Monday, August 17, 2009

Record Income Inequality in the US

And the fresh fuel keeps pouring onto the smoldering embers of our future; ignition is eminent.

According to a new paper published by a Professor Emmanuel Saez, from the University of California at Berkeley, income inequality in the United States is at an all-time high, surpassing even levels seen during the Great Depression.

In an echo of what I've been telling friends and family, Saez calculates that in 2007 the top 1 percent of American earners took home 6 percent of total U.S. wages, a figure that has nearly doubled since 2000. In addition, the top 10 % of American earners, Saez writes, pulled in 49.7 percent of total wages, a level that's "higher than any other year since 1917 and even surpasses 1928, the peak of stock market bubble in the 'roaring" 1920s.'"
Thanks to the Huffington Post for breaking this story.

Photo Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons: jurvetson

Sunday, August 9, 2009

National Security State

From Professor Jon Taplin's blog, "If ever we needed evidence of the Cost of Empire, Floyd Norris’s scary chart of Durable Goods Production from the U.S. Economy is it.

We have so hollowed out our industrial plant that the only thing we are now producing is weapons of war."

I'm speechless, I talk with family about foreign policy issues, like terrorism, and it's like we're from different worlds; even though we grew up in the same house. I'm reminded of the excellent documentary directed by Eugene Jarecki, "Why we fight." With the "war on terrorism" we now have an undefeatable enemy that will ensure the reign of President Dwight D. Eisenhower's nightmare, what he called the military-industrial complex.

I tell everyone I know, so now I'll share it here. IMHO, the number one goal for the USA should be energy independence. It is the only rational way that we can change our foreign policies without enabling terroists.

Photo Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons: Steve Punter

Youth Population Explosion

Global population numbers are on track to reach 7 billion in 2011, just 12 years after reaching 6 billion in 1999. Virtually all of the growth is in developing countries (Africa and Asia).

On Aug. 12 in Washington, DC, the Population Reference Bureau will release its 2009 World Population Data Sheet, with a special focus on the world's youth. The Data Sheet and its summary report provide up-to-date demographic, health, and environment data for all countries and major world regions. New on the Data Sheet this year are data on carbon dioxide emissions per capita; estimates of the percent of population living on less than US$2 a day; and HIV/AIDS prevalence rates among young men and women ages 15 to 24. For details visit the Population Reference Bureau.

Photo Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons: FAB O LENS