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Politics by the Numbers

Earlier today I read a DailyKos publication titled “15 things everyone would know if there were a liberal media” by akadjian on August 7th. Although I don’t necessarily agree with the authors indication that all the 15 items are not covered in the media – as I have seen a few of them covered quite a bit – I did like the easy, straight-to-the-point figures and facts provided. So, thought I would share a few. The site link will be available at the bottom of this page if you would like to read the entire article in DailyKos.

Outsourcing of Jobs

I do agree that this topic is not covered enough in the news, nor is it brought up by Democrat politicians very often. This really is a topic every Democrat – and Republican for that matter if they truly care about their voters – should be screaming about at the top of their lungs. We have a jobs problem not solely due to the economy, but because millions of jobs are going overseas. Millions!

Since 2000, U.S. multinationals have cut 2.9 million jobs here while increasing employment overseas by 2.4 million. This is likely just the tip of the iceberg as multinational corporations account for only about 20% of the labor force.

outsourcing_graph

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Upward Redistribution of Wealth

With the Occupy Movement, this was all over in the news, but has died out since then. I do still hear this brought up by Obama and his staff occasionally. Especially during the election.

In 2010, 20% of the people held approximately 88% of the net worth in the U.S. The top 1% alone held 35% of all net worth.

The bottom 80% of people held only 12% of net worth in 2010. In 1983, the bottom 80% held 18% of net worth. (Source)

Who Rules America

wealth spread in US
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Our Prison Population

This is most definitely not covered in the news… and it really needs to be brought to everyone’s attention. This completely sickens me and every citizen should be ashamed of our country on this topic alone. The problem is most people brush off cons and ex-cons like they’re scum, and just don’t really care about them. “They deserve(d) to be locked up.” In reality, most of them do not. The private prison industry has done a frightening job at lobbying and padding wallets in order to pass bills and laws that are purely to help increase the prison population. I keep telling people not to be surprised if in the near future, having (for example) five unpaid parking tickets will require 90 days locked up – and will be in a privately-owned facility. Cha-ching.

Which country in the world has the most people in prison?

You might think it would be China (with 1+ billion people and a restrictive government) or former Soviets still imprisoned in Russia.

Wrong. The United States has the most people in prison by far of any country in the world. With 5% of the world’s population, we have 25% of the world’s prisoners – 2.3 million criminals. China with a population 4 times our size is second with 1.6 million people in prison.

In 1972, 350,000 Americans were in imprisoned. In 2010, this number had grown to 2.3 million. Yet from 1988 – 2008, crime rates have declined by 25%.

incarcerated_americans
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Number of Blacks in Prison

The title says it all. And no, not covered in the news.

In 2009, non-Hispanic blacks, while only 13.6% of the population, accounted for 39.4% of the total prison and jail population.

In 2011, according to FBI statistics, whites accounted for 69.2% of arrests.

Numbers like these suggest a racial bias in our justice system.

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US Health Care, Highest Costs in the World

I cannot stop shaking my head about this one. The Republican Party apparently likes it this way as they so badly want to repeal the first act that has come along in decades which will help get the rising cost of health care under control. Our media does need to compare our healthcare to other countries world-wide, especially against the successful countries.

The expenditure per person in the U.S. is $8,233. Norway is second with $5,388.

Total amount of GDP spent on health care is also the highest of any country in the world at 17.6 percent. The next closest country is the Netherlands at 12%.

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Gerrymandering

The redistricting within states so that the Republicans are able to win a majority of districts. Personally, I think this should be illegal. There is nothing fair nor right about this at all. Each district should be a fairly equal amount of registered Democrats and Republicans. I will agree that this does need to be covered in more detail in the news. Infographic below via Mother Jones.

gerrymandering Florida stats

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The number of bills blocked by Republicans in Congress

More proof that most of the Repulicans, and the party as a whole, just do not care about the welfare of Americans.

The filibuster has been used a record number of time since Obama was elected President. From 2008-2012, 375 bills weren’t even allowed to come to a vote in the Senate because Republicans threatened the filibuster.

In 2013, during the first 6 months, Congress has only passed 15 bills that were signed into law. This is 8 fewer than in the first 6 months of 2012 and 19 fewer than 2011.

Also, until the Senate recently threatened to reform the filibuster, the GOP had succeeded in holding up 79 of President Obama’s picks to the U.S. Circuit Court and Courts of Appeal. They’re blocking these appointments regardless of qualification.

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The impact of temporary workers on our economy

Actually, this is a new stat that I had not seen. It’s a fact I was slightly aware of, but I will agree, there is little to no news coverage about this.

The number of temporary workers has grown by more than 50 percent since the recession ended to nearly 2.7 million.

If freelancers, contract workers, and consultants are included, the number is nearly 17 million workers not directly employed by the companies who hire them. This equals 12 percent of the workforce.

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Who controls the media

I have seen this stat before, but I do not expect to see this covered in the main stream media at all. No one wants to bite the hand that feeds them. This is a very frightening statistic because there will be more and more control of the news as these monoliths of media devour up the independents.

Six corporations – Time Warner, Disney, News Corporation, Viacom, Comcast, and CBS – control roughly 90% of the media in the U.S.

These companies are in business to make a profit.


Source:
Daily Kos: 15 things everyone would know if there were a liberal media

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6 replies »

  1. Most of what I know about these issues I found out watching documentaries or public television. Outlets like Fox must promote the idea of a ‘liberal media’ so they can blame them for things like Romney losing, saying the liberal media didn’t give him enough coverage. Ha!
    I’m glad you brought up the subject of bee hive collapse. In a documentary about that, it was pointed out that if bees become extinct, the human race will follow in about four years. Although I fear being stung, I treat them with the utmost respect.

    • We will. I didn’t mention that in my post only because I wanted to stick to political numbers. But it is worthy of writing about separately. So many people just cannot understand how crucial a couple species of insects can be.

  2. Wow, I knew the control of media was becoming concentrated in the hands of just a few corporations, but I had no idea it was so bad!

    On a different subject, did you change your font? I like it!

    • lol… yes. Just did. I finally took the time and figured out the TypeKit font deal. Not as straightforward as I thought it would be, but I eventually figured it out.

      • I’ve been using TypeKit for several years now. Fun having more options, although I’ve only got the freebies. Fertigo is one of the ones WordPress offers, but maybe not in the weights or variations you want. Been thinking about a change myself, if I can find something I like better that’s free.

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