HopeTracker| We find that facts are in short supply this week, after America’s midterm elections. Nicholas Kristof provides some math in his column Our Banana Republic. Could our Republican or Conservative readers — or better yet the Mama Grizzlies — please confirm that these facts are true?
1) The richest 1 percent of Americans now take home almost 24 percent of income, up from almost 9 percent in 1976.
2) C.E.O.’s of the largest American companies earned an average of 42 times as much as the average worker in 1980, but 531 times as much in 2001.
3) From 1980 to 2005, more than four-fifths of the total increase in American incomes went to the richest 1 percent.
Timothy Noah of Slate argues the United States now has a more unequal distribution of wealth than traditional banana republics like Nicaragua, Venezuela and Guyana. This is not the world of the Founding Fathers, but first thing first.
Are these the right facts that Mr Kristof is using? Our new philosophy is to try to provide a few facts that we can all agree on about America. We’re not suggesting this income disparity reality is good or bad. There’s no moral judgment. Are these facts true? Thanks. Anne