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The wrecking ball

Sylvia Allegretto, labor economist, Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics | July 16, 2012

The destruction caused by the bursting of the housing bubble and the subsequent Great Recession continues to wreck havoc on our economy, communities, families and workers. Last month, the Federal Reserve released 2010 data from its Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF). This triennial survey, one of the best sources on net worth (assets minus liabilities) … Continue reading »

The few, the proud, the very rich

Sylvia Allegretto, labor economist, Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics | December 5, 2011

Much of the current political and popular discourse has focused on inequalities that exist in the U.S. In particular the Occupy movement has brought the huge disparities in wealth to the forefront. There are a few questions floating around about wealth. First, how skewed is the distribution? Second, it is true that the rich have … Continue reading »

Balancing economic development and social welfare in South Africa: The Walmart/Massmart merger

Ken Jacobs, chair, UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education | May 23, 2011

I was invited to South Africa earlier this month to participate in a Competition Tribunal about a proposed merger of Walmart and South African chain Massmart. Facing falling sales in the U.S., Walmart seeks a stake in emerging African markets, and last September offered $4 billion to purchase a controlling portion of Massmart. South Africa … Continue reading »