, and that modern times call for the government to step in and address inequality.  After explaining why many possible solutions are not desirable, he argues that changing the tax code is the best solution.

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Gregory Mankiw, another Harvard professor of economics, argues in a New York Times column that the rich are deserving, and that the public is upset about the financial sector’s wealth because their contributions are harder to see and understand. Pulitzer Prize-winning business columnist Michael Hiltzik responds in The Los Angeles Times, arguing that Mankiw’s argument is based on deception. Paul Krugman responds to Mankiw by attacking his premise that the financial sectors contributions are highly valuable.

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The debate about minimum wage is raging on all levels of government.New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently rejected a proposal from New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio asking to raise the minimum wage within the city.Meanwhile, the clothing company GAP announced it would raise the minimum wage for U.S. employees to $10 by next year.The White House Council of Economic Advisors released a report saying Congress could raise the minimum wage without job loss.Meanwhile, a report by the Congressional Budget Office says that although raising the minimum wage could lift 900,000 people out of poverty, it would also possibly reduce overall employment by 500,000 jobs. The Washington Post reports that this confirms both Republican and Democrat arguments about the issue.Forbes columnist Jeffrey Dorfman argues that raising the minimum wage will not have a large enough impact on those in poverty to justify the cost, and that other methods of helping the poor are more cost effective.

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Explanatory Multimedia Reporting from CU Boulder Journalism Students
ProPublica looks at "Dark" side of big data