There’s Even A Gender Gap In Children’s Allowances

CREDIT: Shutterstock Nearly 70 percent of boys say they get an allowance, compared to just under 60 percent of girls, according to a new survey from Junior Achievement. But unfortunately, it’s not likely because boys do more chores. One study found that girls do two more hours of housework a week than boys, while boys spend twice as much time playing. The same study confirmed that boys are still more likely to get paid for what they do: they are 15 percent more likely to get an allowance for doing chores than girls. A 2009 survey of children ages 5 to 12 found that far more girls are assigned chores than boys. A study in Europe also found fewer boys contribute to work around the house. And it’s not just that boys are more likely to be paid by their parents, but they also get … [Read more...]

Student Debt Nearly Tripled Over The Past Decade

CREDIT: Wall Street Journal Total student debt has nearly tripled in recent years, according to new research. Using a new dataset on various types of household debt, including student loans, research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that total outstanding educational debt nearly tripled from 2004 to 2012, growing from $364 billion to $966 billion. The total rose by 14 percent each year on average. The researchers’ chart of the growth in the average loan balance per borrower shows a smooth rise from just over $15,000 to nearly $25,000 over the nine years covered by their data. And many of those debtors are struggling to pay the money back. The official rate of delinquency — defined as being more than three months behind on loan payments but less than nine months … [Read more...]

The Spending Cuts That Actually Increase The Deficit

CREDIT: Shutterstock Funding for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is lower than it was four years ago despite increased responsibilities, and staff has fallen by 8,000 people, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office. Appropriations for the IRS is below what it was in fiscal year 2009 and has declined by abut 6.6 percent since 2010. Staffing has fallen by 9 percent since 2009. This is mostly thanks to about $900 million in budget cuts that it’s had to absorb since 2010. Given that money disappeared as it took on an increased workload thanks to legislative mandates, such as work related to the Affordable Care Act, the GAO notes that “the resulting imbalance between service and demand has adversely affected operations.” The cuts will mean more … [Read more...]

The Poor Are More Frugal Than The Rich

CREDIT: AP The good news: Americans are spending more. The bad news: that’s only true for the well off, as the poor are spending less than they were before the crisis. Between 2008 and 2012, the top fifth of income earners, or those who make more than $150,000, increased their spending by more than $2,300, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That makes up nearly half of the country’s entire increase in expenditures. But over the same time period, the bottom fifth, or those making less than $30,000, actually decreased their expenditures, spending about $150 less. That decline is driven by the poor buying about $150 worth less in clothing, although they have also decreased spending on entertainment, personal care, alcohol, and even reading. The rich, for their part, … [Read more...]

How The Everest Avalanche Sparked A Labor Fight

Father and sons of Ang Kaji Sherpa, who was killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest CREDIT: AP/Niranjan Shrestha Last Friday, an avalanche on Mount Everest killed at least 13 Sherpas, members of an ethnic group that work on the mountain to secure safety equipment, carry supplies, and help climbers who are trying to reach the peak. Three others are still missing. It is the worst climbing accident on the mountain in history, but no Western climbers or guides were harmed. In the wake of the accident, many Sherpas are making demands for better payment and working conditions while threatening a strike. What are Sherpas’ current working conditions? Somewhere between 350 to 450 Sherpas work above Everest’s base camp during the season, which lasts two months. Despite the fact that … [Read more...]