By Karen Petrou
On January 22, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and 18 senior House Democrats reintroduced legislation (now H.R. 707) requiring federal statisticians to provide an equality-focused insight into the gross domestic product (GDP) number all too often considered the arbiter of American prosperity. Senate Minority Leader Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) introduced the same bill last year and are sure to do it again and, then to join Maloney in pressing for action. This time, it will come quickly in the House and may well pass the Senate in this Congress. Would it make an equality difference? No, but at least we’d know more clearly how much trouble we’re in.
Continue reading “Gross Domestic Product and U.S. Inequality”
By Karen Shaw Petrou and Basil N. Petrou
Can a change in financial policy that speeds cures for blindness also cure the way disability now exacerbates U.S. economic inequality? Legislation introduced just yesterday shows how.
Like most severe disabilities, blindness and significant vision impairment are major causes of un- and under-employment. 72 percent of blind Americans are not employed on a full-time basis, which by definition almost always makes them among the most economically unequal of all Americans regardless of race, age, or region. To be sure, some blind people are gainfully employed – determination over the years and, now, technology and guide dogs drop the barriers to full achievement in almost every line of work and profession. But far too often, the problems in education that disadvantage all too many Americans are still worse for the disabled, as are perceptions about incapacity and even downright discrimination. Continue reading “Seeing One Way Out”