income gap

Google Street View

We get skads of information from the federal census every ten years: how many people live in the United States, where they live, how much money they make, and much more. 

But that's every ten years, and it is a gigantic undertaking.  It is augmented in non-census years by the less comprehensive, but still expensive, American Community Survey (ACS).

Couldn't we use other, available information to come up with more frequent and cheaper data on people?  The answer appears to be yes, especially if we use Google Street View to view cars and trucks and make some assumptions about their owners. 

Timnit Gebru at Stanford University led a team that examined the viability of such a process. 

The Wealth Gap Examined: "The Divide"

Apr 16, 2014
Random House

Matt Taibbi is not the first person to notice that very few people (can you name even one?) were punished for causing the financial crash of a few years ago. 

But Taibbi, longtime contributor to Rolling Stone, also notices that our prison population is way up, crime is way down, and poverty is increasing. 

And the way he looks at the facts and figures, it's all related: the rich get richer, the poor get punished.

guernicamag.org

Yet another study shows a widening income gap, this time within Oregon.  What would you do to close that gap?

And both our states may be headed to the ballot once again with measures to legalize marijuana for personal use.  How should any such laws be set up to safeguard users and society?  These are the topics in this week's VENTSday segment.