Report: Wealth gap widens among Asian Americans
- Created on 30 December 2016
THE common myth surrounding the economic status of Asian Americans is that they generally fare better than most ethnic groups, and very basic statistics support that notion.
According to a 2016 report from Pew Research Center, Asian American men and women earn more than white, black and Hispanic American men and women, respectively, in hourly jobs. The average household wealth of Asian Americans is also on the rise, and will soon be comparable to white households.
However, what isn’t considered in the model minority myth — the notion that all Asian Americans represent success — is that the Asian American experience varies greatly.
A new report from the Center for American Progress (CAP) focused on this phenomenon and found that the wealth inequality among Asians is greater than the wealth disparity among white American households.
Using government data, the researchers explored the increasing wealth gap between poor and rich Asian Americans, comparing the results to those of white Americans.
Asian households at the bottom one-fifth have an average net worth of $9,319 from 2010 to 2013. In comparison, median Asian households averaged a $132,653 net worth, and the net worth of the highest-earning households — the 90th percentile Asians — was at about $1.4 million in the same four-year period.
“Moreover, the gap between wealthy and non-wealthy Asian Americans has widened,” the report read. “Asian Americans also have fewer retirement benefits than whites and are more indebted than whites, creating a potentially precarious situation when stock and housing prices fall. The bottom line is that wealth inequality across American families deserves policy attention. This is especially true for Asian Americans in the bottom half of the income distribution.”
Factors that contribute to wealth inequality — and why many Asian American households are facing drawbacks in financial succession — increasing home mortgages, lower home ownership and student and car loan hikes.
“Wealth inequality among Asian Americans has also grown faster for the past two decades than it has for whites. In part, this rise in wealth inequality can be traced back to greater indebtedness and faster rising debt, especially installment loans for student debt and car purchases,” the report read. “The faster rise in inequality among Asian Americans than among whites in particular suggests that Asian American inequality results from factors other than just age and education”
CAP pointed out that the mean net worth of white households and Asian households is about the same ($680,000, according to CAP’s findings) which creates the illusion that Asian Americans are doing just as well as whites.
But what that statistic fails to recognize is that there are stark differences among cultures within the Asian American community. Folks that hail from Vietnam, Laos or Cambodia — who make up about 45 percent of the Asian population in the U.S. — aren’t doing as well as other Asian ethnic groups.
“The problem is that ‘Asian American’ doesn’t hold together as a category,” Philip Cohen, a sociology professor at the University of Maryland, told the Washington Post. “The group is too diverse. It doesn’t really make sense to compare recent Chinese, Korean or Pakistani immigrants who are working in tech and engineering jobs to people who came as refugees in the 1980s and their working-class descendants.”
Although Asian Americans are the fastest-growing demographic in the United States, they are still a relatively small group. According to the Census Bureau, Asian Americans only comprise about 5-6 percent of the American population so the researcher’s findings may not be wholly accurate.
The researchers acknowledge that the data is “statistically significant” enough to make conclusions about the 10 percent level. A significant takeaway from the report seems to be the increasing financial success of the richest Asian Americans; although the report finds the wealth gap increasing, there isn’t sufficient evidence to say that poorer Asian Americans are significantly getting poorer.
The report utilized the data and findings from triennial surveys from the Federal Reserve, which gather samples of several thousand Americans nationwide, including a few hundred Asian Americans.
Trump on Putin's criticism of Hillary Clinton and Democrats: 'So true!'
- Created on 24 December 2016
President-elect Donald Trump tweeted his agreement with Vladimir Putin on Friday evening, after the Russian president said top Democrats were humiliating themselves by blaming their election loss on alleged Russian hacking. "Vladimir Putin said today about Hillary and Dems: 'In my opinion, it is humiliating. One must be able to lose with dignity.' So true!" Trump tweeted.
Putin had criticized Clinton and the Democrats at a press conference on Friday, claiming that the allegations of Russian interference during the election was an "affront to their own dignity."
"They are losing on all fronts and looking for scapegoats on whom to lay the blame," Putin said. "It is important to know how to lose gracefully."
