Salvatore Babones is a senior lecturer in sociology and social policy at the University of Sydney and an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS). He holds both a master’s degree in statistics and a Ph.D. in sociology from the Johns Hopkins University. Before moving to Australia in 2008, he worked in financial risk management and taught sociology and statistics at several U.S. universities. His academic research focuses on income inequality, economic development, and statistical methods for comparative social science research. He writes a weekly column for the website and contributes to progressive websites and newsletters across America. Read about his upcoming book on the American economy, Benchmarking America, at and visit his personal website, Dr. Babones welcomes e-mail and is always happy to contribute opinions and expertise to a good cause.


How America Is Failing Its Schools

America’s schools are not failing; America is failing its schools.

Russia Opens Its Doors… To Asia

Asia may turn out to be more receptive to Russian business

Obama, Letterman, and the ‘I’ Word

If President Obama really wants upward mobility for poor people, then he should support downward mobility at the top.

Gun Ownership Is a Hobby, Not a Right

Sure, some people can use guns safely. Some people can also smoke crack safely, drink and drive safely and handle explosives safely. We don’t let them because too many other people can’t.

Romney Versus Realonomy: A Peek Inside the Bubble

In the real economy – the place where the 99% live and work – it’s hard to take Mitt Romney’s plan seriously; but let’s try to make sense of it anyway, unhindered by logic, arithmetic or the laws of time, space and gravity.

More Than 46 Million Americans Still in Poverty

As state anti-poverty programs around the country confront severe budget cuts, today’s report indicates income inequality has reached an all-time high.

We Won the War on Poverty, then Lost the Peace

If America could eliminate most serious poverty in the United States in the 1960s, surely we could do the same today.

How to Safely Scale Down the Fiscal Cliff

A slow descent wouldn’t be disastrous.

Mr. President, the Elephant in the Room Is Not a Republican

White America is slowly returning to normal. It’s a shade poorer normal to be sure, but normal all the same. The Black Economy, on the other hand, is still in full-blown recession.

Economic Rapture Might Be around the Corner

If the deficit disappears, our economic nightmare might finally come to an end.

The European Financial Transactions Tax: Robin Hood or Sheriff of Nottingham?

Germany, France, Italy, and Spain take time out from acute crisis talks to agree on a long term policy solution: taxing financial transactions.

Social Security’s Dual-Income Trap

Families with two breadwinners can end up paying more than twice as much in Social Security taxes as families with just one income.

Ryan’s Medicare Hot Air

It’s simply not time to hit the panic button.

Corporate Campaign Spending: They Get What They Pay for

For America’s corporations, it pays to get involved in elections. This might be good for business, but it’s bad for politics.

The Real Social Security Crisis

It may be difficult to face facts in an election year, but the fact is that Social Security retirement benefits are just too low.

Immobility Nation

For most people facing poverty today in the United States, the concept of America as the land of opportunity is just a fable.

Good News and Bad News about GDP Growth

Americans are in for a long, hard slog.

America’s Skimpy Minimum Wage

Had the federal minimum wage risen at the same pace as the earnings of the highest-paid Americans, it would now be $26.96 an hour.

‘Tis the Season to Shop at Tiffany’s

Retail sales are up in the top 1 percent’s plutonomy, but down in the realonomy where the other 99 percent live.

Chained COLAs and the Battle over Social Security

The supercommittee shouldn’t have considered this unreasonable, unprincipled, and unfair cost-cutting plan.

Program on Inequality and the Common Good

    How to Safely Scale Down the Fiscal Cliff

    Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | August 29, 2012

    Obama Must Do More to End ‘Black Recession’

    The Star-Ledger | August 8, 2012

    Economic Rapture Might Be around the Corner

    The Alliance (OH) Review | July 18, 2012

    Social Security’s Dual-Income Trap

    The Sidney (MT) Herald | June 5, 2012

    Social Security’s Dual-Income Trap

    The (Easton MD) Star Democrat | May 31, 2012

    Social Security’s Dual-Income Trap

    Counterpunch | May 28, 2012

    Ryan’s Medicare Hot Air

    Progressive Charlestown (RI) | March 31, 2012