Archive for July 10th, 2011

There is a story told of St Kevin of Glendalough. Standing at prayer in a traditional Celtic monastic position with his arms outstretched in the form of a cross, a blackbird came and built a nest and laid her eggs in it. In order not to disturb the eggs, St Kevin stayed in the position until the eggs were hatched. At one point an angel came to Kevin and ordered him to stop the penance.  The saint replied, “It is no great thing for me to bear this pain of holding my hand under the blackbird for the sake of heaven’s king.”

Art by Clive Hicks-Jenkins

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“What is the level of income inequality in our country?

Peter Whoriskey of the Washington Post recently provided a revealing measure. He cited the CIA World Factbook. No surprise the United States rates as less equal than the European Union or Great Britain. Where does it rank?

Between Cameroon and Ivory Coast, and Uganda and Jamaica. Here is something scandalous, a nation of unrivaled wealth in so many ways with its income now distributed in the manner of a developing country….

Many of us know that today the top 1 percent of earners hold 20 percent of the country’s income, a share unmatched since the 1920s. Climb higher on the income ladder, and you discover how much better things have been for the wealthiest one-tenth of 1 percent, and the even wealthier one-hundredth of 1 percent.

The former has enjoyed an average annual income soaring from roughly $1 million a year in 1974 to more than $7 million today (in inflation-adjusted dollars), its share of national income increasing from 2.7 percent to 12.3 percent.

During the same time, the top 0.01 percent has seen its average annual income rise from $4 million to more than $35 million, its share jumping from less than 1 percent to 6 percent.”

Read the rest, from The Akron Beacon Journal’s  Michael Douglas:


This graph shows the percentage of national income going to the top 1% in various developed countries:

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