August 31, 2005

Progress report

From the Progress Report, via Sam Smith's Undernews:

Last year, 37 million Americans -- 12.7 percent of the population -- lived in poverty. The figures represent "the fourth straight year that the report found an increase in the U.S. poverty rate." In 2000, there were 5.5 million fewer people below the poverty line. Nevertheless, the Bush administration spun the poverty rates as "good news," noting that there were other times in American history when the poverty rate was higher.

The median income in 2004 was unchanged from the previous year. It's the fifth straight year median income failed to increase, the first time that's happened since the government began collecting the data in 1967. Many people saw their earnings decrease. For example, the median income for all non-elderly households decreased by $600 as compared to 2003.

As millions of Americans struggled, corporate CEOs enjoyed another banner year. In 2004, the average CEO made 430 times as much as the average worker, up from a ratio of 301-to-1 in 2003. If the minimum wage had grown at the same rate as CEO pay since 1990, "the lowest paid workers in the US would be earning $23.03 an hour today."