Friday, December 27, 2013

US Ranks Near Bottom of Income Inequality


Pope Francis recently spoke about growing inequality in the world. "Just as the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say "thou shalt not" to an economy of exclusions and inequality." 

Some criticized the Pope as being a Marxist. But the question remains, how unequal are we? 

Max Fisher put together the maps above for Atlantic Magazine. They show America near the bottom. The first map shows the most unequal countries in red and the most equal in green. We're near the extreme end of the inequality scale, with Cameroon, Madagascar, Rwanda, and others. The second map compares other countries to the US. Note that West Africa has more equality than the US. 

And here are 12 facts about America's struggling  lower middle class. Did you know, for example, that half of American families earn less than $60,000 each year?   Or that "a low-income, single parent can face a marginal tax rate as high as 95 percent." 

You can read more about inequality at Bill Moyers and Company here. They put together an essential reader on inequality with many more links.

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