Hi All,

This is also obviously not my work,  It is from Randi Rhodes talk radio show and features two articles from Clara Jeffery from 2006 (Mother Jones).  The statistics are frightening to anyone who reads them and they seem to question the future of our nation as we know it.  The real problem is the stats are six years ago and things are much worst.  They may not be able to be stopped.  This is a course we were headed towards since 1980 by Reagonomics, trickle down theory and supply-side economics (Reagan’s Budget Director David Stockdale didn’t think that they would work but he knew Republicans would get behind them).  This is not Obama’s fault, but admittedly he hasn’t stopped the tailspin.  It is rather like a spring you can wind it up, up and up (and take all the money from the middle class), but it doesn’t stop until it is completely done (or the middle class ceases to exist).

If we all read this stuff NO REPUBLICAN ANYWHERE WOULD EVER WIN AGAIN.

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If it seems like you’ve already heard some of the facts and numbers posted below, that’s because you have. Randi’s covered the economy of the 99% vs the 1% (http://www.randirhodes.com/pages/rrnews.html?feed=393046&article=9248887) previously, and shown you that the average top earners make more than most of the 99 percenters would make in 150 years. http://www.randirhodes.com/pages/rrnews.html?feed=393046&article=9331495

Sadly, things have gotten worse, not better.

As Randi noted, and Clara Jeffery published in Mother Jones (http://motherjones.com/politics/2006/05/look-numbers-how-rich-get-richer), “In 1985, The Forbes 400 were worth $221 billion combined. Today, they’re worth $1.13 trillion—more than the GDP of Canada.” The massive list of similar facts she researched further prove why the rich continue to get richer.

Meanwhile, 1 in 4 U.S. jobs paid less than a poverty-level income just a few years ago. The other facts for how the poor continue to lose out on the American economy are equally disgusting.

How bad is the income inequality in America right now, compared to the past? http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/10/income-gain-distribution-1917-81-82-2000-2001-08/

Thanks to the interactive chart from the Economic Policy Institute (http://stateofworkingamerica.org/who-gains/#/?start=1917&end=1918), it’s easy to compare inequality over most of the last century. In the 90 years between 1918 through 2008, the bottom 90% of Americans shared nearly half of the wealth gains in America.
Read more: http://www.therandirhodesshow.com/pages/rrnews.html?feed=393046&article=9455549#ixzz1iKu2tcGK

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A Look at the Numbers: How the Rich Get Richer.

—By Clara Jeffery

May/June 2006 Issue  Mother Jones

In 1985, the Forbes 400 were worth $221 billion combined. Today, they’re worth $1.13 trillion—more than the GDP of Canada.

There’ve been few new additions to the Forbes 400. The median household income has also stagnated—at around $44,000.

Among the Forbes 400 who gave to a 2004 presidential campaign, 72% gave to Bush.

In 2005, there were 9 million American millionaires, a 62% increase since 2002.

In 2005, 25.7 million Americans received food stamps, a 49% increase since 2000.

Only estates worth more than $1.5 million are taxed. That’s less than 1% of all estates. Still, repealing the estate tax will cost the government at least $55 billion a year.

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

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.

A 2-child family earning $50,000 gets $2,050—or 1/5 the cost of public college for one kid.

This year, Donald Trump will earn $1.5 million an hour to speak at Learning Annex seminars.

Adjusted for inflation, the federal minimum wage has fallen 42% since its peak in 1968.

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.

A minimum wage employee who works 40 hours a week for 51 weeks a year goes home with $10,506 before taxes.

Such a worker would take 7,000 years to earn Oracle CEO Larry Ellison’s yearly compensation.

Ellison recently posed in Vanity Fair with his $300 million, 454-foot yacht, which he noted is “really only the size of a very large house.”

Only the wealthiest 20% of Americans spend more on entertainment than on health care.

The $17,530 earned by the average Wal-Mart employee last year was $1,820 below the poverty line for a family of 4.

