U.S. – Top 1% Owns More than Bottom 90%

SourceThe Blue Street Journal  on Facebook

When I saw this graphic in my Facebook News Feed, I immediately recalled the days (early 1980’s) when we thought how unjust and oppressive it was that 14 families owned 90% of the land in El Salvador, and we said no wonder the people revolted. Now the U.S. is the same, but where is the revolt?

A Facebook Friend commented “The problem is that the 90% are easily distracted by lotteries, Faux News, terrorist attacks, wars, immigration, right to life issues and gay rights. They get sucked into voting for special issues. The 1% NEVER get distracted by those things. For them, every issue is only about how it affects their pocketbooks. The issues are adopted by Republicans because they draw votes; not because the 1% care or are even affected by them.”

Processed Meats Too Dangerous to Eat, Cancer Link Confirmed

I was shocked to learn that respected cancer research organizations have been publishing studies since 2005 documenting the link between processed meat and cancer.  The University of Hawaii study of 2005 “found that those who ate the most processed meat had a 67% increased risk of developing the disease compared to those with the lowest intake. (BBC).  Then in May 2011, the blog of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine reported “Processed meat is so strongly linked with colorectal cancer that no one should ever eat it, according to a new report by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research.”  More recently, in 2012, the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) concluded “Processed meats are too dangerous for human consumption.

What is wrong with the mainstream media been that such important health information was not widely disseminated?  I only learned yesterday when a Facebook friend published a link to a recent blog post reprinting an article from a 2012 article by The Institute for Natural Healing.  The information seems so important that I am reprinting large excerpts from the article.

The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) has completed a detailed review of more than 7,000 clinical studies covering links between diet and cancer.1  Bottom line: Processed meats are too dangerous for human consumption. Consumers should stop buying and eating all processed meat products for the rest of their lives.

Processed meats include bacon, sausage, hot dogs, sandwich meat, packaged ham, pepperoni, salami and virtually all red meat used in frozen prepared meals. They are usually manufactured with a carcinogenic ingredient known as sodium nitrite.2 This is used as a color fixer by meat companies to turn packaged meats a bright red color so they look fresh. Unfortunately, sodium nitrite also results in the formation of cancer-causing nitrosamines in the human body. And this leads to a sharp increase in cancer risk for those who eat them.

A 2005 University of Hawaii study found that processed meats increase the risk of pancreatic cancer by 67 percent.3 Another study revealed that every 50 grams of processed meat consumed daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 21 percent.4 These are alarming numbers. Note that these cancer risks do not come from eating fresh, non-processed meats. They only appear in people who regularly consume processed meat products containing sodium nitrite.

Sodium nitrite appears predominantly in red meat products (you won’t find it in chicken or fish products). Here’s a short list of food items to check carefully for sodium nitrite and monosodium glutamate (MSG), another dangerous additive:

Beef jerky, Bacon, Sausage, Hot dogs, Sandwich meat, Frozen pizza with meat, Canned soups and frozen meals with meat, Ravioli and meat pasta foods, Kid’s meals containing red meat, Sandwich meat used at popular restaurants, Nearly all red meats sold at public schools, restaurants, hospitals, hotels and theme parks.

If sodium nitrite is so dangerous to humans, why do the FDA and USDA continue to allow this cancer-causing chemical to be used? The answer, of course, is that food industry interests now dominate the actions by U.S. government regulators. The USDA, for example, tried to ban sodium nitrite in the late 1970′s but was overridden by the meat industry.5 It insisted the chemical was safe and accused the USDA of trying to “ban bacon.”

Today, the corporations that dominate American food and agricultural interests hold tremendous influence over the FDA and USDA. Consumers are offered no real protection from dangerous chemicals intentionally added to foods, medicines and personal care products.

