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.


More like this

Now let's be clear - we all knew Mitt Romney did not give a flying fuck about the poor. Other than the occasional service provider, he's never met any poor people, first of all. Moreover, it is a fact that no presidential candidate, Democratic or Republican for the last 30 years has cared about…
A reader of mine named Aaron emailed me to ask if I'd respond to Alex Steffen's latest piece at Worldchanging. Aaron writes: I'd be interested to hear what you have to say about Alex Steffen's recent post over at I think that it is a well considered and well informed post that…
This year I have a jump on my predictions - as part of my comparatively new role as Editor of the Peak Oil Review Commentary section, I had the fun of asking a whole lot of smart people what they think is going to happen, and thinking about their predictions first. If you haven't seen them already…
This is a lightly revised and updated version of a piece that ran at ye olde blogge and at Grist, but it seems just as pertinent now as it did in 2007 when I wrote it. At the time, some people doubted that the boom we were seeing in biofuel production, which was pushing up grain prices, would be…

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.

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

By Sara in Alabama (not verified) on 24 Feb 2011 #permalink

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?

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.

By Stephen B. (not verified) on 24 Feb 2011 #permalink

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.

By Honyocker (not verified) on 25 Feb 2011 #permalink