Interesting data from another forum,


  Yann Le Du                      E-mail: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
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   After 8 years of a genuinely sociopathic "New
Democrat" as President
of the United States the appalling inequality of
income and wealth that
was exacerbated under the Republican President Reagan
actually WORSENED.

   At a time when the top 1% of U.S. citizens owns
more wealth than the
bottom 95% the new U.S. President wants to further cut
the taxes of
that wealthiest 1% while vast numbers of the bottom
95% live paycheck-
to-paycheck and owe enormous credit card debts.

   Whether Democrat or Republican, whether Gore or
Bush, the result is
the same: the U.S. is damn close to becoming a Third
World nation.
Perhaps if more poor people in Honduras, the
Philippines, India or
other Third World countries had credit cards they, too
-- like so many
heavily-indebted Americans -- would delude themselves
that they
were "well-off".

   The fact is that tax rate for the wealthiest
Americans was 88% in the
two decades following World War II, a time when the
U.S. economy was
booming. Working-class and middle-class Americans
saved more and
charged less then, too.

   What follows are some disturbing facts (from
about just how far from a fair economy we've come,
notwithstanding the
joint Dem-GOP deceitful propaganda that
claims most Americans are "better-off" nowadays:

* Since the mid-1970s, the most fortunate one percent
of households
have doubled their share of the national wealth. They
now hold more
wealth than the bottom 95 percent of the population.

* In 1998, 18.7 percent of American children lived in
poverty, a lower
rate than 1993 (19.6 percent), but higher than the
1979 rate of 16.4
percent. (Columbia University,

* Nine states have reduced child poverty rates by more
than 30% since
1993. These states include Tennessee, Michigan,
Aransas, South
Carolina, Mississippi, Kentucky, Illinois and New
Jersey. Michigan is a
prime example of a national trend, in that even the
recent, dramatic
improvement did not counter the losses of the previous
15 years, in
which its poverty rate increased 121%. (Columbia

* In California, the number of children living in
poverty has grown
from 900,000 in 1979, to 2.15 million in 1998.
(Columbia University)

* Nearly 3 percent of all workers live under the
federal poverty line,
defined in 1998 as $13,003 for a family of three.
Counting dependents,
this encompasses roughly 5 million people.(The
Conference Board,
contact Linda Barrington, 212-339-0481)

* In 1998, the top 1 percent of stock owners owned
47.7 percent of all
stock, while the bottom 80 percent owned 4.1 percent.
Between 1989 and
1998, nearly 35 percent of all stock market gains went
to the top 1
percent of shareholders. 64 percent of American
households have stock
holdings worth $5,000 or less, or own no stock at all.
(Economic Policy

* Between 1995 and 1998, the total wealth of the
typical American
household rose from $58,800 to $61,000. The average
value of stock
holdings rose $5,500, the value of non-stock assets
(mostly homes)
climbed $8,500, and household debt increased $11,800.
(Economic Policy

* Middle-class families enjoyed 2.8 percent of the
stock market gains
between 1989 and 1998, but accounted for 38.8 percent
of the increase
in household debt. (Economic Policy Institute)

* In 1998, 62.9 percent of private sector workers had
healthcare, down from 63.1 percent in 1989. 49.2
percent of private
sector workers have employer-provided pension plans.
(Economic Policy

* 60 percent of U.S. workers say that if they were
laid off, their
savings are sufficient to maintain their current
standard of living for
a few months or less. Only 29 percent said they are
able to save for
the future. 40 percent say they earn enough to be
comfortable, but not
to save, while 27 percent said they earn only enough
to get by, and 3
percent said they are unable to pay their bills.
(Fleet Bank, contact
Rena DeSisto, 212-703-1961)

* 64 percent of U.S. workers say they would rather
have more time than
more money. Even in households earning less than
$25,000, 49 percent
said they would still prefer time over money. (Fleet

* Fewer than 43,000 estates -- 2 percent of the total
-- paid federal
estate taxes in 1997. (Money, 9/2000)

* In 2000, the federal estate tax is expected to raise
$27 billion,
more than double the amount of federal income taxes
paid by the bottom
half of all taxpayers. (United For a Fair Economy,

* A study by Treasury Department economist David
Joulfaian found that
eliminating the estate tax would reduce charitable
bequests by about 12
percent. (United For a Fair Economy)

* While the top tax rate is 55 percent, on average,
estate taxes
represent 17 percent of the gross value of the estate.
(United For a
Fair Economy)

* More than 2.5 million households have investable
assets of more than
$1 million, up from 2 million households in 1995.
(Time, 12/14/98)

* As a result of stock-market gains, the most affluent
25-30 percent of
American households) are about 20 times wealthier, on
average, than
they were in 1989. (New York Times, 9/20/98)

