MUST WATCH: Wealth Inequality in America, perception vs reality (data visualization)

Alarming doesn’t quite cover it…

I’d read about this report before, but the data visualization here really makes it crystal clear how abysmal our situation is. One of the best data visualizations I’ve seen. (Although I still think showing the HEIGHT of the wealth of the top 1% would have been more effective than trying to present it as a block.)

If you know anyone who doesn’t understand what the whole “99%” thing is about, show them this. Hell, just show it to everyone you know. The future of our country could depend on it…

(But God forbid we raise taxes on the wealthy by a few percentage points — oh no, no no nonono, that would be unfair, that would be “wealth redistribution,” that would be “Socialism,” that would punish success, that would hurt the economy, that would kill jobs by taking money from the “producers,” the “job creators”… blahblahblhablahblahblhab. Crock. Of. Excrement.

The silver lining in this cloud (or black hole of toxic sludge and fecal matter) we’re in? The people are united. 90% of us at least. And the main reason those at the top can get away with this, is that we are ignorant. Our perception of reality is completely flawed. With this information now spreading like wildfire, and presented in such a way than any person can easily grasp it, maybe class consciousness will start to emerge again…

[ via @mashable : ]

It’s gettin hard out here for a pimp: World’s richest woman makes case for $2-a-day pay

The world’s richest woman, Australian mining tycoon Gina Rinehart, said her country’s mining industry couldn’t compete with nations that are willing to pay workers less than $2 a day for their sweat and labor.

The implicit suggestion: Employers should be free to pay workers whatever they please.

This echoes Rinehart’s earlier to-do list, in which she urged Aussie lawmakers to cut the minimum wage so that, well, she wouldn’t have to spend so much money on things like workers’ salaries and benefits.

“The evidence is inarguable that Australia is becoming too expensive and too uncompetitive to do export-oriented business,” Rinehart said at the Sydney Mining Club. “Africans want to work, and its workers are willing to work for less than $2 per day. Such statistics make me worry for this country’s future.”

Yep, it’s getting harder and harder to be a job creator.

Rinehart knows what it means to pull yourself up by the bootstraps. She inherited a fortune now estimated to be worth about $18 billion. That’s a heavy burden to bear.

Yet, inexplicably, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard didn’t take Rinehart’s advice in the generous spirit with which it was offered.

“It’s not the Australian way to toss people $2, to toss them a gold coin, and then ask them to work for a day,” Gillard said. “We support proper Australian wages and decent working conditions.”