References:

1 http://dietandcancerreport.org/expert_report/recommendations/recommendation_animal_foods.php

2 http://voices.yahoo.com/sodium-nitrite-processed-meats-causes-cancer-2522974.html?cat=5

3 http://preventcancer.aicr.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=15642&news_iv_ctrl=0&abbr=pr_

4 http://organicconsumers.org/foodsafety/processedmeat050305.cfm

5 http://today.com/id/16361276/ns/today-food/t/things-you-need-know-about-deli-meats/

The American Institute for Cancer Research, of which I was previously unaware, has worked for 30 years supporting research and public education about the relationship between diet, nutrition and cancer (unlike better known cancer societies which seem to focus on finding cures).  The American Institute, along with similar organizations in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and the Netherlands, are partners in the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) International .  I only wish this group, or some other, would devote funds to researching environmental causes of cancer – I can’t help but believe that all the chemicals and other pollutants in the air we breathe and the water we drink are major contributors to cancer.

Income Gap: Dramatic Increase 1967-2010

The chart below vividly illustrates how the gap between the wealthy and the middle class has steadily grown since 1967.  Note the chart is in current dollars (1957 income reported in 1967 dollars and 2010 income reported in 2010 dollars).  And we all know that a dollar today won’t buy nearly as much as a dollar would in 1967, so the next chart reports in constant dollars.

Household-Inc-Current-Dollars

The chart below shows the mean (average) household income with all years reported in the equivalent of 2010 dollars.  This chart makes clear that the vast majority of Americans have hardly improved their economic status since 1967.  U.S. economic policies have NOT raised all boats – only the boats of the top 20% and the super rich (top 1%).  This helps us understand why the rising stock market is not an accurate indicator of the economic well-being of the majority.  Gains in productivity and profits have gone to the top earners (& dividend receivers), they have not been equitably distributed to the workers who actually produce more per hour.

Household-Inc-InflationAdj

Source:  Doug Short,  “U.S. Household Incomes: A 44-Year Perspective,:  dshort.com, Sept. 18, 2012.  Online at http://www.advisorperspectives.com/dshort/updates/Household-Income-Distribution.php

Growing Gap between Rich and Everyone Else

According to a recent Pew Research Center study, between the years of 2009 and 2011:

  • Average Net Worth per Household of richest 7% INCREASED by 28%
  • Average Net Worth per Household of other 93% DECREASED by 4%

PEW-HouseholdWealth-ChangedTitle

  • There are 8 million households in the upper 7% and their mean net worth in 2011 was $3,173,895
  • Of the 111 million households in the other 93%, mean net worth in 2011 was $113,817

The richest 7% of households owned 63% of all household wealth in 2011.

The income gap is also increasing

The top 20% of earners received half of all household income.

Between 1979 and 2007

Incomes for the richest 1% increased by a whopping 275%, while

Incomes for middle 60% of Americans increased only 40%.

Sources:

For Household Net Worth Data: Richard Fry and Paul Taylor  “A Rise in Wealth for the Wealthy; Declines for the Lower 93%,” Pew Research Center.

For Income Data: Pauline Jelinek, Associated Press, in “Pew: 93% of households lost net worth 2009-11,” USA Today, April 23, 2013.

Corporations pay few taxes, but benefit mightily from gov’t

“America isn’t broke, but it is being ripped off,” writes The Other 98% on Facebook when posting this infographic.  Seems like the 10% that corporations contribute to government revenues is way out of proportion to the benefits they receive (roads, educated workers, police, etc.,  and especially protection of the courts).

To read more and find the sources for the stats in the infographic, see “American Taxpayers Increasingly Picking Up the Tab for Unpaid Corporate Taxes, ” April 4, 2013 at http://thecontributor.com/economy/american-taxpayers-increasingly-picking-tab-unpaid-corporate-taxes.

Beware Facebook

Great comic illustrating how modern technology can by misused/abused by our corporate elites.

Thanks to Adeline Koh of the Postcolonial Digital Humanities project where she adds this note to her cartoon:

Why the world needs humanists involved in creating and using technology. This bitstrip was inspired by this news story on Facebook users revealing private data through “likes” on the Guardian (HT Brian Jara)

West Bank water seized by Israel

Great infographic from Visualizing Palestine in honor of U.N.’s World Water Day (March 22).  The Israeli government, which controls the Ramallah acquifer located in Palestine’s West Bank, allocates only  70 litres a day for each Palestinian.  The majority of the water is reserved for Israelis – 300 litres a day per Israeli.  Note that the World Health Organization says 100 litres per day per person is the minimum for good health.  (Click on photo to enlarge and read everything – original is 2000 pixels wide.)