* Among the industrialized nations, the U.S. has the
concentration of individual wealth--roughly 3 times
that of the No. 2
nation, Germany. (UN Human Development Report, 1998)

* As of 1997, the richest five percent of U.S.
households held more
than 60 percent of the nation's private wealth. The
top 1 percent of
households held 40 percent of the wealth. (Edward
Wolff, relying on
data from the Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer

* Between 1983 and 1995, the average net worth of
households in the
bottom 40 percent of the population declined by 80
percent, from $4,400
to $900. The net worth of the middle fifth of the
population declined
by 11 percent. (Shifting Fortunes, Edward Wolff)

* Most Americans in the highest-earning one percent of
the population
(median annual income: $330,000) don't consider
themselves rich. (Worth-
Roper Starch Survey)

* The inflation-adjusted net worth of the median
household fell from
$54,600 in 1989 to $49,900 in 1997. In nearly one out
of five
households, debts exceed assets. Household debt as a
percentage of
personal income rose from 58 percent in 1973 to an
estimated 85 percent
in 1997. (Chuck Collins, Betsy Leondar-Wright, Holly
Sklar, Shifting

* As of 1995, 40 percent of American households owned
stock either
directly or through a mutual fund or some sort of
retirement plan.
Almost 90 percent of the value of all stocks and
mutual funds was held
by 10 percent of the households. (Federal Reserve
Survey of Consumer

* Between 1983 and 1995, only the highest-earning five
percent of
households saw an increase in their financial net
worth. By 1995, the
bottom 40 percent of families headed by those between
the ages of 25-54
had no savings. The middle quintile of income-earners
(the middle
class) have enough savings to sustain their standard
of living for 1.2
months, down from 3.6 months in 1989. (Federal Reserve
data as analyzed
by Edward Wolff)

* Between 1983 and '89, the net worth of American
citizens grew by $5
trillion. About 54 percent of that new wealth went to
the half-million
families who make up the top one-half of one percent
of the population.
Federal Reserve and IRS data confirm that the net
worth of the top 1
percent of Americans now dwarfs that of the bottom 90
percent--the most
extreme wealth concentration since the 1920s. (Jeff
Gates, "An
Ownership Solution")

* The likelihood of facing an Internal Revenue Service
audit if you
earned more than $100,000 last year: 1.03 percent. In
1988, the audit
rate was 11.4 percent for such taxpayers. Now their
chance of being
audited is smaller than that of taxpayers earning less
than $25,000 a
year; their rate is 1.5 percent. (The New York Times,
April 16, 2000)

* The Gini coefficient is a complex statistical
measure of inequality;
a 0 coefficient is perfect equality (everyone has the
same share),
while a 1 coefficient is total inequality (one person
has everything).
In 1997, the United States had a Gini coefficient of
0.375, up from
0.323 in 1973. The 1997 figure is higher than any
other "wealthy"
country. Britain's is 0.346, Germany's 0.300, Canada's
0.286 and
Sweden's 0.222. However, these figures relate to
income, and Alan
Greenspan points out that when applied to consumption,
the Gini number
for the U.S. falls by about 25 percent. In other
words, the poor are
more likely to own the same televisions, washing
machines, etc., as the
rich, than income figures might suggest. (Fortune,

* 5.4 million Americans live in substandard housing or
spend more than
half their income on rent. (Fortune, 9/4/00)

* Income inequality declined from the late 1930s
through the '60s. In
the 1920s, the richest five percent of American
families received about
30 percent of the nation's personal income. That share
had decreased to
17.5 percent of income by 1947, and to 15.6 percent by
1969, according
to the Census Bureau (whose figures underestimate high
incomes by,
among other things, excluding capital gains). After a
brief period of
stability, inequality began widening in the late '70s.
The income share
going to the richest five percent of families reached
17.9 percent in
1989, 20.3 percent in 1996. The richest one-half of 1
percent of
American taxpayers now account for more than 11
percent of aggregate
income. In recent years, only college graduates, about
a quarter of the
work force, have racked up significant wage gains.
(Frank Levy, "The
New Dollars and Dreams: American Incomes and Economic

* From 1989 to 1999, real compensation for the average
CEO rose 62.7
percent. The ratio of CEO pay to average worker pay
stands at 107:1. In
1989, it was 56:1.(Economic Policy Institute)

* Since 1979, the average income of the
highest-earning one percent of
Americans has increased by roughly 80 percent, while
the income of the
highest-earning 20 percent has increased by 18
percent. The bottom 60
percent of the population has experienced a decrease
in real income.
(Shifting Fortunes)

* In 1973, the combined income of the highest-earning
20 percent of
American families was 7.5 times that of the bottom 20
percent. By 1996,
the multiple was 13. (Census Bureau)

