Casaubon's Book

Mother Jones on Economic Inequity

Mother Jones has a very clear visual presentation of the increase in economic inequity over the last years – 11 charts they say shows it all. I’m not sure it shows it all, but they are well worth looking at, particularly these two:


And this one, which shows the perception that Americans have – that things are much more equal than they are.


Ultimately, the same battles being fought in the Middle East are going to be fought here – because with an ever-shrinking pie in an economy that will struggle to grow because of a declining resource base, there’s no other option.



  1. #1 Greenpa
    February 24, 2011

    The gears in my head, which sometimes slip a bit, read that as Economic Iniquity” –

  2. #2 Don
    February 24, 2011

    These charts tell a sobering and compelling story.

    I’ve been engaging in some online debates with anti-union, so-called “conservatives” over the proposal here in Ohio to do away with collective bargaining for state employees. (The proposal is similar to the one in Wisconsin that’s been getting all the media attention; we’ve had demonstrations at our statehouse as well. I used these charts to demonstrate that the US is becoming a banana republic, with a huge wealth transfer occuring from most of us to the already well off. I pointed out that the most prosperous period in US history was during the time that the wealth gap was much narrower than it is now, and unions were part of the reason for that spreading of prosperity. Of course, much of it fell on deaf ears, but I still think it’s worth pointing out. Maybe eventually it will sink in for some.

  3. #3 Sara in Alabama
    February 24, 2011

    Sharon, what’s with your other site. It says it has been suspended. Love, Sara

  4. #4 Apple Jack Creek
    February 24, 2011

    Wow, that’s more than I would have expected, that’s for sure.

    I wonder what the data looks like for Canada? I saw a study from a few years back that suggested the divergence was not as great this side of the border, but I wonder if that has changed. Anyone have newer Canadian resources, by any chance?

  5. #5 Stephen B.
    February 25, 2011

    Cheap energy and instant, global communication has allowed a tiny minority of people to reap the rewards of employing/exploiting a much larger number of peon workers and this effect has really gone into hyper drive in the as we’ve approached peak-cheap-energy.

    As for we in the US, just look how quickly things unfolded in Egypt and especially Libya. Though it looks like nothing could prod Americans (US Americans that is) to move off the couch, I see no reason why we couldn’t be suddenly surprised with mass demonstrations and more here in the US as well, once things get moving.

  6. #6 Honyocker
    February 25, 2011

    I would like to see the same charts with another category added – either the top 1,000th of one percent or the top 10,000th of one percent. I’m not sure exactly where the breaking point lies. I think they would show that the change for most of the top one percent is fairly flat, also, and that most of the increase in wealth goes to the tiny minority who own this country lock, stock, and barrel.

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