Sunday, April 15, 2012

Left Side of the Aisle #52 - Part 6

Everything You Need to Know: about income inequality in the US in just two graphics.

I've talked numerous times about how the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer - and so are the rest of us. Just last week, for example, I mentioned that the average pay for a CEO is now about 1000 times that of an average worker; as recently as 1970, it was just 40 times.

There is something called the GINI coefficient. It is a standard measure of income inequality in a society or a country. It's set up so that if the coefficient is zero, it would mean that everyone has exactly the same amount of money; if it's one, then one person has all the money. Obviously no nation fits either description and the rankings generally run from 0.23 at the most equal end to 0.70 at the most unequal end.

Here's graphic one: It's a world map showing nations of the world arranged and color-coded by their GINI coefficients. (The nations in gray are ones where there is not enough data to make a judgment.)

I know that graphic is a little confusing, a little hard to read, so I'll make make it simple: The next graphic shows the nations that are more unequal than US, that have a worse, a less fair, distribution of income than the US, in red. Those nations that are less unequal, that have a more equal, a fairer, distribution of income than the US are in blue. Here it is:

And that is Everything You Need to Know.


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