Tuesday, August 01, 2006

US Economy Worse Than Europe's

When it comes to income inequality and employment for disadvantaged populations. That's according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research :

Is the U.S. a Good Model for Reducing Social Exclusion in Europe?,” by economist John Schmitt and researcher Ben Zipperer, found that the United States fares worse than Europe on a range of social and economic indicators, including most measures of poverty, health, education and crime rates.. the U.S. is the most unequal of the major OECD countries, with a higher Gini coefficient, lower relative incomes among poor households and a bigger gap between rich and poor. The report notes that:
- The U.S. has a smaller share of low-income workers that make it to higher income levels than any other OECD country. This contradicts the widespread belief that American workers have a much greater chance of getting ahead than do European workers.

In totally unrelated news, House Republicans pulled a major slime move this week, passing a $2 minimum wage increase BUT tying it to a repeal of the estate tax, which helps a tiny percentage of the very very rich. NYT: Democrats criticized the decision as a cynical charade intended
to give Republicans the appearance of supporting an increase in the
minimum wage through a bill that would not clear the Senate because of
opposition to an estate tax change aimed at extremely affluent

"In all my years here, this is the height of hypocrisy," said
Representative Sander M. Levin, Democrat of Michigan, who said
Republicans considered a raise in the minimum wage only out of fear of
losing House seats in November. "If you really cared, you would have
acted long ago. This is not an election-year conversion; it is an
election-year trick."

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