Why you should care
Money: We’re always looking for ways to save more of it and make more of it.
We tend to think of income groups such as the “top 1 percent” as being relatively stable collectives that, despite popular rhetoric, enjoy rather low levels of social mobility. But the truth is more complicated, and more volatile: The average American’s chances of attaining the American dream, at least in terms of a high income, are greater than we may realize, according to analysis in a new book. The researchers argue that “even when looking at shorter periods of time, affluence is a relatively common event” in America. Good news, right? Maybe not. That wealth is also typically short-lived. Read the story here.
It’s been a booming first quarter for 2014. Sixty-four companies went from privately held to issuing their first public shares, according to Renaissance Capital. The stocks collectively raised $10.6 billion. But this stuff ain’t just the get-rich-quick offerings of legend. There aren’t 64 new Googles, Twitters and Facebooks wandering around out there. Biotech companies accounted for half. Seeing twice the number of IPOs in the first quarter of 2014 as in the first quarter of 2013 might not be quite synonymous with success. A company hitting the market with an IPO could be in transition, or it could need the influx of funds that selling stock provides. Read the story here.
Since the collapse of the economy in 2008, many families’ finances have worsened, and one of the biggest challenges parents face is how to afford child care. Put aside, for a moment, the scramble to find someone to watch an infant or a toddler. Don’t even think about the eventual cost of putting a kid through college. Many dual-income parents pay the equivalent of a second mortgage each month for basic child care, says a professor who studies the economic impact of child care on American families and communities. Take a look at what contributes to the sky-high cost of child-rearing. Read the story here.
Here’s a thought: 150 million Americans wear glasses, and 150 million people are paying too much for them. According to the American Vision Council, Americans spend over $15 billion on eyeglasses annually. That does not include contact lenses. It turns out, though, that much of that $15 billion is pure profit. Eyeglass frames are routinely ranked as one of the five most marked-up product anywhere. So before you go to LensCrafters again, take a look at these figures. Read the story here.
This OZY encore was originally published July 7, 2014.