Report finds growing income disparity in NY state

November 19, 2012. Karen DeWitt of the Innovation Trail writes about FPI’s report: Pulling apart: The continuing impact of income polarization in New York State.

“We no longer have a growing middle class with rising living standards,” Parrott said.

Those on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder are stagnating, the report finds. The state’s overall poverty rate is unchanged since 1980, but poverty has been increasing in upstate cities like Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, as people with any wealth have moved to the suburbs. 50 percent of children in those cities now live below the federal poverty level, says Parrott.

“That’s pretty horrendous,” said Parrott.

The Fiscal Policy Institute report recommends one key policy change that could help the poorest families, raising the minimum wage.

Analysis: What Is the economic impact of immigration reform?

November 19, 2012. An ABC/Univision report on the economic effects of immigration reform.

“I wouldn’t get too wedded to any particular or exact number, but I think you can learn a lot from the approach of going ahead and trying to make a projection,” said David Dyssegaard Kallick, a senior fellow at the Fiscal Policy Institute, a nonpartisan organization that studies immigration and the economy. “You can see the magnitude of things.”

Study points to continued income polarization in New York

November 15, 2012. A report by WNET (Channel Thirteen) focused on FPI’s Pulling Apart report, featuring a chart and write-up of the report.

James Parrott, the principal author of the report, said the gap between high and low-income earners also strains the middle class.

“Polarization is a major factor behind the erosion in living standards for the middle class–economic growth is no longer as broadly shared as it used to be,” he said. “This result is not inevitable and can and should be addressed.”

Pulling apart: The continuing impact of income polarization in New York State

November 15, 2012. A new report from the Fiscal Policy Institute shows that various income measures all point toward the same conclusions:  In recent years, polarization has intensified; and New York has been one of the national leaders in this undesirable trend. The top one percent share of income dipped during the recession, but has started to rise again in the recovery. Further, no state is more polarized than New York and no large city is more polarized than New York City, (using the broadest measure of income polarization, the Gini index, as estimated by the US Census Bureau). This is in part because poverty is greater in New York State and New York City than in the nation overall, and partly because the finance sector, with its sky-high pay levels, is such a prominent part of the local economy. Other factors are also important, but these are the two that “bookend” New York’s polarization.

In this new report, FPI updates its earlier analyses of income polarization, showing the top one percent share of income, the top-to-bottom and top-to-middle income ratios, the gini index, and other measures. The report uses data from the household surveys conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, income tax data which includes a more accurate indication of capital gains income and high incomes generally, and data from a new national study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute.

While many actions will be needed to reverse New York’s income polarization, an important step currently being considered in Albany is boosting the state’s minimum wage, which the report shows has lost 30% of its purchasing power since the early 1970s.

Low-income immigrants get a hand

November 14, 2012. The San Francisco Chronicle writes about a California nonprofit group that helps low-income immigrants start their own businesses with technical assistance, microfinancing, and networking support.

The 12-person staff operates on an annual budget of $1.2 million to $1.4 million and offers classes in San Jose, Richmond and Oakland, as well as Berkeley. Since 2000, clients have improved their household net worth by an average of 9 percent each, Butler said.

Immigrants own 18 percent of small businesses nationwide, according to a study this year from the Fiscal Policy Institute. In California, it’s much higher: One-third of small businesses are run by immigrants.

embargoed report

Towards an intelligent immigration policy

November 12, 2012. A conservative argument for immigration reform, from The National Review, cites FPI’s work.

Are the present high American unemployment rates actually being caused by overpopulation? No, jobs are not a resource that exists separately from people. Jobs are created by people. Immigrants are famously entrepreneurial: While immigrants constitute 13 percent of the American population, they own 18 percent of small businesses, and, according to a recent study by the Fiscal Policy Institute, were responsible for 30 percent of the growth of U.S. small businesses over the past two decades.

Filipina designer Josie Natori among self-made immigrant millionaires

November 12, 2012. GMA, which bills itself as “the go-to site for Filipinos everywhere,” ran this profile of Filipina fashion designer Josie Natori, putting her success in context using FPI’s report on immigrant business owners.
“There is no better place in the world for an immigrant to succeed than in the US. Follow your dream and make it happen,” Natori shared her advice to immigrant entrepreneurs in the article. Referring to a June report from the Fiscal Policy Institute’s Immigration Research Initiative, Browne noted that more than one in six small business owners in the US is an immigrant.
FPI said immigrants are 13 percent of the population and 16 percent of the labor force. FPI also reported that immigrant women are more likely than US-born women to be business owners. “In general, women have made modest progress since 1990 toward closing the gender gap in business ownership, with immigrant women leading the way,” the report said.


Seven self-made immigrant millionaires

November 9, 2012. A series of stories in Kiplinger about immigrant entrepreneurs, from a Salvadoran who came as an undocumented immigrant and started a successful concrete supplier to a Jamaican-born bakery owner to the Russian-born co-founder of Google.

“Immigrants are such a varied group with people from countries all around the world that have a wide range of skill sets . . . and these [fields] have always been a natural fit” both locally and nationally, says David Dyssegaard Kallick, director of FPI’s Immigration Research Initiative.

The seven entrepreneurs featured here come from diverse backgrounds. They made their millions (and, in one case, billions) in industries ranging from Internet technology to restaurant services. Here are their stories.

The election could affect the sale of your business

November 6, 2012. A CNBC report explains the differences between the two presidential candidates on issues relevant to business owners, citing FPI’s study of immigrant business owners.


Obama: Has expressed the need to continue to secure America’s borders and hold businesses accountable that break the law by undermining the American workforce and exploiting undocumented workers. Legislation would allow immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children to apply for work permits. This could increase the number of small business buyers on the market as a recent study by the Fiscal Policy Institute found that 18 percent of small business owners are immigrants, up from 12 percent in 1990.

Romney: Opposes amnesty programs and has called for self-deportation policies that would make it difficult for illegal immigrants to find work and assimilate with society. People would have the choice to go back to their country of origin or get in line legally to become a citizen of the country. Romney w ould, however, honor the Obama administration’s illegal immigrant work permits and not seek to deport them, helping boost the number of potential business buyers on the market.

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