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Why Do We Measure Income Inequality?
The separation of the wealthy and poor is a strong indicator of the overall prosperity and levels of opportunity of any community. If a society becomes too unequal, if more and more wealth is concentrated in the hands of only a few, it will lead to rising tensions, feelings of injustice, and other socio-economic challenges. There is also clear evidence in economic research that the less wealthy benefit more from an increased income. The benefit of the same increase in income will be much larger for a low-income family than the wealthy. While some inequality is necessary in a market economy for rewarding those that are working harder or taking higher risks, overly high inequality has negative consequences.
Inequality in Maryland was at its lowest in the late 1960s, but since then has been rising slowly. Still, inequality rates in Maryland have traditionally been lower than the national average.
Green Jobs Training for At Risk Youth
As part of the Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature, in 2008 Governor Martin O'Malley expanded the Maryland Conservation Corps (MCC) - the State's award winning AmeriCorps program to include the Civic Justice Corps, a summer jobs program that employees at risk youth in Maryland State Parks, where they learn team building, conservation and green job skills.
During this global economic downturn, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development worked under the leadership of Governor O'Malley to develop a host of services to help keep people in their homes. Among them is MDHOPE.org, a State website to assist homeowners and renters facing foreclosure that includes information on process, counseling and other options.
The Weatherization Assistance Program helps eligible low-income households lower their energy costs by increasing the energy efficiency of their homes, while ensuring their health and safety. Priority is given to homeowners who are elderly, disabled and families with children and/or who have the highest energy consumption. Eligible renters may also apply.
These programs promote energy conservation, customer financial responsibility, and energy independence.