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Global economic inequality: the billionaires vs. the penniless

September 18, 2012 1 comment

from Deniz Kellecioglu

The top richest individuals of the world have economically recovered from the global financial crises and its aftermath. They are now actually wealthier than five years ago.

A look at the Forbes annual lists of the world’s billionaires reveal that this group had their wealth almost halved between 2008 and 2009. However, this proved to be just a temporary slump as all their losses were recovered in just two years (see table below). If people in poverty could also recover like that, it would be easy to eradicate poverty. Read more…

Proletarianisation under neoliberalism in the Arab world*

April 24, 2012 12 comments

from Ali Kadri

Between 1980 and 2010 the share of the rural to total population in the Arab world dropped significantly from about 60 percent to around 40 percent. In absolute terms, an estimated seventy million people left the countryside to urban centres at home.[1] This conservative estimate is nearly equivalent to the total number of rural-urban migrants since the beginning of the twentieth century until 1980. While this exodus was occurring, the regional rate of unemployment was rising and the share of labour in the form of wages fell to around a quarter of national income.[2] By 2007, the Arab League declared that more than half the Arab population was living at less than the two-dollar per day benchmark.[3] Basic food production was decreasing and food imports were rising in this high per capita food dependent and scarcest-water area globally. Around half the population in the Arab world was spending more than half of its income on purchasing food.[4] When speculation reached the commodity market and basic food prices rose, scuffles before bakeries in Egypt resulted in several fatalities.[5] The agricultural sector was shrinking relative to the economy. The productive economy, in turn, was de-industrialising and retreating relative to oil and geopolitical rents.[6] The deconstruction sustained by the agricultural sector, in particular, led to massive dislocation throughout the neoliberal age.

The explanation of this phenomenon afforded by the class of neoclassical economy models known as dual-economy models are unfitting tools for understanding why and how this process could undergo unchecked for three decades. Read more…

Categories: Arab World, oil, poverty

United States of low wages

April 24, 2012 7 comments

from David Ruccio

Read more…

Categories: income inequality, poverty

United States of economic insecurity (charts)

November 29, 2011 2 comments

from David Ruccio

Almost half of all Americans, or 45 percent of the U.S. population , do not earn enough to cover their basic expenses. They live in a state of economic insecurity.

A new report by Wider Opportunities for Women [pdf] documents the extent to which large numbers of Americans—including those who played by the rules and managed to find jobs, form household, and raise children—are living on the edge. They simply do not earn enough to pay ever-increasing housing, food, health care, and other expenses. Read more…

Categories: inequality, Plutonomy, poverty

United States of growing child poverty

September 28, 2011 1 comment

from David Ruccio

source

Here are some of the key findings: Read more…

Categories: poverty

United states of child poverty

August 22, 2011 2 comments

from David Ruccio

Who cares about the children? Certainly not the United States.

According to a recent report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation [pdf], over the last decade, child poverty surged in 38 states and erased many of the gains in child well-being made in the last 20 years. For the nation as a whole, child poverty increased 18 percent between 2000 and 2009: from 17 percent in 2000 to 20 percent in 2009. That means, 14.7 children now live in poor households, 2.5 million more than a decade ago.  Read more…

Categories: poverty

Chart of the day: USA food stamps

August 6, 2011 3 comments

from David Ruccio

Food stamp usage in the United States is, once again, at an all-time high: 45,753,078 individuals and 21,581,234 households participated in SNAP during May 2011.  Read more…

Categories: food, poverty
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