Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wealth Gaps Yawns - and So Do the Media

"Last March, the Insight Center for Community Economic Development released the revelatory report "Lifting as We Climb: Women of Color, Wealth, and Americas Future;' which measures wealth gaps according to gender and race. The results are a national embarrassment, but it's a good guess that you missed the story-because almost no one deemed the data newsworthy."

This article in Utne Reader, September - October, 2010 is well worth reading. As a matter of fact the whole edition is full of valuable information for anyone interested in what's happening to the U.S.

A number of years a go, I got interested in this topic because I perceived that I had just lived through the greatest redistribution of wealth in my life time. And, I had just learned about a new tool to display data, the Motion Chart created by Hans Rosling. Google has the official public version of the tool in its Google Gadgets.

I posted this on my Ning site earlier, but lost it when Ning starting charging. I got the data from the Federal Reserve Board. I had the link to the report, but the report is no longer there (curious). I had hoped I could update the data beyond 2004. There is some data and analysis on Wikipedia but it also ends in 2004.

Personal assets are plotted as a function of personal income by percentile of income. Data was available from 1989 to 2004. You can increase the size of the chart by clicking on the expand symbol in the bottom right hand corner of the video.


video

What this Motion Chart shows is how much faster wealth and income has grown for the upper percentile of U.S. citizens. What the article and the Wikipedia article talk about is how this is accentuated for women and people of color.

You can download a copy of the video here. By the way, the Google Gadget provides an embeddable flash file, but Blogger wouldn't accept it.

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