5 of America’s 10 richest people are Wal-Mart heirs.

Public companies spend 10% of their earnings compensating their top 5 executives.

1,730 board members of the nation’s 1,000 leading companies sit on the boards of 4 or more other corporations—including half of Coca-Cola’s 14-person board.

The bidder who won a round of golf with Tiger Woods for $30,100 at a 2004 Buick charity auction could deduct all but about $200.

Tiger made $87 million in 2005, all but $12 million from endorsements and appearance fees.

The 5th leading philanthropist last year was Boone Pickens, in part due to his $165 million gift to Oklahoma State University’s golf program.

Within an hour, OSU invested it in a hedge fund Pickens controls. Thanks to a Katrina relief provision, his “gift” was also 100% deductible.

Last year 250 companies gave top execs between $50,000 and $1 million worth of wholly personal flights on corporate jets.

This perk is 66% more costly to companies whose CEO belongs to out-of-state golf clubs.

The U.S. Government spends $500,000 on 8 security screeners who speed execs from a Wall Street helipad to American’s JFK terminal.

United has cut the pensions and salaries of most employees but promised 400 top executives 8% of the shares it expects to issue upon emerging from bankruptcy.

United’s top 8 execs will also get a bonus of between 55% and 100% of their salaries.

In 2002, “turnaround artist” Robert Miller dumped Bethlehem Steel’s pension obligation, allowing “vulture investor” Wilbur L. Ross to buy steel stock and sell it at a 1,000% profit.

In 2005, Delphi hired Miller for $4.5 million. After Ross said he might buy Delphi if its labor costs fell, Miller demanded wage cuts of up to 63% and dumped the pension obligation.

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.

Exxon’s 2005 profit of $36.13 billion is more than the GDP of 2/3 of the world’s nations.

CEO pay among military contractors has tripled since 2001. For David Brooks, the CEO of bulletproof vest maker DHB, it’s risen 13,233%.

At the $10 million bat mitzvah party Brooks threw his daughter last year, guests got $1,000 gift bags and listened to Aerosmith, Kenny G., Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks, and 50 Cent—who reportedly sang, “Go shorty, it’s your bat mitzvah, we gonna party like it’s your bat mitzvah.”

For performing in the Live 8 concerts to “make poverty history,” musicians each got gift bags worth up to $12,000.

Oscar performers and presenters collectively owe the IRS $1,250,000 on the gift bags they got at the 2006 Academy Awards ceremony.

A dog food company provided “pawdicures” and other spa treatments to pets of celebrities attending the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.

One of Madonna’s recent freebies: $10,000 mink and diamond-tipped false eyelashes.

Paris Hilton, who charges clubs $200,000 to appear for 20 minutes, stiffed Elton John’s AIDS benefit the $2,500-per-plate fee she owed.

According to Radar magazine, Owen Wilson was paid $100,000 to attend a Mercedes-Benz-sponsored Hamptons polo match. When other guests tried to speak with him, he reportedly said, “That’s not my job.”

Sources

See How the Poor Get Poorer.

http://motherjones.com/politics/2006/07/poor-losers


Poor Losers

How the poor get dinged at every turn

—By Clara Jeffery  July/August 2006 Issue Mother Jones

1 in 4 U.S. jobs pay less than a poverty-level income.

During the 1980s, 13% of Americans age 40 to 50 spent at least one year below the poverty line; by the 1990s, 36% did.

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.

Among households worth less than $13,500, their average net worth in 2001 was $0. By 2004, it was down to –$1,400.

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.

In 2002, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) compared those who point out statistics such as the one above to Adolf Hitler.

Bush has dedicated $750 million to “healthy marriages” by diverting funds from social services, mostly child care.

Bush has proposed cutting housing programs for low-income people with disabilities by 50%.

Among the working poor, 13% of income is spent on commuting if public transportation is used, 21% if a private vehicle is used.

Workers who earn $45,000 or more spend 2% of their income on commuting.

