DOUBLE CLICK ON THE GREEN PIE CHART TO ENLARGE
You can always learn something new.
I was so stunned by the pie graphs Paul Solman showed on the PBS News Hour (shown in pretty poor reproduction to the left)
I showed them around the office.
The top pie shows how wealth is distributed in Sweden, and the bottom pie shows the United States, with the yellow slice showing the proportion of all national wealth owned by the top 20% in the nation, the wealthiest 1/5 of the country; the blue slice is what the next most wealthy 20% owns; the magenta slice shows the next 20%'s slice of the pie and so on, down to the lowest 40%, which owns less than 1% of all the wealth in the USA, but in Sweden the poorest 40% owns roughly 25% of all the weath.
So I did what Paul Solman did on the News Hour: I asked people in my office which country they would rather live in, Sweden where the wealth is distributed more evenly or the USA where they wealth is so uneven, where 84% of all the wealth is owned by just 20% of the people.
Of the three coworkers I asked, two said, immediately, they like the Swedish distribution, although not speaking Swedish they would not want to live there.
But one of my coworkers looked at it and said, "Well, to get that distribution, the Swedes had to tax their wealthy. It's a socialist system. I'd rather live here."
When I pressed her she said, she did not make enough money to pay taxes and she had a lot of relatives who don't want to work for a living and she doesn't want to pay taxes to support them.
But it does finally reveal why some people support the Tea Party, and the Republican Party.
There really are people who are offended by the idea of supporting their neighbors, even their relatives. They'd rather have less themselves, just to be sure the undeserving do not get a bigger share. The idea that the richest 1/5 of Americans own over 80% of all the wealth does not disturb these people. Even if the rich do not deserve their wealth, in the sense of not having earned it, that does not disturb my co worker.. What bothered her was not that the rich may not deserve their wealth; what bothered this lady is that someone who does not deserve a hand out may get that support.
One interesting thing about this woman: She is a devout Christian.
Where do you begin with this?