Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Facts worth considering

In his monthly column in The Evangelist, Bishop Howard J. Hubbard discusses important issues facing Congress and the New York State Legislature, and he does so with facts and statistics rather than the rhetoric that seems to cloud so much of what passes for political dialogue these days. Some of what he writes:
. . . from 1979 until the eve of the Great Recession, the top one percent of Americans received 36 percent of all gains, while the median income of non-elderly households actually fell. In fact, the top one-tenth of the one percent received more than 20 percent of all after-tax income between 1979 to 2005, compared to 13.5 percent enjoyed by the bottom 60 percent of households. In other words, the total of new income going to roughly 300,000 people was one-and-a-half times the size of the total going to roughly 180 million people.
. . .  
from 1979 to 2007, after-tax income grew by 275 percent for the one percent of the population with the highest income. More startling still, out of this small group of one percent - namely, the richest one-thousandth of the population, or 0.1 percent - it rose by 400 percent.  
. . .  
What is even worse is that the rise of poverty in our country has occurred as corporate CEO compensation ballooned from 24 times the average worker's wages to 300 times that amount. Just six members of the Walton family alone, whose patriarch founded Walmart, now have as much wealth as the bottom 30 percent of the entire U.S. population.
The rest of his column is here.

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