Inequality Drives Our Work
Our persistent focus at Growth & Justice on building a more equitable prosperity in Minnesota is largely driven by mountains of data in recent decades that point to both stubborn racial disparities and rising economic inequality in our nation and state. A recent case in point is a report from the Brookings Institution showing that wealth inequality is even more stark than annual income inequality. Facts from the report: the top 20 percent now holds three times the wealth of the 60 percent in the middle-income quintiles; since 2010 the top 1 percent has more wealth than the entire 60 percent in the middle quintiles, and the gap is growing; a tax of just 1 percent on the wealth of the top 1 percent would produce $250 billion annually to address pressing needs for investment in infrastructure, human capital and economic security for middle- and low-income families. Underscoring the inequality problem, a recent public survey by the Associated Press revealed that 23 percent of Americans now say they don’t plan to retire, owing in large part to their rising economic insecurity.
Medical School Generating Growth in Gaylord
Gaylord, MN was recently featured in a MinnPost article that highlights the town’s upcoming osteopathic medical college, the first in Minnesota. Not only is the Minnesota College of Osteopathic Medicine going to bring new physicians to rural Minnesota, but also ushers in plans for a Grandstay Hotel and an 80-unit apartment complex – residents are hopeful that it will lead to a café or coffee shop as well. An economic report modeled after other similar projects, “suggests the medical school could generate $75 million to $125 million for the local economy, factoring in the renovation project, housing for students, spending at local businesses and other variables.” Phillip Keithauhn, a local resident and leader in the project since its origin adds, “The economic impact could eventually be exceeded by the impact on health care from a healthier population that lives longer.”
Breakfast at Elsie’s on July 23
A few spots remain for you and a friend to attend the second event of our free summer breakfast series, on July 23 at Elsie’s in Northeast Minneapolis. Kevin Lindsey, Growth & Justice Board Member, CEO of the Minnesota Humanities Center, and former Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights will lead us off into a discussion surrounding racial equity. The free breakfast includes eggs, sausage, bacon, french toast, bagels and pastries, fruit, and coffee. Stop by before you start your day! RSVP Today
“I can’t afford, nor will my insurance cover, the most modern medication there is for Parkinson’s…Eat, heat or treat. These are decisions that people in my position have to make. When it’s cold out…do you eat, heat (your home) or treat (your ailment)?”—Larry Zarzecki, former Maryland police officer, in AP story cited above on retirement trends and economic insecurity.