Thursday, March 29, 2007

Income Inequality – The US Falling Behind.

I heard two stories on the radio this morning – back-to-back. The first was about how the income divide is growing in this country between rich and poor (which you hardly need research to see).
The second was about how the US has fallen from 1st in the world for technology adoption to 7th according to the 2006-07 Networked Readiness Index put out by the World Economic Forum www.weforum.org , which measures the adoption of information and communications technology. This year, the number one spot was taken by Denmark, which has been steadily advancing, followed by Sweden, Singapore, Finland, Switzerland, the Netherlands and then the US, Iceland and the UK. To my mind, these issues are related – the fact that wealth is not spread, that cell phone use is a status issue here more than elsewhere. Requiring that people sign on for two-year plans in order to get a cell phone also is responsible for there being fewer cell phone owners than elsewhere.

US Drops in Information Technology Rankings
By VOA News
28 March 2007

Income Gap Is Widening, Data Shows
The New York Times
By David Cay Johnston
Published: March 29, 2007

“The new data also shows that the top 300,000 Americans collectively enjoyed almost as much income as the bottom 150 million Americans. Per person, the top group received 440 times as much as the average person in the bottom half earned, nearly doubling the gap from 1980.”

“The top 1 percent received 21.8 percent of all reported income in 2005, up significantly from 19.8 percent the year before and more than double their share of income in 1980. The peak was in 1928, when the top 1 percent reported 23.9 percent of all income.”

1 comment:

Roger Green said...

I have a post coming up about the widening gap by generations of technology users. I think we probably do a lousy job in making technology less scary, especially for older users who may actually want to use them.