Sunday, June 29, 2008

Dramatically Worse Off

Thomas Pogge reports in Dissent Magazine that

"The United States is fairly typical here: households in the top 1 percent of the income hierarchy expanded their share of national pre-tax income from 9 percent to 21.2 percent since 1979. The bottom eight deciles sustained corresponding losses. The bottom five deciles collectively declined from 26.4 percent to 12.8 percent of national consumption expenditure."

IOW, if your household income is below about $44,000 per year, since 1979 you have lost more than half of your share of the national goods and services then. Let's translate a little more-you have lost transit, you have lost public parks and good education, you have fallen dramatically behind in healthcare, what you actually get is about a half of what you would get for being the same person in Norway or Japan. And the process of losing ground that has gobbled the substance of the poor has been accelerating.

They tell alcoholics that the first step in beating the problem is to recognize they have a problem. I'm guessing the same thing is true for nations, too.

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