* In 1998, the average American worker's
inflation-adjusted weekly
wages were 12 percent below what they had been in
1973. (Collins,
Leondar-Wright and Sklar, Shifting Fortunes)

* In 1947, children were slightly less likely than
adults to be poor.
Now the reverse is true. (Frank Levy) The official
poverty rate among
children is about twenty percent. Among adults, it's
twelve percent.
(New York Times, 1/4/99)

* Although the wage gap has moderated slightly in the
last few years,
over-all income differences continue to widen, due to
the impact of
stock market gains. Americans with taxable incomes
above $200,000 may
only constitute a tenth of a percent of the
population, but they
accounted for 18.1 of the household income reported in
1996, up from
14.6 percent in 1994. In 1997, that share increased
again, to 19.9
percent. (New York Times, 2/28/99)

* Among chief executives of the biggest U.S.
corporations, the median
increase in overall compensation was about 10 percent
last year, up
from 25 percent in 1997, according to Graef Crystal.
Corporate profits,
meanwhile, rose 5 percent, and factory employees' pay,
2.6 percent.
(New York Times, 4/4/99)

* With stock options factored in, the average CEO of a
major U.S.
corporation made $7.8 million in 1997, up from $5.8
million in 1996.
(Business Week, 4/20/98)

* The average CEO makes 728 times more than a minimum
wage worker. If
the minimum wage had risen at the same rate as
executive pay over the
last three daces, it would stand at nearly $41 an hour
as opposed to
$5.15. (Institute for Policy Studies/United for a Fair
Economy, April
23, 1998)

* As a result of the merger between Chrysler and
Daimler Benz, Chrysler
chairman Robert Eaton will get $69.9 million in cash
and stocks, and
options worth another $239 million. In 1997, Daimler
chairman Juergen
Schrempp took home $2.5 million, while Eaton made $16
million, though
Schrempp ran a larger and more profitable company.
(United for a Fair

* Since 1986, Bill Gates has been earning money at the
rate of roughly
$650,000 an hour. If there were such a thing as a $500
bill, it would
not be worth Mr. Gates' while to take the time (circa
4 four seconds)
to bend down and pick one up off the ground. (Bill
Gates Net Worth

* The average wage of a Silicon Valley software
engineer was $95,800 in
1998, the most recent year for which the data is
available. In the
largest of all employment categories, "local and
visitor services"
(including retail and restaurant workers), the average
wage was
$22,9000. (The New York Times, Jan. 10, 2000).

Health Patterns

Infant Mortality

* Eight American infants die for every 1,000 who are
born. The infant
mortality rate for African-Americans is twice as high:
15.8 deaths per
1,000 live births. (Childrens Defense Fund)

* The only OECD nations with higher rates of infant
mortality are
Hungary, Korea, Mexico, Poland, and Turkey. In 1994,
31,710 U.S. babies
died. Fifteen thousand of them would have survived if
our infant
mortality rate was equal to Japan's. (Childrens
Defense Fund)    Life

* The United States spends more on medical care--13.6
percent of gross
domestic product--than any other advanced
industrialized society. Yet
among the 29 OECD nations, we rank 21st in life
expectancy. (Childrens
Defense Fund) The average life expectancy for white
Americans is 76.8
years. For black Americans, it stands at 70.2 years
(Department of
Human Services Health United States Report, 1998)

* Death rates in the most economically divided
metropolitan areas--such
as Pine Bluff, Ark., an Mobile, Ala.--are sharply
higher than the
national annual average of 850 deaths per 100,000
people. The increase
in mortality--an extra 140 deaths per 100,000
people--is equivalent to
the combined loss of life from lung cancer, diabetes,
motor vehicle
accidents, HIV, infection, suicide and homicide during
1995. (Lynch
J.W., Kaplan G.A., Pamuk E.R., et al. "Income
inequality and mortality
in metropolitan areas of the United States," American
Journal of Public
Health 1998)

The Uninsured

* Roughly forty-three million Americans--one sixth of
the population--
have no health insurance. In 1990, the figure was 32
million. (Knight-
Ridder 2/19/99)

* Eighteen percent of workers between 18 and 64 were
uninsured in 1997--
an increase of 15.7 percent over 1990. Sixty-nine
percent of white
workers were covered by employer-sponsored insurance,
compared with 52
percent of African American workers and 44 percent of
Latino workers.
(Sacramento Bee)

* One in four American workers has no access to
employment-based health
insurance coverage at any price. (General Accounting
Office, Feb 1997,
Employment-Based Health Insurance Costs)

* About ten million children are uninsured. In 1996,
70 percent of all
Americans added to the ranks of the uninsured were
children. (Census


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