2 in 3 new jobs are in the suburbs.

58% of Boston-area jobs suitable for welfare-to-work participants are within a mile of public transit.

76% of Boston welfare moms don’t own a car.

1 in 3 people who’ve left welfare since 1996 did so because they couldn’t meet program requirements or they hit the 5-year limit.

1 in 7 have no work, no spousal support, and no other government benefits.

46 million Americans are uninsured—a 15% increase since 2000.

83% of those earning $75,000 or more work for companies that offer insurance, versus 24% of those who earn less than $25,000.

51% of the uninsured are $2,000 or more in medical debt. 16% owe at least $10,000.

In 1997, 3 out of 4 doctors provided some free or reduced-cost care. Now, 2 out of 3 do.

2 in 5 elderly live on less than $18,000 a year, including Social Security benefits.

Last fall, Minnesota firefighters let an elderly man’s mobile home burn down because he hadn’t paid a $25 “fire fee.”

600,000 high school students dropped out in 2004. If each had stayed in school for just one more year, the nation would have saved $41.8 billion in lifetime health care costs.

2/3 of the reported “shrinking” gap between white and black men’s wages is attributable to black men dropping out of the labor market altogether.

The true jobless rate of black men in their 20s without a high school diploma is 72%.

A prison record reduces a convict’s wages by about 15% and wage growth by 33%.

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

52% of poor college-qualified students go to a 4-year college within 2 years of graduating. 83% of richer qualified students do.

The Consumer Price Index for urban dwellers is up 25% since the federal minimum wage was last raised.

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

80% of food stores in Brooklyn are bodegas. Only 1 in 3 sell low-fat milk or carry fruit.

Corn subsidies have helped the price of soda fall 30% since 1983. Meanwhile, the price of fruit has risen 50%.

Per capita, the nih spends $68 on diabetes, which disproportionately affects the poor, and $1,414 on Lyme disease, which is named after a suburb in Connecticut.

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

Since 1976, the federal budget has doubled, while hud’s budget has declined by 65%.

Initially an anti-redlining effort, sub-prime mortgages have risen tenfold since 1994.

Today, 1 in 4 sub-prime lenders are predatory, charging recipients 7% in up-front fees. Conventional or “prime” mortgage users are charged only 1%.

2% of prime mortgages carry prepayment penalties. 80% of sub-prime ones do.

Since 1986, the number of pawnshops in the U.S. has increased by 142%.

13% of U.S. households don’t have a checking account. 1 in 10 don’t have any form of bank account.

In Chicago’s poorest areas, the ratio of check-cashing outlets to banks is 10-to-1.

Check-cashing fees for a worker who brings home $18,000 a year add up to about $450 —that’s 2.5% spent just to access income.

Nationwide, the number of payday lending outlets has risen 11,000% since 1990.

The average annual interest rate on a payday loan is more than 400%, costing borrowers $3.4 billion a year.

By claiming customers are “renting” goods, rent-to-own stores avoid usury laws that require businesses to disclose and cap interest rates—commonly over 300%.

America now has twice as many publicly available gambling devices that take money—slot and video poker machines and electronic lottery outlets—as it has atms that dispense it.

Credit card late fees are 194% higher than in 1994.

The average credit card balance for house­holds earning less than $35,000 is $4,000.

At 11.5% apr, making the standard minimum payment of 2% per month, it takes 13 years to pay off a $4,000 balance.

In 2004, 7 million working poor families spent $900 million on tax prep and check-cashing fees to get their refunds sooner.

Average amount of time by which they sped up their refunds: 2 weeks.

1 in 7 families claim the Earned Income Tax Credit, designed to lift the working poor above the poverty line.

In 2003, the IRS estimated it “protected” $3.1 billion of revenue by cracking down on EITC filings. Half of all audits are now conducted on taxpayers earning less than $25,000.

41% of those making less than $30,000 think there is “a lot” of tension between the rich and the poor. Only 18% of those making $100,000 to $150,000 think this.

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