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U.S. Economic Recovery Benefits Mostly the Rich

In the United States, the rich have gotten richer while the standard of living for the middle class and poor have declined, the New York Times reported April 23. For the first time, the American middle class is not the world’s most affluent, having been surpassed by Canada. That’s reflective of a broader trend that […]

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Few Americans Can Thrive Long without a Job

Many Americans are little more than one missed paycheck away from serious financial problems, a new poll from Gallup indicates. Fourteen percent of workers polled say they couldn’t last a week without a job before experiencing significant financial hardship; 29 percent say it would take a month out of work, 26 percent said up to […]

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School Costs Dog Americans for Years

College expenses and student loans are the biggest financial worries for young Americans — and even for many in their 30s and 40s — according to Gallup researchers. Education-related costs are cited as a top concern by 21 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds, making it the most pressing financial problem for this age group. And […]

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Vermont Lawmakers Consider GMO Labeling

The Vermont state Senate has approved a bill that would require foods containing genetically modified (GMO) ingredients to be labeled as such, the Burlington Free Press reported April 15. The bill was passed on an overwhelming 26-2 vote and now goes back to the House, which approved a similar measure last year. “We are saying […]

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Half of Americans Pay More Rent Than They Can Afford

Rent and utilities are considered “affordable” if they comprise no more than 30 percent of your income, but more than half of Americans are paying that much or more for a place to live, the New York Times reported April 15. An analysis by the real estate site Zillow found that rent and utility costs […]

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Report Says 5.4 Million Newly Insured Under Obamacare

For all of its flaws and stumbles, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) seems to have succeeded in one of its major goals: getting uninsured Americans enrolled in health-insurance plans. NBC News reported April 3 that a study from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute says that 5.4 million formerly uninsured people have […]

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U.S. Can’t Crack Top 10 Percent in Social Progress Index

The U.S. ranks only 16th out of 132 nations in the Social Progress Index, a global ranking of each country’s overall livability. Columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote in the New York Times on April 3 that ”we underperform because our economic and military strengths don’t translate into well-being for the average citizen.” For example, the U.S. ranks 70th […]

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Santa Monica Develops First Local Well-Being Index

Just as the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index tracks quality-of-life indicators nationally, the city of Santa Monica, Calif., is hoping to use a local well-being index to help guide policy decisions that affect the lives of local residents. Fast Company reports that the initiative arose from a pair of tragedies — a gang shooting and the suicide […]

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Childhood Money Lessons, Good and Bad

Don’t underestimate how much your financial outlook is influenced by things you learned as a child, especially if you’ve fallen into bad habits you need to eliminate. CreditCards.com reported March 27 that parents often pass down their attitudes about money and debt to their children, not always with good results. Children who feel deprived also […]

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Healthcare Reform Opinions Strongly Informed by Politics

Do you love or hate “Obamacare”? Your answer probably has a lot to do with your political leanings, according to Gallup researchers. Only 10 percent of Republicans approve of the healthcare-reform law, while 67 percent disapprove. Contrast that with the 78 percent of Democrats who favor the law, with just 17 percent disapproving. Put another […]

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