Friday Roundup: “Democratization of luxury,” costs of dock slowdown, teacher shortage and more

There are always a few items we’ve read during a week that deserve more attention but don’t make it into our regular posts. So we bundle them for the Friday roundup. Here’s this week’s bundle:

Peter Gordon: Things to Cheer About

Those who beat the drums over increasing inequality should pause to notice the amazing “democratization of luxury.”

The American Interest: States with the highest taxes have a desirability problem

A recent Gallup survey finds that people who live in states with the highest taxes (including income, property, and sales taxes) are more likely to want to head for the exits than people who live in states that let them hold on to more of their earnings.

Puget Sound Business Journal: Study: Washington state lost $769.5 million during dock slowdowns last year

Washington state’s economy lost $769.5 million in economic activity during the six months of the 2014-2015 port labor-related slowdown. The impacts are still reverberating throughout the region.

The Washington Council on International Trade released a study Monday that pinpoints the economic fallout from the long contract dispute between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which represents dock workers, and the Pacific Maritime Association, which represents ocean carriers and terminal operators.

 Brookings: A college degree is worth less if you are raised poor

People with more education have higher earnings. Boosting college education is therefore seen by many—including me—as a way to lift people out of poverty, combat growing income inequality, and increase upward social mobility. But how much upward lift does a bachelor’s degree really give to earnings? The answer turns out to vary by family background.

Stateline: What does it take to end a teacher shortage?

Schools nationwide are reporting teacher shortages that go beyond the chronic struggle to fill positions at low-income schools and in subjects such as science and special education…“The solution is to improve the job,” said Richard Ingersoll, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. Some approaches, such as raising teacher salaries and reducing class sizes, cost a lot of money. Others, such as giving teachers a bigger role in how classrooms are run, do not.