[i] “United States GDP Growth Rate,” Trading Economics, from Bureau of Economic Analysis (October, 2012), http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/gdp-growth .
[ii] Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment, Hours, and Earnings from the Current Employment Statistics survey (National),” updated October 5, 2012.
[iii] Emmanuel Saez, “Striking it Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States,” March 2, 2012, http://elsa.berkeley.edu/~saez/saez-UStopincomes-2010.pdf ; Edward N. Wolff, “The Asset Price Meltdown and the Wealth of the Middle Class,” New York University, August 26, 2012, http://appam.confex.com/data/extendedabstract/appam/2012/Paper_2134_exte… .
[iv] Jack Metzgar, “Education, Jobs, and Wages,” Working-Class Perspectives: Commentary from the Center for Working-Class Studies, March 5, 2012, http://workingclassstudies.wordpress.com/2012/03/05/education-jobs-and-w… Alexander Cockburn, “The Myth of the ‘Knowledge Economy,’” Counterpunch, March 23, 2012, http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/03/23/the-myth-of-the-knowledge-economy/ .
[vi] Some analysts have criticized the BLS statistics based on their methodology. Anthony Carnevale of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce claims the BLS significantly underestimates educational requirements and created an alternate methodology to predict future employment educational requirements. Carnevale’s research can be found here: http://www9.georgetown.edu/grad/gppi/hpi/cew/pdfs/FullReport.pdf . Since the main difference between the BLS and the Georgetown numbers are not in the number of bachelor’s or advanced degrees required but rather in how many people need alternate forms of postsecondary training (some college or vocational school), the argument that there is an overemphasis on 4-year degrees can be made with either set of numbers.
[vii] Research has not provided a conclusive answer to the question of job loss. While economic theory predicts that some job loss would occur with higher minimum wages, the widely cited research of economists David Card and Alan B. Krueger showed “no evidence for a large negative employment effect of higher minimum wages.” A selection of relevant research can be found here: http://www.swcollege.com/bef/policy_debates/increase_minimum.html .
[ix] Ontario Ministry of Labour; Hugh Carnegy, “French government raises minimum wage,” Financial Times, June 26, 2012; “National minimum wage,” Fair Work Ombudsman, Australian Government, page updated 1 July 2012, http://www.fairwork.gov.au/pay/national-minimum-wage/pages/default.aspx .
[x] Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Income before taxes: Average annual expenditures and characteristics,” Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2011, http://www.bls.gov/cex/2011/Standard/income.pdf .
[xi] “Wal-Mart calls for minimum wage hike,” CNN/Money, October 25, 2005, http://money.cnn.com/2005/10/25/news/fortune500/walmart_wage/ .
[xii] “2011 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics,” Office of Immigration Statistics, Department of Homeland Security, September 2012, http://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/immigration-statistics/yearbook/2011/ois_yb_2011.pdf .
[xiii] While most experts agree that unskilled immigration depresses the wages of low-skilled American workers to some degree, they disagree about the extent of the effect. For a recent overview of the scholarly debate, see Harry J. Holzer, “Immigration Policy and Less-Skilled Workers in the United States,” Migration Policy Institute, January 2011. http://www.migrationpolicy.org/pubs/Holzer-January2011.pdf or Linda Levine, “Immigration: The Effects on Low-Skilled and High-Skilled Native-Born Workers,” Congressional Research Service, April 2010, http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/crs/95-408.pdf .
[xiv] Thomas Snyder and Sally Dillow, Digest of Education Statistics 2011, Chapter 3 and Table 286, April 2012, The National Center for Educational Statistics.
[xv] Adam Looney and Michael Greenstone, “Regardless of the Cost, College Still Matters,” The Hamilton Project (October 2012), http://www.hamiltonproject.org/papers/regardless_of_the_cost_college_still_matters/ .
[xvi] Costs have risen from $7,759 in 1980-81 to $18,133 in 2010-2011 in inflation-adjusted 2009-2010 dollars. Thomas Snyder and Sally Dillow,Digest of Education Statistics, 2011, Chapter 3 and Table 349, April 2012, The National Center for Educational Statistics.
[xvii] “Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit,” Federal Reserve Bank of New York (August 2012), http://www.newyorkfed.org/research/national_economy/householdcredit/DistrictReport_Q22012.pdf .
[xviii] Andrew Martin and Andrew W. Lehren, “Degrees of Debt: A Generation Hobbled by the Soaring Cost of College,” The New York Times, May 12, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/13/business/student-loans-weighing-down-a-generation-with-heavy-debt.html .
[xix] “Young, Underemployed and Optimistic,” Pew Research, February 9, 2012, http://pewresearch.org/pubs/2191/young-adults-workers-labor-market-pay-careers-advancement-recession .
[xx] Andrew Martin and Andrew W. Lehren, “Fed Study of Student Debt Outlines a Growing Burden,” The New York Times, March 5, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/06/business/study-finds-a-growing-student-debt-load.html .
[xxi] Binjamin Appelbaum, “Family Net Worth Drops to Level of Early ‘90s, Fed Says,” The New York Times, June 11, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/12/business/economy/family-net-worth-drops-to-level-of-early-90s-fed-says.html