Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Inequality grows - The middle shrinks

The election season is over, and we're well into the holiday gift buying frenzy. But here's a little food for thought while you're out there going further into debt to purchase landfill fodder for your loved ones.

Courtesy of Mother Jones magazine and the MoJo blog, a few statistics:
  • In 2005, there were 9 million American millionaires, a 62% increase since 2002.

  • Since 2000, the number of Americans living below the poverty line at any one time has steadily risen. Now 13% of all Americans—37 million—are officially poor.

  • Only 3% of students at the top 146 colleges come from families in the bottom income quartile; only 10% come from the bottom half.

  • Since 1983, college tuition has risen 115%. The maximum Pell Grant for low- and moderate-income college students has risen only 19%.

  • Bush's tax cuts give a 2-child family earning $1 million an extra $86,722—or Harvard tuition, room, board, and an iMac G5 for both kids.

  • Bush’s tax cuts (extended until 2010) save those earning between $20,000 and $30,000 an average of $10 a year, while those earning $1 million are saved $42,700.

  • 63% of federal housing subsidies go to households earning more than $77,000. 18% go to households earning less than $16,500.

  • Inner-city grocery stores sell milk for 43% more than suburban supermarkets.

  • If the $5.15 HOURLY minimum wage had risen at the same rate as CEO compensation since 1990, it would now stand at $23.03.

  • 10 former Enron directors agreed to pay shareholders a $13 million settlement—which is 10% of what they made by dumping stock while lying about the company’s health.

  • Poor Americans spend 1/4 of their income on residential energy costs.
Happy Holidays!

Sources: Income Inequality in the U.S.? Nah., Poor Losers, and A Look at the Numbers: How the Rich Get Richer.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Twitter Feed