Monday, July 26, 2010

Some additional facts and figures.

Post 530 - Here's this week's selection of facts and figures. If I don't know about it, I can't do anything about it. And there seems to be a lot that needs doing these days:

In 1950, roughly one in 20 men of prime working age wasn’t working; today that ratio is about one in five, the highest ever recorded.

In World War Two, the ratio of U.S. dead to wounded was 1 to 4. In Vietnam it was 1 to 15. In Afghanistan, it’s been running about 1 to 40. The next time you read about the number who've been killed, remember it's only the tip of the iceberg.

Remember also that the number of homeless veterans from the Vietnam war today is greater than the number who died in it.

The average worth of Pakistani members of Parliament is $900,000, with its richest member topping $37 million, according to a December study by the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency in Islamabad. The rules say that anyone who earns more than $3,488 a year must pay income tax, but few do. Akbar Zaidi, a Karachi-based political economist with the Carnegie Endowment, estimates that as many as 10 million Pakistanis should be paying income tax, far more than the 2.5 million who are registered. Out of more than 170 million Pakistanis, fewer than 2 percent pay income tax, making Pakistan’s revenue from taxes among the lowest in the world. This is a sorry performance for a country that’s among the largest recipients of American aid, payments of billions of dollars that prop up the country’s finances and are intended to help its leaders fight the insurgency. Just thought you'd like to know where your tax money ends up .....

More than 1,200 government agencies and 1,900 private companies in the U.S. work on counter-terrorism, homeland security and intelligence programs at around 10,000 sites across the country. An estimated 854,000 people have top-secret security clearance. These analysts produce more than 50,000 reports a year - a flow of paper so great that many are completely ignored., one of the nation’s largest booksellers, recently announced that for the last three months, sales of books for its e-reader, the Kindle, outnumbered sales of hardcover books. In that time, Amazon said, it sold 143 Kindle books for every 100 hardcover books, including hardcovers for which there is no Kindle edition.

Ireland has the highest percentage of heavy underage drinking in Europe. It’s estimated that one in four 15- to 16-year-olds gets drunk at least three times a month, and 50,000 children get drunk every weekend.

Thousands of offenders across the U.S. are placed on a rehabilitation program called Changing Lives Through Literature as an alternative to prison. Repeat offenders of serious crimes such as armed robbery, assault or drug dealing are made to attend a reading group where they discuss literary classics such as To Kill a Mockingbird, The Bell Jar and Of Mice and Men. Of the 597 who have completed the course in Brazoria County, Texas, between 1997 and 2008, only 6% had their probations revoked and were sent to jail. A year-long study of the first cohort that went through the program, which was founded in Massachusetts in 1991, found that only 19% had re-offended compared with 42% in a control group.

The U.S. used to lead the world in educational attainment with 55.8 percent of young adults holding an associates degree or better. We now rank 12th among 36 developed nations. Canada leads the world with 55.8 percent compared to 40.4 percent here in America. The problem is even worse for low-income students and minorities: only 30 percent of African-Americans ages 25-34, and less than 20 percent of Latinos in that age group, have an associate’s degree or higher. And students from the highest income families are almost eight times as likely as those from the lowest income families to earn a bachelor’s degree by age 24. However, you can’t do anything college completion if you don’t also do something about K-12 education.

Over a 40-year career, a man earns, on average, $431,000 more than a woman, according to the Center for American Progress.

"While we consider when to begin, it becomes too late." - Japanese Proverb

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

John: We need people like you to stir up interest in CLTL! I'd like to see you lead the way on this in California! Bob Waxler