05-23-2018  3:36 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Lawmakers hold hearing to discuss Oregon dairy's downfall

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon lawmakers are asking questions about what went wrong with a large dairy that is facing a lawsuit, regulatory problems and bankruptcy in an effort to find ways to prevent a similar situation in the future.The Senate Interim Committee on Environment and Natural...

Editorials from around Oregon

Selected editorials from Oregon newspapers:_____The Oregonian/OregonLive, May 23, on rebuilding faith in police oversight board:Derek Ashton, an attorney representing former Portland Police Chief Larry O'Dea, didn't mince words in criticizing a committee's recommendation that O'Dea lose his police...

Tanker spills 3,500 gallons of liquid asphalt near Cle Elum

CLE ELUM, Wash. (AP) — Officials say a tanker rolled spilling about 3,500 gallons of liquid asphalt as it was taking an exit off Interstate 90 near Cle Elum.KOMO-TV reports the incident happened Wednesday when the tanker took the exit and went off the shoulder.The Washington State Patrol...

Amazon, Starbucks pledge money to repeal Seattle head tax

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon, Starbucks, Vulcan and others have pledged more than 0,000 toward repealing Seattle's newly passed tax on large employers.The Seattle City Council on May 14 unanimously passed the so-called head tax that will charge businesses making at least million in gross...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Video of Bucks guard's arrest in Milwaukee to be released

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee police are poised to release body camera footage Wednesday from the officers who used a stun gun on NBA Bucks guard Sterling Brown during a January arrest.The release comes as city officials who've viewed the videos have expressed concern about how officers...

Offshore worker alleges bias in federal lawsuit

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An African-American offshore oil worker has filed a federal lawsuit saying he was intimidated on the job by a supervisor who drew a picture of him dangling from a high rig structure while surrounded by co-workers in Ku Klux Klan hats.The lawsuit claims the worker was...

Comedian Josh Denny not sorry about N-word tweets

NEW YORK (AP) — Comedian and Food Network host Josh Denny has called his tweets using the N-word and comparing use of "straight white male" to the racial slur as "very incendiary," but he said he's not sorry.The host of "Ginormous Food" appeared on Van Lathan's podcast "The Red Pill" on...

ENTERTAINMENT

'Good Morning America' to expand; 'The Chew' canceled

NEW YORK (AP) — ABC's "Good Morning America" is expanding to a third hour — and swallowing "The Chew" to make room.The network said Wednesday the new third hour will air at 1 p.m. Eastern, which is often the spot for the cooking show. "GMA" starts at 7 a.m."The Chew" has aired for...

Deadliest Catch' star pleads guilty to misdemeanor assault

SEATTLE (AP) — Celebrity crab-boat captain Sig Hansen has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge that he spat on an Uber driver last year in Seattle.The Seattle Times reports (https://bit.ly/2s3scWE) the 52-year-old "Deadliest Catch" star pleaded guilty Wednesday.Under the plea deal, a...

Comedian Josh Denny not sorry about N-word tweets

NEW YORK (AP) — Comedian and Food Network host Josh Denny has called his tweets using the N-word and comparing use of "straight white male" to the racial slur as "very incendiary," but he said he's not sorry.The host of "Ginormous Food" appeared on Van Lathan's podcast "The Red Pill" on...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

BE MINE: Maker of candy hearts, Necco Wafers sold at auction

BOSTON (AP) — The bankrupt 171-year-old candy maker known for its chalky Necco Wafers and those little...

Estimated 7,000 bodies may be buried at former asylum

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Some of the boxes stacked inside anthropologist Molly Zuckerman's laboratory...

Stand or stay out of sight: NFL takes on anthem protesters

ATLANTA (AP) — NFL owners approved a new policy Wednesday aimed at quelling the firestorm over national...

French government orders evacuation of Paris migrant camps

PARIS (AP) — Police are preparing to dismantle makeshift camps holding close to 2,500 migrants in the...

2 patients who fled Ebola ward among the dead in Congo

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Two infected patients who fled from an Ebola treatment center in a Congo city of 1.2...

