Watch this:

Then check his references:


1. David Cay Johnston, Income Inequality: 1 Inch to 5 Miles
2. How much can tax policy curb income inequality growth? Maybe a lot
3. Do progressive taxes reduce inequality?
4. Is "assortive mating" contributing to rising income inequality?


Assignment 1: Inequality for All

Complete the reflection and review questions for Inequality for All. A discussion will follow.

Assignment 2: Taxation and Income Inequality

First begin by understanding the basic types of taxation. Use the resources available to you in the classroom as well as credible internet sources to define the following.

Assignment 3: Minimum Wage

Is the Minimum Wage a Livable Wage?

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Assignment 4: Poor Kids

Watch the video "Poor Kids". As you watch, answer the following questions:

  1. Why are these children and their families living in poverty?
  2. What concerns do children living in poverty have?
  3. Families living in poverty are often blamed for "making bad decisions". Are "bad decisions" a cause or consequence of living in poverty?
  4. Is wealth and income inequality a contributing factor to childhood poverty?
    1. If yes, assess its significance as a contributing factor.
    2. If no, explain the lack of causal relationship.

Read: Your Brain on Poverty: Why Poor People Seem to Make Bad Decisions

Assignment 5: Watch "American Winter"

Take notes and use the evidence and anecdotes gathered in support of your final project.

Assignment 6: The Stigma of Poverty

1. What is a stigma? How does this compare to a stereotype?

Read: Why Drug Testing Welfare Recipients Is a Waste of Taxpayer Money

Read: James Brennan: Stigmatizing poverty

2. How can we change the social stigmas that are attached to poverty?

Assignment 7: Readings

Select an article of interest below. Read it carefully:
  • Identify the Author's Argument and potential sources of bias
  • Document important statistics
  • Write a short paragraph explaining how this article might be relevant and to your editorial.

  1. The State of Poverty in America, Peter Edelman, The American Prospect, June 22, 2012
  2. The Myth of the “Culture of Poverty,” Paul Gorski, Educational Leadership, April 200
  3. How to Save Our Kids From Poverty in Old Age, Phillip Longman, Washington Monthly, July/August 2012
  4. The Impact of Globalization on Income and Employment: The Downside of Integrating Markets, Michael Spence, Foreign Affairs, July/August 2011
  5. Poor kids who do everything right don’t do better than rich kids who do everything wrong, Matt O'Brien, Washington Post, October 2014
  6. The Hidden History of Prosperity, Robert Kuttner, The American Prosperity, 2014
  7. How Poverty Sinks Our Schools, Jordan Weismann, The Atlantic, October 2013
  8. Here's Who Earns The Minimum Wage, In 3 Graphs, Quoctrung Bui, NPR, October 2013

Activity 8: What to do?

It is highly likely that your editorial will need substantive policy suggestions to reduce poverty in America.

In order to gather a general idea of the proposals, I suggest reading Professor Mary Jo Bane's paper on Poverty Reduction Strategies for the U.S.

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If you are looking for additional reading, Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity has a list of other policy papers .

Final Project

Propose your topic to Mr. Gessaman before you begin writing.




Economics in Plain English: Income Inequality

Malcolm Gladwell on Historical Tax Rates:

Just because it might help: Economics in Plain English: What is Money?

Okay, I like them all. Economics in Plain English.