Here's The State Of The Union You Won't Hear About Tonight

Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone's political editor, has his own take on the State of the Union.
Here's The State Of The Union You Won't Hear About Tonight

They keep telling us we're in a recovery, but those of us out here in Reality Land know the number on their charts have nothing to do with the real economy. Via Rolling Stone's Tim Dickinson, the state of the union we're not likely to hear about tonight:

1. New income generated since 2009 that has gone to the top 1 percent: 95 percent

2. Financial wealth controlled by the bottom 60 percent of all Americans: 2.3 percent

3. Record combined wealth of the top 400 richest Americans: $2,000,000,000,000

4. Real decline in median middle-class incomes since 1999: $5,000

5. Percentage of Hispanic and African-American children living in poverty, respectively: 33.8 percent; 36.7 percent

6. Amount that food stamps will be cut in 2014: $5 billion

7. Federal minimum wage: $7.25

8. What the minimum wage would be if it had kept pace with gains in worker productivity since 1968: $21.72

9. Number of U.S. workers laboring at or below minimum wage: 3.6 million – the near equivalent of the population of Los Angeles.

10. Stealth taxpayer subsidy to the fast-food industry, paid out as safety-net benefits to McWorkers earning poverty wages: $7 billion

11. Global carbon dioxide levels measured in parts per million: 397

12. Maximum concentration of the greenhouse gas that scientists deem sustainable: 350

13. Years since the turn of this century that have ranked among the warmest 15 on record: All 13

14. Rank of 2013 on that list of the warmest years on record: Number Four

15. U.S. defense spending as of 2012: $682 billion

16. Dollar amount by which that surpassed our nearest plausible military rival, China: $516 billion

17. Federal deficit last year: $680 billion

18. Number of Americans disenfranchised from voting for felony convictions: 5.9 million

19. Share of those disenfranchised voters who are African-American: 37 percent

20. Number of Americans arrested annually for marijuana possession: 658,000

21. Total incarcerated U.S. population: 2.3 million

22. Total population on probation/parole: 4.8 million


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23. States that could be entirely filled by all of the Americans under correctional supervision: Nevada and Kentucky

24. Official unemployment rate: 6.7 percent

25. Alternate rate including Americans who've given up looking for work, or have only been able to secure part-time employment: 13.1 percent

26. Number of jobs the United States is still down from 2008 employment peak: 1.69 million

27. Number of Americans who were cut off from long-term unemployment benefits at the turn of the year: 1.3 million

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