It wasn't the first time on Friday that Trump gushed over remarks made by Putin. Earlier, Trump released a statement saying he received a "very nice letter" from the Russian president, adding that Putin's "thoughts are so correct."
The letter, dated Dec. 15, offered Putin's "warmest Christmas and New Year greetings" and stressed the importance of US-Russia relations in "ensuring stability and security of the modern world."
Putin continued: "I hope that after you assume the position of the president of the United States of America we will be able — by acting in a constructive and pragmatic manner — to take real steps to restore the framework of bilateral cooperation in different areas as well as bring out level of collaboration on the international scene to a qualitatively new level."
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Majority Want Monday’s Electoral College Vote Postponed In Wake Of Russia Scandal: New Poll
- Created on 18 December 2016
A majority of American voters favor delaying the December 19th Electoral College vote until electors can be fully briefed on Russian interference in the election, according to a new poll conducted by YouGov.
The survey, sponsored by the progressive advocacy group Avaaz, found 52 percent of people supportive of stalling the vote, set to take place Monday.
A surprisingly high number of people ― 46 percent ― were also willing to support so-called “faithless electors,” the name given members of the Electoral College who spurn the vote of their home state and vote for a different candidate instead.
Trump opponents have been pressuring electors to break with their state’s voters, and a law firm has even offered pro bono, confidential legal advice to any elector curious about his or her options. Avaaz has collected thousands of signatures on a petition calling for the vote to be delayed.
Donald Trump won a fairly wide Electoral College victory on Election Day, but Hillary Clinton is on pace to beat him in the popular vote by some three million. In a sign of how divided the country is, however, more than 1 in 4 Republicans believe that Trump in fact bested Clinton in the popular vote. That belief may stem from a false claim Trump himself made on Twitter, when he said that he would have won the popular vote had millions of people not voted illegally. That came after a separate claim from Trump, that he could have won the popular vote if he wanted to, by campaigning in highly populated states like California and New York.
Some states mandate that electors vote the way their state instructs, but the the 10th Circuit Court ruled late on Friday that such laws are unconstitutional. The court covers the region of Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas, Utah, and Wyoming.
Only one elector has publicly said he will be breaking from Trump.
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Bombshell Secret CIA Report Says Russia Aimed To Steal White House For Trump
- Created on 10 December 2016
A shocking secret CIA assessment has concluded that Russia interfered with the U.S. presidential election expressly to help Donald Trump win, according to an exclusive report Friday by The Washington Post.
Until now, intelligence sources have indicated that Russian hacking throughout the campaign that repeatedly exposed information overwhelmingly embarrassing for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was an effort to undermine Americans’ faith in their government.
Now the intelligence community has concluded that Russia was clearly after a Trump victory and manipulated information to that end, according to sources who spoke to the newspaper.
“It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected,” a senior U.S. official briefed on the CIA assessment told The Washington Post. “That’s the consensus view.”
The Trump camp has dismissed the report — along with the credibility of the U.S. intelligence community. “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,” said a statement by the Trump transition team. “The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s time to move on and ‘Make America great again.’”
It’s no surprise Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted Trump in the White House. Trump praised the former KGB leader throughout the presidential campaign. He even called Putin a “more effective leader” than President Barack Obama.
Leaked information through hacking operations traced by U.S. intelligence to Russia was eerily silent on Trump and the Republican Party throughout the presidential campaign. Yet the same operations exposed troves of secret, sometimes embarrassing, personal communication involving Clinton and internal planning by the Democratic National Committee.
U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russia hacked the Republican National Committee but chose not to release the information, according to a report in the New York Times late Friday.
In addition, intelligence officials discovered breaches by Russian government-linked hackers into the voter registration databases of at least two states.
Links to hackers and the Russian government were detected by U.S. intelligence earlier this year. But Trump dismissed a Russian hand in the operations. He again this week blasted the intelligence findings, even before the latest assessment emerged, as politically motivated and not based on hard evidence.
“I don’t believe it. I don’t believe [Russia] interfered,” Trump told Time magazine in his “Person of the Year” interview released Wednesday.
