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Senseless Numbers

I know I’ve been an inconstant blogger, but I feel I must share this news today. We all know it, but we should look at these numbers [1] every chance we get.

The top-earning 20 percent of Americans – those making more than $100,000 each year – received 49.4 percent of all income generated in the U.S., compared with the 3.4 percent earned by those below the poverty line, according to newly released census figures. That ratio of 14.5-to-1 was an increase from 13.6 in 2008 and nearly double a low of 7.69 in 1968.

A different measure, the international Gini index, found U.S. income inequality at its highest level since the Census Bureau began tracking household income in 1967. The U.S. also has the greatest disparity among Western industrialized nations.”

Don’t worry, if income inequality doesn’t bother you, other bad news.

The poverty gap between young and old has doubled since 2000, due partly to the strength of Social Security in helping buoy Americans 65 and over. Child poverty is now 21 percent compared with 9 percent for older Americans. In 2000, when child poverty was at 16 percent, elderly poverty stood at 10 percent.

Obviously it’s good that a smaller percentage of older Americans is poor now, but with the first baby boomers turning 65 next year, how long will that trend last? Also, more than 1 in 5 children are impoverished? Not good. Ye olde land of milk and honey is not so much, is it? I sure hope the Republicans manage to save tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, they’re obviously really suffering.