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A graphic look at America's rich and poor
Upside down priorities

November 16, 2007 | Pages 8 and 9

CEOs ARE getting rich while working people fall further behind. The U.S. government spends $1 million every five minutes on the occupation of Iraq while social needs go unmet. ERIC RUDER examines the wealth gap and the way government spending on the military sucks up resources that could be used to improve living standards.

Click on the images below to view the graphic.

War (spending): What is it good for?

That money could have been spent on...

The growing gap between rich and poor

CEOs vs. workers

How do U.S. living standards compare?


Where you can find the facts

The biannual State of Working America report is an excellent source of facts, figures and tables about living conditions for U.S. workers. Selections from it are available online.

The National Priorities Project provides a running ticker of U.S. spending on the war in Iraq, as well as other data. United for a Fair Economy, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and the War Resisters League also make a lot of useful data available on their Web sites.

Journalist David Cay Johnston's book Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super-Rich--and Cheat Everybody Else looks at the role played by the tax system in facilitating a shift in wealth from poor to rich.

The Case for Socialism, by Socialist Worker editor Alan Maass, also contains a wealth of useful statistics about working-class living standards as well as a socialist analysis of how the wealth of the few depends on the poverty of the many.

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