Jim O'Donnell: For inequality Stattos, some interesting reading while you wait for the Government to publish its Pre-Budget Outlook.
The US Congressional Budget Office has reently published its Trends in the Distribution of (US) Household Income between 1979 and 2007. The top 1% saw their household income increase by 275% over the period (Fig I, CBO) with the increase for the top 0.1% being even more dramatic (Fig II, sourced here).
Clearly, Emmanuel Saez's Evolution of Top Incomes in the US could do with updating!
Elsewhere, the Bertelsmann Foundation published the OECD Social Justice Index by the Social Governance Indicators Network. The usual suspects - Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Netherlands - top the social justice weighted index. Ireland is just below the OECD average and proudly ahead of Italy, US, Mexico etc.
Oddly enough, or perhaps not, the same countries topped the Sustainable Governance index produced by the SGI earlier this year. These similar ratings may of course be unrelated and either score may be because it's cold up there in winter! Ireland again comes in half way at 16th out of 31.
Finally, in the UK, Income Data Services report that FTSE 100 Directors increased their earnings by 49% to £2.7m in the last financial year. This comes on top of a 55% increase in the previous financial year.
CEOs saw their income increase by only 43%, to £3.9m, and 35% respectively.
A scattering of tents in the City or Wall Street seems a lonely and inadequate response.
Jim O'Donnell is a member of the TASC Board and currently a Senior Administrator with the GUE/NGL Group in the European Parliament