Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wrestling with the Class Guy and How Unequal Are We?

I know my social concerns hurt my writing career, and I should choose between them. Sometimes I'm envious of writers whose politics are conventional or nonexistent. I created the Class Guy blog to try separating my personas, but it just isn't making me happy, so I'll go back to blogging all my interests here.

As Ranger Doug says, it's not the easy way, but it's the cowboy way.

And with that in mind:

Working Group on Extreme Inequality has an updated Extreme Inequality by the Numbers. I want to quote it all, but here are the bits everyone should know:

· Percentage of U.S. total income in 1976 that went to the top 1% of American households: 8.9.
· Percentage in 2007: 23.5.

· Combined net worth of the Forbes 400 wealthiest Americans in 2007: $1.5 trillion.
· Combined net worth of the poorest 50% of American households: $1.6 trillion.

· U.S. minimum wage, per hour: $7.25.
· Hourly pay of Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon, for an 80-hour week: $27,034.74.
· Average hourly wage in 1972, adjusted for inflation: $20.06.
· In 2008: $18.52.

· In 2007, the latest year for which figures are available from the Federal Reserve Board, the richest 1% of U.S. households owned 33.8% of the nation’s private wealth. That’s more than the combined wealth of the bottom 90 percent.

There will be a quiz.