Archive for ‘Statistics’

June 3, 2012

Income Inequality Affects Voter Turnout!

We have noticed that money has become dangerously intertwined with politics, but studies find that the spiraling imbalance between rich and poor may only worsen the democratic political process we so much value as Americans.

As Ari Berman at The Nation notes,

“Electoral politics and the 2012 presidential election have become almost exclusively defined by the 1 percent. Or, to be more precise, the .000063 percent. Those are the 196 individual donors who have provided nearly 80 percent of the money raised by Super PACs in 2011 by giving $100,000 or more each.”

The OECD Better Life Index states that that high voter turnout is a measure of public trust in government and of a citizen’s participation in politics and that high voter turnout also promotes democracy and legitimacy of a government. Their research finds that:

“How well-off you are also affects how likely you are to vote. Voter turnout generally increases with individual income and on average there is a 7% difference between the top 20% of the population and the bottom 20%. This gap reaches 32% in Korea and 28% in the United States.”

In response to the OECD reports, Bryce Covert at The Nation comments:

“Those whose income is in the top 20 percent experience a near 100 percent turnout rate, making full use of their right to vote. But the rate for those in the bottom group is less than three-quarters. That makes for a whopping 28 percent gap between the two on Election Day, which again seems only to be beaten by South Korea.”

As wealth influences politics to favor the rich, and the rich can now purchase the American vote with post-Citizen’s United SuperPACs, together with the defunding of education and other public services ~ we should expect to see a further weakening of the democratic political process.


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July 26, 2011

Pew Study: Minorities Suffer Most with Wealth Gap at Record High

Based on government data from 2009, the non-partisan Pew Research Center found that, on average, white families were 20 times more wealthy than black families and 18 times more wealthy than Hispanic families.

in the 25 years that the the government has been releasing this data, the numbers have never looked this bad. The Pew Research Center found that the housing market bubble burst in 2006 was the largest contributor to wealth loss for minorities.

As government attempts to reduce social safety nets that benefit those who have lost the most during this recession, we should remember who caused this economic collapse in the first place. It sure wasn’t caused by the families who have lost everything and are likely to lose more – it was caused by selfish, disconnected and entitled Wall Street sh*ts who are now richer than ever (and probably laughing at how easy it is to buy our support and our political candidates).

I keep wondering how much longer we will continue to take this. The income and wealth gaps aren’t going to get more fair on their own. Remember that you have a voice, a vote, and an email account to message your representatives.

Read more about the pew study here.

May 15, 2011

Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the US – 2010

This report presents data on income, poverty, and health insurance coverage in the United States based on information collected in the 2010 and earlier Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplements (CPS ASEC) conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Summary of findings:
• The median household income in 2009 was not statistically different from the 2008 median in real terms.
• The poverty rate increased between 2008 and 2009.
• The uninsured rate and number of people without health insurance increased between 2008 and 2009.

Download Document here:  Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the US

May 14, 2011

15 Facts about Income Inequality

Name Based Racial Discrimination

An experiment carried out in Chicago and Boston during 2001 and 2002 shows that resumes with “white-sounding” names, whether male or female, were much more likely to result in call backs for interviews than were those with “black-sounding” names (even though the resumes were otherwise identical).

Child Poverty

In the United States, 21.9 percent of children are in poverty, a poverty rate second only to that of Mexico’s (among rich nations).

Health Insurance

In 2007, 8.1 million children under 18 years old were without health insurance. Children in poverty and Hispanic children were more likely to be uninsured.

CEO Pay

In the U.S., top CEOs in 1970 made 29 times more than the average worker, whereas now they make 1,039 times more than the average worker.

Wage Inequality

Over the last 30 years, wage inequality in the United States has increased substantially, with overall levels of inequality closing in on unprecedented levels.

Productivity and real income

We are a richer country overall because of a spectacular rise in labor productivity. But who has profited from this rise? Although the growth of labor productivity has expanded total national income, the real income and wages of the median worker have at the same time stagnated.

Read more at: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1663552/infographic-of-the-day-15-facts-about-americas-income-inequality

May 14, 2011

Poverty and Inequality in the US

“The facts are stark…Income inequality is extreme and increasing: The top 1% of Americans control 23.5% of all the country’s income, the highest share controlled by the top 1% since 1928. The U.S. ranks #3 among all the advanced economies in the amount of income inequality. The U.S. poverty rate is estimated at 15.8 percent. Only one advanced economy, Mexico, has a higher relative poverty rate.”

Read more at: http://www.stanford.edu/group/scspi/index.html

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