Almost All Americans' Wages are Plummeting


Chart from the Wall Street Journal

Today, the Wall Street Journal reports the sobering news that, since 2000, real wages have fallen for every educational group in America except folks with professional degrees (doctors, lawyers, and the like). All other groups, even those with master's degrees and Ph.D.'s, saw declining wages over this period. The WSJ piece is based on recently released Census data (you can find the most recent Census Bureau report on income and earnings here).

In recent years, the college earnings premium has decreased substantially. As the Journal points out:
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Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

What you can do:
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