An interesting piece over at Mother Jones from last May listing a number of statistics about money that make you pause and think. It’s certainly worth a visit to read them all (over forty), but here are a few that caught my eye:
Oscar performers and presenters collectively owe the IRS $1,250,000 on the gift bags they got at the 2006 Academy Awards ceremony. United has cut the pensions and salaries of most employees but promised 400 top executives 8% of the shares it expects to issue upon emerging from bankruptcy (United’s top 8 execs will also get a bonus of between 55% and 100% of their salaries). The 5th leading philanthropist last year was Boone Pickens, in part due to his $165 million gift to Oklahoma State University’s golf program (within an hour, OSU invested it in a hedge fund Pickens controls. Thanks to a Katrina relief provision, his “gift” was also 100% deductible). Public companies spend 10% of their earnings compensating their top 5 executives. Only the wealthiest 20% of Americans spend more on entertainment than on health care. If the $5.15 hourly minimum wage had risen at the same rate as CEO compensation since 1990, it would now stand at $23.03. Bush’s tax cuts give a 2-child family earning $1 million an extra $86,722–or Harvard tuition, room, board, and an iMac G5 for both kids (A 2-child family earning $50,000 gets $2,050–or 1/5 the cost of public college for one kid).
And on the other end:
You can check out all the sources for the article here