Before you click to enlarge, do you think the US is in the top 10?
This infographic crunches data on maternal health, economic status, education, contraception use, and other factors to show where women are doing well and where their lives can be exceptionally hard.
Meet the 48 percent. A new U.S. Census Bureau measure of poverty shows that the prolonged economic downturn is devouring the American middle class. Nearly half of the population is now poor or low-income.
The startling economic realignment largely coincides with the 2007-2008 financial crisis, but began well before the mortgage and banking meltdown occurred. Since 2002, the number of low-income families in American has risen by 27 percent, a study by the Working Poor Families Project and the Population Reference Bureau found.
Photo: Zenobia Bechtol, 18, of Austin, Texas, struggles to care for her 7-month-old girl with her wages from pizza delivery. (Erich Schlegel/AP)
1. John Hammergren, of McKesson Corporation. The CEO of the world’s largest health care firm earned ‘just’ $1.7m in salary in 2010 the rest came in stock options and perks. If the company changes hands he stands to make even more money – $469m to be exact.
2. Joel F Gemunder, Omnicare CEO. The boss of the US’s largest provider of pharmaceutical care for the elderly retired last August after 29 years with the firm. His pension pot went up $14m in the last year alone.
The dramatic bounceback comes as the latest government figures show wages for the majority of Americans are failing to keep up with inflation.
Occupy Wall Street becomes a world protest.
Starting from the top: protesters at a rally in Seoul, South Korea; masked protesters in Zurich, Switzerland; Hong Kong’s Exchange Square; the NYSE Euronext stock exchange protest in Amsterdam, where Pinocchio noses and fake euros are among the props; WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange outside the London Stock Exchange; thousands of protesters in Berlin.
THIS MAKES ME SO HAPPY.
THE SEVEN BIGGEST ECONOMIC LIES
The President’s Jobs Bill doesn’t have a chance in Congress — and the Occupiers on Wall Street and elsewhere can’t become a national movement for a more equitable society – unless more Americans know the truth about the economy.
Here’s a short (2 minute 30 second) effort to rebut the seven biggest whoppers now being told by those who want to take America backwards. The major points:
1. Tax cuts for the rich trickle down to everyone else. Baloney. Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush both sliced taxes on the rich and what happened? Most Americans’ wages (measured by the real median wage) began flattening under Reagan and have dropped since George W. Bush. Trickle-down economics is a cruel joke.
2. Higher taxes on the rich would hurt the economy and slow job growth. False. From the end of World War II until 1981, the richest Americans faced a top marginal tax rate of 70 percent or above. Under Dwight Eisenhower it was 91 percent. Even after all deductions and credits, the top taxes on the very rich were far higher than they’ve been since. Yet the economy grew faster during those years than it has since. (Don’t believe small businesses would be hurt by a higher marginal tax; fewer than 2 percent of small business owners are in the highest tax bracket.)
3. Shrinking government generates more jobs. Wrong again. It means fewer government workers – everyone from teachers, fire fighters, police officers, and social workers at the state and local levels to safety inspectors and military personnel at the federal. And fewer government contractors, who would employ fewer private-sector workers. According to Moody’s economist Mark Zandi (a campaign advisor to John McCain), the $61 billion in spending cuts proposed by the House GOP will cost the economy 700,000 jobs this year and next.
4. Cutting the budget deficit now is more important than boosting the economy. Untrue. With so many Americans out of work, budget cuts now will shrink the economy. They’ll increase unemployment and reduce tax revenues. That will worsen the ratio of the debt to the total economy. The first priority must be getting jobs and growth back by boosting the economy. Only then, when jobs and growth are returning vigorously, should we turn to cutting the deficit.
5. Medicare and Medicaid are the major drivers of budget deficits. Wrong. Medicare and Medicaid spending is rising quickly, to be sure. But that’s because the nation’s health-care costs are rising so fast. One of the best ways of slowing these costs is to use Medicare and Medicaid’s bargaining power over drug companies and hospitals to reduce costs, and to move from a fee-for-service system to a fee-for-healthy outcomes system. And since Medicare has far lower administrative costs than private health insurers, we should make Medicare available to everyone.
6. Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. Don’t believe it. Social Security is solvent for the next 26 years. It could be solvent for the next century if we raised the ceiling on income subject to the Social Security payroll tax. That ceiling is now $106,800.
7. It’s unfair that lower-income Americans don’t pay income tax. Wrong. There’s nothing unfair about it. Lower-income Americans pay out a larger share of their paychecks in payroll taxes, sales taxes, user fees, and tolls than everyone else.
Demagogues through history have known that big lies, repeated often enough, start being believed — unless they’re rebutted. These seven economic whoppers are just plain wrong. Make sure you know the truth – and spread it on.
Although it is not religious in content this was too good to not reblog.
Ben and Jerry’s is the first corporation to support the Occupy Wall Street movement. The company ppsted the image above to its website, along with the following statement:
We, the Ben & Jerry’s Board of Directors, compelled by our personal convictions and our Company’s mission and values, wish to express our deepest admiration to all of you who have initiated the non-violent Occupy Wall Street Movement and to those around the country who have joined in solidarity. The issues raised are of fundamental importance to all of us.
The company also lists the causes they support, including fighting class inequality, unemployment, and the high cost of education. Read the full statement here.
this seems a bit…backwards? occupyeverywhere is anti-corporation. and you, ben & jerry’s, are a corporation.
The third episode of Meltdown looks at how the victims of the 2008 financial crash fight back. A protesting singer in Iceland brings down the government; in France a union leader oversees the kidnapping of his bosses; and thousands of families are made homeless in California.
Hordur Torfason, an Icelandic singer, leads the way in holding protests over the country’s economy, calling for the resignation of the government and new elections.
Geir Haarde, the prime minister of Iceland, was surrounded and pelted by the protestors. Haarde soon resigned and the country’s government collapsed.
In France, workers fought back to claim their rights. The Continental Tire factory announced its plant would close by 2010, meaning job losses for its 1,120 employees. Workers occupied offices and trashed the place in protest. Protests spread right across France and Europe.
As the grim toll of the financial crisis continues to mount around the world, many governments are looking for the true causes of the meltdown. In many cases, what they are discovering amounts to a crime.
Source: Al Jazeera
Corporate chieftains often claim that fixing the US economy requires signing new free trade deals, lowering government debt, and attracting lots of foreign investment. But a major new study has found that those things matter less than an economic driver that CEOs hate talking about: equality.
Really NPR, really? Because OccupyWallStreet is hoping to destroy the global economy? Fuck no. Corporate greed did that. Nor are we cheering that the global economy is tanking. That means that those with the money to help are going to hold on tighter to it. Corporations are going to cut more jobs in favor of profits; government will make more cuts to welfare programs instead of pursuing a fair approach that doesn’t leave more people out of a home/food/utilities/etc (I’m all for ran-sacking their pay for not getting anything productive done, but that’s just me).
NPR: I am sorely disappointed in you with your approach to [finally] covering the protests, painting participants as anti-humanitarian and clueless. Shame on you.