Summits give aged North Korean spies hope of returning home

GWANGJU, South Korea (AP) — He's spent nearly six decades trapped on enemy soil, surviving 29 years in a...

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, right speaks with Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., left, at an economic forum, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, in Columbia, S.C. Huckabee pitched his “fair tax,” a single-rate consumption tax to replace all other taxes on wages, investments on inheritance. “It’s a powerful unlocking of the economy,” Huckabee said, noting that he would allow something similar to the Earned Income Tax Credit to ease the tax burden on low-income households. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)
JOSH BOAK, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The income gap in major U.S. cities goes beyond the trend of rising paychecks for those at the top: Pay has plummeted for those at the bottom.

 

Many of the poorest households still earn just a fraction of what they made before the Great Recession began in late 2007. Even as the recovery gained momentum in 2014 with otherwise robust job growth, incomes for the bottom 20 percent slid in New York City, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Washington and St. Louis, according to an analysis of Census data released Thursday by the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.

 

"It's really about the poor losing ground rather than these upper-class households pulling away," said Alan Berube, a senior fellow at Brookings and deputy director of its metropolitan policy program.

Consider Cincinnati, home to such major companies as Procter & Gamble and Macy's that are associated with middle class prosperity. Its bottom 20 percent earned just $10,454 in 2014. After inflation, that's 3 percent less than what they earned in 2013 — and 25 percent below their incomes when the recession started eight years ago.

 

Cincinnati's top 5 percent of earners made at least $164,410 in 2014, a figure that has increased since 2013, though it remains 7 percent below pre-recession levels.

 

The consequence is a widening income gap. The top 5 percent earned 15.7 times what the bottom 20 percent did in Cincinnati. Nationally, this ratio was 9.3 — the same as in 2013. Before the recession, the ratio was 8.5.

 

The poorest have clawed back some of their earning power since the economy officially began to recover 6½ years ago. But the analysis suggests that strong job growth and modest pay raises have failed to pull millions of Americans back up the economic ladder.

 

The findings also complicate plans by presidential candidates to combat inequality because it's unclear how tweaking tax rates on the wealthy — the Democrats largely favor increases, the Republicans cuts — will boost pre-tax incomes for the poorest. Congressional Republicans have discussed increasing tax cuts for low-income workers without children as a way to address the absence of wage growth. It's a plan, President Barack Obama said in his State of the Union address Tuesday night, that "we can all support."

 

Brookings found that the income gap was highest in Boston, where the top 5 percent made 17.8 times what the bottom 20 percent did. But that gap appears to reflect the large population of college and graduate students in a city containing Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and many other leading institutions of higher education.

 

New Orleans, where pay for the bottom 20 percent also declined, had the second-worst ratio at 17.7. Atlanta came in third-worst at 17.5 and Cincinnati fourth.

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At the other extreme, incomes for the bottom 20 percent of earners jumped in Provo, Utah, where the ratio is a low 7.8. They also improved sharply in Denver despite above-average levels of inequality in that area.

 

Persistent income disparity has become increasingly visible in the housing market. Brookings found that the bottom 20 percent of residents in the Washington, D.C., area — who earn just $21,230 — would need to spend nearly half their income on housing.

 

That analysis dovetails with findings released Thursday by the housing nonprofit Enterprise Community Partners. Its "Make Room" campaign found that 11.4 million families — about 26.4 percent of all renters — devoted at least half their income to rent and utilities, a share that has steadily increased over the past decade.

 

The largest jump occurred in the Jacksonville, Florida, metro area. More than 28 percent of its renters devoted half their income to housing in 2014, a share that has increased by a third over the past decade. In Los Angeles and New Orleans, nearly a third of all renters spent a majority of their income on housing.

 

A surge in apartment construction has done little to help address this problem because in many metro areas, a large proportion of new apartments are concentrated at higher-income levels, according to a report released in December by Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies.

 

The median rent on a newly built apartment was $1,372 a month in 2014, about $500 more than what about half of renters could afford without meeting the government's standard for being considered financially burdened.

 

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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