[Marxism] The falling class and the one in power.

Chris Brady cdbrady at sbcglobal.net
Sat Feb 7 02:44:03 MST 2004


In looking into the website for that bit on Moyers' "mid class" (I like
that contraction; it's the way they do the Mid East), I came across the
following.  Granted, it may be old news, but since we have so many new
people on the list I thought it might be worth putting it in.  Note the
really powerful dynamic at work in the USA, the imperial center.

Downward Mobility

NOW, (PBS) 10.24.03
Income Disparity Overview
NOW often looks at the flip-side of the American dream, as in its
profile of the struggles of low-wage workers in “Downward Mobility”. NOW
also keeps track of the high end of the income spectrum. Recently we
updated viewers on the fate the past years’ corporate scandals. It seems
that all the bad press and shareholder outrage, executive pay keeps on
rising. According to a August 2003 report by THE ECONOMIST, median
senior total pay among America’s top 350 companies rose by 10 percent
last year, even as median total shareholder returns in those companies
fell by more than 5 percent.

    Turns out that American executive compensation rates are quite
different from those of the rest of the developed world.  In Japan a
typical executive makes eleven times what a typical worker brings home;
in Britain, 22 times.  In America it’s 475 times.

 According to recent studies, the top one percent — the wealthiest among
us — are getting richer and richer.  The Organisation for Economic
Cooperation and Development (OCED) has found the United States to be the
most unequal society of all industrialized nations.  The U.S. ranks last
among OECD nations in terms of income equality, yet in 1993 the poorest
10% of the U.S. population was still wealthier than two-thirds of the
rest of the world.

In its recent report “The State of Working America 2002-03,” the
Economic Policy Institute estimated that the bottom 80 percent of
American households control only about 17 percent of the nation’s
wealth.  Meanwhile, wages, benefits, and working conditions for workers
at the bottom continue to decrease.  Worldwide, the story is the same. A
2002 study by the World Bank found inequality growing not only between
nations, but within nations.

Sources: THE ECONOMIST; THE WORLD BANK; “The State of Working America
2002-03, The Economic Policy Institute
http://www.pbs.org/now/politics/executive2.html

For rankings of individual world nations’ wealth held by their
wealthiest to poorest see:
http://www.pbs.org/now/politics/income.html
but it doesn’t mention Cuba.  That's too bad because it would have
really made a point.  In Cuba the disparity in wealth between those who
have the most and those who have the least is the smallest in the
Western Hemisphere.  As far as I know that could include the other
hemisphere as well.  This exclusion of socialist Cuba begs the question,
non?






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