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Kristen Lewis
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Kristen Lewis is the Co-Director of the American Human Development Project, an initiative whose aim is to stimulate fact-based public debate about -- and bring political attention to -- human development issues in the United States. She is co-author of The Measure of America, American Human Development Report 2008-2009. She brings to this work 15 years of experience in international development policy, working primarily in the areas of gender, governance, environment, and water at the U.N. Additionally, Kristen co-authored, under the leadership of Jeffrey Sachs’ Millennium Project, the 2005 book Health, Dignity and Development: What Will It Take? as well as numerous other publications and reports. Kristen holds an M.I.A. from Columbia University.

Entries by Kristen Lewis

Inequality: Shifting the Spotlight From Wall Street to Your Street

(0) Comments | Posted July 9, 2013 | 11:47 AM

Income inequality, for years the great unmentionable in political discourse, is suddenly on everyone's lips. Thanks to the Great Recession, Occupy Wall Street, and the ensuing focus on the "1 percent," the gulf between the richest and the rest is now not only acknowledged, it is being cited by people...

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What Does the Opportunity Index Tell Us?

(1) Comments | Posted October 9, 2012 | 9:47 AM

In the United States, we tend to see opportunity through an economic lens and to assess how people and communities are doing using money as a yardstick. We calculate the poverty rate and track wages; we watch the stock market; we gauge the nation's health quarterly using Gross Domestic Product....

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The State of the Union Is Unequal: 10 Things Presidential Candidates Should Know About Inequality

(0) Comments | Posted February 13, 2012 | 6:11 PM

The presidential campaign and the Occupy movement have thrust inequality into the spotlight -- and with good reason. When it comes to income inequality, the United States is on par with Gabon, Sri Lanka, and Tunisia; in fact, our country has greater inequality than 66 other nations, including every other...

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The Supplemental Poverty Measure: A (Small) Step in the Right Direction

(0) Comments | Posted November 30, 2011 | 2:17 PM

The Census Bureau recently released the supplemental poverty measure (SPM). By this gauge, 49.1 million Americans, or 16 percent of the population, live in poverty -- more than the official poverty number of 46.2 million, or 15.1 percent of the population, reported in September.

The...

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Poverty Kills. Better Policy, Not Better Medicine, Is the Solution

(2) Comments | Posted July 26, 2011 | 10:34 AM

Which causes more deaths in the United States: heart attacks or failure to graduate high school? Strokes or racial segregation? Lung cancer or poverty? The surprising answer is that poverty and its attendant deprivations are deadlier than disease.

For years, poverty has been cited as a contributing factor to poor...

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Measuring a Better Life

(0) Comments | Posted June 29, 2011 | 12:15 PM

How do you define a better life? The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a group of 34 countries comprised chiefly of the world's affluent democracies, is taking its turn to answer this ageless question with its Better Life Initiative. This interactive tool and index draws attention...

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Which California Are You?

(9) Comments | Posted May 17, 2011 | 11:56 AM

California has long been a leader in implementing progressive policies and developing innovative programs to improve the lives and broaden the opportunities of its people. From education to environment, California has been at the forefront. But the Golden State is at risk of losing this edge, disinvesting in the very...

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Health Care Reform Passed, Now What?

(0) Comments | Posted April 27, 2010 | 4:50 PM

After a year of vociferous debate, health care reform passed. But the unprecedented attention to Americans' health somehow managed to miss one of the country's most alarming health problems: the huge disparities in health outcomes for different population groups.

How big are these disparities?

They are huge. Recent research by...

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Damsel in Distress Seeks Better Policies, Bigger Paycheck, Prince Who Does Housework

(8) Comments | Posted October 22, 2009 | 4:36 PM

Stop five men and five women on the street outside an elementary school and ask them the shoe size of their youngest child, or the phone number of that child’s pediatrician. Odds are, the women will know both, the men neither. Much ink is being spilled lately to probe the...

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G-20 Missed the Point: The Real Wealth of Nations is People

(5) Comments | Posted September 28, 2009 | 10:14 AM

As often happens, the just-completed Pittsburgh G-20 meeting ended with admirable pronouncements, among them, the "responsibility to invest in people by providing education, job training, decent work conditions, health care...and to fight poverty, discrimination, and all forms of social exclusion". But with the near-exclusive use of GDP growth as the...

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We Can Pay for Education Today - Or Prisons Tomorrow

(16) Comments | Posted May 14, 2009 | 6:20 PM

High school dropout rates have been in the news a lot lately. Last month saw the release of two major reports that drew renewed attention to the issue. One from the America's Promise Alliance found that in the fifty largest cities in the U.S., nearly half of all high school...

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