“That became a laughing point, not a talking point,” he added. “Any time I do something, they say, ‘Oh, Russia interfered.’”
The hacking, he said, “could be Russia, it could be China. And it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey.”
Yet at one point during the campaign in July, he appeared to appeal to Russia for hacking help, saying: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing” from Clinton’s email servers. The seeming request for a foreign government to breach U.S. internet security sparked a storm of controversy, and Trump later insisted he was only being “sarcastic.”
In a September intelligence briefing, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reportedly expressed suspicion about Russian links to campaign hacking. He hasn’t commented on The Washington Post’s report on the latest CIA information.
The chilling assessment that it’s “quite clear” Russia’s goal was to get Trump elected was shared with key senators last week in a Capital Hill briefing, the Post reported. CIA officials cited a mounting body of evidence from several sources. Intelligence agencies have identified specific individuals with connections to the Russian government who are believed to have provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails, according to The Washington Post.
Obama has ordered a “full review” of Russian hacking in the campaign following pressure from Congress, the White House announced Friday. He expects to receive an intelligence report on any election interference before he leaves office. Congress will also be briefed on the report.
“We’ve seen in 2008, and this last election system, malicious cyber-activity,” Obama’s counterterrorism and homeland security adviser, Lisa Monaco, told reporters. “We may be crossing a new threshold, and it is incumbent upon us to take stock of that, to review, to conduct some after-action, to understand what has happened and to impart those lessons learned.”
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Opinion: Here’s the verdict on that ‘terrible’ Obama economy
- Created on 04 December 2016
I had thought we’d wait until Jan. 20 to draw the line under the “Obama economy.”But seeing as Trumpists are already claiming credit for good economic news since the election, such as the rise in the stock market, I guess we can do it now. And the picture is pretty clear.
That “terrible” Obama economy? That picture of U.S. economic and industrial decline? That image of malaise and an economy that is no longer “great” and “doesn’t win anymore” and “doesn’t make anything anymore”?
It’s total nonsense.
There’s no point in trying to have a rational argument — or even talking facts — to angry people who shout “libtard!” at their opponents and cite Infowars or Sean Hannity as sources.
But for all those who didn’t vote for Trump — and that’s about 70% of adult U.S. citizens when considering the eligible population — here are the facts. I’ve compared the third quarter of 2008 — just before Obama’s election — with the third quarter of 2016. (I’ve included links to the data, although Trump’s tinfoil army, most of whom wouldn’t know an actual source if it hit them over the head, will just cry conspiracy theory, as usual.)
|The Obama Economy|
|Third-quarter 2008||Third-quarter 2016||Verdict|
|Gross domestic product (2009 dollars)||$14.892 trillion||$16.713 trillion||Up 12%|
|30-year mortgage loan rate||6.46%||3.54%||Nearly halved|
|Nonfarm payrolls||136.3 million||145.0 million||Up 8.7 million|
|Uninsured (health)||45 million||27 million||Down 18 million|
|Exports (2009 dollars)||$1.766 trillion||$2.163 trillion||Up 22%|
|Un- and under-employed rate (U6)||11.8%||9.5%||Down 20%|
|Median household income||$50,303||$57,929||Up 15%|
|Manufacturing output per worker (2009 dollars)||$382,977||$436,776||Up 14%|
|Dow Jones Industrial Average||9,319||18,332||Nearly doubled|
Not bad. Especially as we were just plunging into the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
Of course, this isn’t all about the president (or Congress, for that matter). Growth mainly comes from the private sector — from entrepreneurs and workers. But presidents and governments play a role. They can foster an environment in which growth occurs. Or they can screw things up. If people blame President Obama for bad economic news, then they do really need to give him some credit for the good.
I’ll confess: When I first ran these numbers, I was surprised. I hadn’t realized they would be this positive. I guess I’ve been listening to the doom-and-gloom merchants too much.
But here’s a prediction: At the first sign of trouble next year, President Trump and his cheerleaders, like Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones, will say it’s the fault of that “terrible” Obama economy that he inherited.
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