Read

Search form

Five Charts That Show How the U.S. Has Failed To Tackle Its Inequality Gap

Five Charts That Show How the U.S. Has Failed To Tackle Its Inequality Gap
Thu, 6/7/2018 - by Sam Morris and Ed Pilkington
This article originally appeared on The Guardian

A new United Nations poverty report has castigated the U.S. over its extreme poverty levels and inequality. It condemns Trump's “systematic attack on America’s welfare program” and warns that inequality will only increase under his watch.

These five charts, comparing the U.S. to Australia, France, Germany, Japan and the U.K., show how America has become an outlier among developed nations for all the wrong reasons.

A High Level of Income Inequality

The UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty, Philip Alston, warns in his final report on the U.S. that Trump-era policies – including the Republican tax cuts passed in December and proposed reforms to the food stamp program – have already exacerbated inequality.

However it is measured, American inequality is unique. In its report, the UN uses the Gini coefficient, which represents inequality with a single number. A score of zero means everyone has the same income and there is perfect equality. A score of one means a single person possesses all the income.

Poor Turnout at Elections

The U.S. has one of the lowest voting turnout rates. In the 2016 elections, only 55.7% of the voting-age population cast ballots, compared with 78.86% in Australia. The US also has a very low rate of citizens who are registered to vote – 64% of the voting-age population compared with 99% in Japan.

Incarceration Rate is the Highest in the World

There are currently about 2.2 million people behind bars in the US, and it has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. The Trump administration is conflicted on this issue – the president recently welcomed Kim Kardashian West to the White House to discuss prison reform, yet the US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, is toughening up sentencing policy in a way that is likely to further bloat the incarcerated population.

A Crisis of Infant Mortality

As the UN special rapporteur on poverty points out, the country’s infant mortality rate of 5.8 deaths per 1,000 live births is almost 50% higher than the OECD average of 3.9 deaths.

Life Expectancy is Dropping

Life expectancy has dropped in the U.S. for two years in a row, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. American life expectancy is now almost six years shorter than Japan’s.

The fall in life expectancy is not occurring evenly across society. The rich are living longer, while the poor and middle class are seeing their life expectancy taper off and even fall.


Originally published by The Guardian

Sign Up

Article Tabs

public banking, public banks, Bank of North Dakota, public financing, financing infrastructure, Wall Street influence, private-public investments

Private interests’ influence over banking consumes, rather than sustains, the public good.

Dodd-Frank act, Volcker Rule, bank deregulation, Wall Street lobby, proprietary trading, SEC

By revising the Volcker Rule, a centerpiece of the 2010 Dodd-Frank act, the feds are pushing financial regulation in a direction that should worry everyone.

Poor People's Campaign, protesting poverty, California protests, Moral Mondays

On Monday, the California Poor People's Campaign, calling for affordable housing and other policies to address poverty, interrupted the state Senate and forced legislators to halt the floor session.

occupy, creative activism, activism, act out, lockheed martin, STEM, military education, corporate education, coca-cola, water rights, greenwashing, SLAPP, dissent, silencing dissent, criminalizing dissent, human rights, environmental abuse, corporate

The war machine is now branching out – into early childhood education. Meanwhile, Coke's bogus greenwashing, and how corporations use courts to SLAPP down their opponents.

U.K. wealth inequality, U.K. wealth disparity, U.K. poverty, rising poverty

Shortly after the U.K. fell from being the world's fifth biggest economy, a new report shows that Britain is, in no unvarnished terms, infested with poverty.

public banking, public banks, Bank of North Dakota, public financing, financing infrastructure, Wall Street influence, private-public investments

Private interests’ influence over banking consumes, rather than sustains, the public good.

U.S. Border Patrol agents take into custody a father and son from Honduras near the U.S.-Mexico border on June 12, 2018, near Mission, Texas. The asylum seekers were then sent to a processing center for possible separation. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

A new report confirms that Trump and his advisers had been considering the brutal policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the border for as long as they’ve been in power.

Democratic primaries, rigged primaries, Bernie Sanders, establishment Democrats, corporate Democrats, superdelegates, Democratic National Committee

If Democrats want any hope of voting Trump out, they must fix the broken primary system before the next election.

Dodd-Frank act, Volcker Rule, bank deregulation, Wall Street lobby, proprietary trading, SEC

By revising the Volcker Rule, a centerpiece of the 2010 Dodd-Frank act, the feds are pushing financial regulation in a direction that should worry everyone.

Poor People's Campaign, protesting poverty, California protests, Moral Mondays

On Monday, the California Poor People's Campaign, calling for affordable housing and other policies to address poverty, interrupted the state Senate and forced legislators to halt the floor session.

Dodd-Frank act, Volcker Rule, bank deregulation, Wall Street lobby, proprietary trading, SEC

By revising the Volcker Rule, a centerpiece of the 2010 Dodd-Frank act, the feds are pushing financial regulation in a direction that should worry everyone.

Posted 4 days 22 hours ago
public banking, public banks, Bank of North Dakota, public financing, financing infrastructure, Wall Street influence, private-public investments

Private interests’ influence over banking consumes, rather than sustains, the public good.

Posted 21 hours 52 min ago
occupy, creative activism, activism, act out, lockheed martin, STEM, military education, corporate education, coca-cola, water rights, greenwashing, SLAPP, dissent, silencing dissent, criminalizing dissent, human rights, environmental abuse, corporate

The war machine is now branching out – into early childhood education. Meanwhile, Coke's bogus greenwashing, and how corporations use courts to SLAPP down their opponents.

Posted 5 days 21 hours ago
U.K. wealth inequality, U.K. wealth disparity, U.K. poverty, rising poverty

Shortly after the U.K. fell from being the world's fifth biggest economy, a new report shows that Britain is, in no unvarnished terms, infested with poverty.

Posted 6 days 20 hours ago
net neutrality, FCC, Resolution of Disapproval, net neutrality rules, two-tiered internet, internet freedom, Congressional Review Act, net neutrality repeal, Freedom Works, Ajit Pai

"Any lawmaker, of any party, that fails to sign the discharge petition in support of the CRA will regret it come election time."

Posted 6 days 20 hours ago
occupy, creative activism, activism, act out, lockheed martin, STEM, military education, corporate education, coca-cola, water rights, greenwashing, SLAPP, dissent, silencing dissent, criminalizing dissent, human rights, environmental abuse, corporate

The war machine is now branching out – into early childhood education. Meanwhile, Coke's bogus greenwashing, and how corporations use courts to SLAPP down their opponents.

U.K. wealth inequality, U.K. wealth disparity, U.K. poverty, rising poverty

Shortly after the U.K. fell from being the world's fifth biggest economy, a new report shows that Britain is, in no unvarnished terms, infested with poverty.

net neutrality, FCC, Resolution of Disapproval, net neutrality rules, two-tiered internet, internet freedom, Congressional Review Act, net neutrality repeal, Freedom Works, Ajit Pai

"Any lawmaker, of any party, that fails to sign the discharge petition in support of the CRA will regret it come election time."

voter ID laws, disenfranchisement, Supreme Court, National Voter Registration Act, ACLU

Large numbers of voters—largely low income and minorities—could be blocked from casting ballots in November if they haven't participated in recent elections.

Poor People's Campaign, protesting poverty, California protests, Moral Mondays

On Monday, the California Poor People's Campaign, calling for affordable housing and other policies to address poverty, interrupted the state Senate and forced legislators to halt the floor session.