Why are protesters protesting in the US? [And why Australians shouldn’t be]

From the Business Insider, a set of very simple graphs illustrating exactly why people in the US are unhappy about the direction the country is going. My feeling is that while we should show solidarity with our friends in less fortunate situations overseas, we don’t have the same excuses for protesting about Australia’s direction. Here is a nice example (note decrease in minimum wage and rapid increase in corporate profits):

ceo-pay-has-skyrocketed-300-since-1990-corporate-profits-have-doubled-average-production-worker-pay-has-increased-4-the-minimum-wage-has-dropped-all-numbers-adjusted-for-inflation

The Gini coefficient is a measure that can be used to show how unevenly income is distributed in a country (the higher it is, the worse it is). Most post-industrialised countries have a Gini coefficient around 25 to 35. In the US, the Gini coefficient is 45. That’s up from 41 in 1997.

Conversely Australia’s Gini coefficient has gone from 35 in 1994 and is now 30.5. Income is relatively even in comparison to most other wealthy countries and it has become more even since 1994. We do have income disparity but it’s relatively mild in comparison to the US and many developing countries.

Again from the Business Insider:

There are plenty of important problems in Australia but this is not one of them. My point is that we should focus more effort on the precursors of disparity such as education. I’d much rather see a protest about the ubiquity of alcohol, gambling and junk food advertising in the face of our three largest social problems.

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