Must Read Money Stories for Friday, August 5

by August 5, 2016


The plight of early childhood education teachers.

The struggle for many families to find affordable, high-quality childcare is well-documented. But much less has been written about the plight of the mostly-female workforce that provides care for children from birth to age five. Early childhood educators are among the lowest-paid workers in the U.S., reported The New York Times. Caregivers get few benefits, while still needing to meet many state regulations that vary from state-to-state. The medical community has established that high-quality education and care is crucial —even in the earliest years of a child’s life. It is during these years on which later learning and lifelong progress is built upon. As childcare options expand, experts worry that adults who are under-trained and subjected to chronic stress themselves may contribute to children’s experiences of adversity and stress during a critical period in their learning and development.

Housing discrimination.

Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Seattle are among the cities that prevent landlords from turning away poor families that rely on government assistance to help pay their rent. However, no federal laws exist that prevent this practice — leaving a messy patchwork quilt of community, county and city laws that don’t protect low-income families that rely on housing vouchers. The Washington Post reported that because of these discrepancies, the federal housing program for the poor doesn’t work like it should. While low-income families should have the option to choose housing anywhere they want to live, many feel forced into poorer neighborhoods and apartments where Section Eight vouchers are accepted.

Tax inversion scuffle.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a Texas business group filed a lawsuit against the federal government on Thursday, arguing that the Treasury Department’s rules limiting companies from moving their headquarters overseas for tax reasons violate the law. The Wall Street Journal reported that the lawsuit alleges the government rewrote the Internal Revenue Code without approval. This event came after Congress refused to approve the Obama administration’s proposed changes. Most recently, the changed IRS code foiled a planned merger between Pfizer Inc. and Allergan Plc. that would have located the combined company’s headquarters in Ireland. The Obama administration’s changes aim to prevent transactions in which companies can get addresses in lower-tax countries by merging with smaller companies based in lower-tax jurisdictions.

As the Olympics loom, a spotlight shines on Brazil’s economy.

As the Olympics loom, many local Brazilians aren’t too excited about the games given the nation’s economic and political turmoil. When the games were awarded to Brazil in 2009, the country was on top of its game. But that changed in 2014, CNBC reported. The Brazilian economy has contracted for five straight quarters. Last year, Brazil’s gross domestic product fell to its lowest level since 2009. On top of the economic struggles, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff was suspended from her post May 12 on corruption charges. The final phase of her impeachment trial will likely finish on Aug. 29 — all this casts a shadow on what should have been a festive local mood.