KOFI ANNAN'S Astonishing Facts!

THE HAVES -- The richest fifth of the world's people consumes 86 percent of all goods and services while the poorest fifth consumes just 1.3 percent. Indeed, the richest fifth consumes 45 percent of all meat and fish, 58 percent of all energy used and 84 percent of all paper, has 74 percent of all telephone lines and owns 87 percent of all vehicles.

NATURAL RESOURCES -- Since 1970, the world's forests have declined from 4.4 square miles per 1,000 people to 2.8 square miles per 1,000 people. In addition, a quarter of the world's fish stocks have been depleted or are in danger of being depleted and another 44 percent are being fished at their biological limit.

THE GANGES -- The Ganges River symbolizes purification to Hindus, who believe drinking or bathing in its waters will lead to salvation. But 29 cities, 70 towns and countless villages deposit about 345 million gallons of raw sewage a day directly into the river. Factories add 70 million gallons of industrial waste and farmers are responsible for another 6 million tons of chemical fertilizer and 9,000 tons of pesticides.

THE ULTRA RICH -- The three richest people in the world have assets that exceed the combined gross domestic product of the 48 least developed countries.

AFRICA -- The average African household today consumes 20 percent less than it did 25 years ago.

THE SUPER RICH -- The world's 225 richest individuals, of whom 60 are Americans with total assets of $311 billion, have a combined wealth of over $1 trillion -- equal to the annual income of the poorest 47 percent of the entire world's population.

COSMETICS AND EDUCATION -- Americans spend $8 billion a year on cosmetics -- $2 billion more than the estimated annual total needed to provide basic education for everyone in the world.

THE HAVE NOTS -- Of the 4.4 billion people in developing countries, nearly three-fifths lack access to safe sewers, a third have no access to clean water, a quarter do not have adequate housing and a fifth have no access to modern health services of any kind.

MEAT -- Americans each consume an average of 260 pounds of meat a year. In Bangladesh, the average is six and a half pounds.

THE FUTURE -- By 2050, 8 billion of the world's projected 9.5 billion people -- up from about 6 billion today -- will be living in developing countries.

SMOKE -- Of the estimated 2.7 million annual deaths from air pollution, 2.2 million are from indoor pollution -- including smoke from dung and wood burned as fuel which is more harmful than tobacco smoke. 80 percent of the victims are rural poor in developing countries.

WRISTWATCHES AND RADIOS -- Two thirds of India's 90 million lowest-income households live below the poverty line -- but more than 50 percent of these impoverished people own wristwatches, 41 percent own bicycles, 31 percent own radios and 13 percent own fans.

TELEPHONE LINES -- Sweden and the United States have 681 and 626 telephone lines per 1,000 people, respectively. Afghanistan, Cambodia, Chad and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have only one line per 1,000 people.

ICE CREAM AND WATER -- Europeans spend $11 billion a year on ice cream -- $2 billion more than the estimated annual total needed to provide clean water and safe sewers for the world's population.

AIDS -- At the end of 1997 nearly 31 million people were living with HIV, up from 22.3 million the year before. With 16,000 new infections a day -- 90 percent in developing countries -- it is now estimated that 40 million people will be living with HIV in 2000.

LANDMINES -- More than 110 million active landmines are scattered in 68 countries, with an equal number stockpiled around the world. Every month more than 2,000 people are killed or maimed by mine explosions.

PET FOOD AND HEALTH -- Americans and Europeans spend $17 billion a year on pet food -- $4 billion more than the estimated annual additional total needed to provide basic health and nutrition for everyone in the world.

$40 BILLION A YEAR -- It is estimated that the additional cost of achieving and maintaining universal access to basic education for all, basic health care for all, reproductive health care for all women, adequate food for all and clean water and safe sewers for all is roughly $40 billion a year -- or less than 4 percent of the combined wealth of the 225 richest people in the world.

Posted to PEN-L by Jim Devine

If we could shrink the earth's population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look something like the following.

There would be:

When one considers our world from such a compressed perspective, the need for both acceptance, understanding and education becomes glaringly apparent.

Equity valuation versus national GDP

Amount in billion dollars



Caribbean, Latin America




Juniper Networks














VA Linux













North Africa, Mideast







Internet Capital



Sprint PCS



Cisco Systems

Sub-Saharan Africa



South Africa

Lucent Technologies



Sycamore Networks





Home Depot






General Electric



Dell Computer



America Online


Papua, New Guinea



New Zealand

American Express

From Left Business Observer

  • The richest 1% of people in the world receive as much as the bottom 57%, or in other words, less than 50 million richest people receive as much as 2.7 billion poor.
  • Someone with an income equal to US$25,000 is richer than 98% of the world population.
  • The poorest tenth of Americans have average incomes higher than 2/3 of the world.
  • The richest tenth of Americans — about 25 million people — have aggregate incomes equal to the poorest 43% of people in the world, almost 2 billion people.
  • The ratio between the average income of the world’s top 5% and world’s bottom 5% increased from 78 to 1 in l988 to 114 to l in 1993.

  • Figures compiled by Don Sloan, M.D. for the People's Daily World

  • Number of people in the world, (pop. 5.5 billion) that live in abject poverty: 1.4 billion
  • Number of people currently expected to die from starvation: 900 million
  • Percentage of those that live in the undeveloped nations: 97
  • Number of children in world dying each year from controllable illness: 12 million
  • Number of people in world that died each of the five years of World War II: 10 million
  • Number of people in world that die each year of preventable social causes: 10 million
  • Cost of one new Osprey aircraft (50 planned): $84 million
  • Annual cost of treatment to eliminate world's malaria cases: $84 million
  • Money set aside annually for malaria control by organized world health: $9 million
  • Money set aside for Viagra pills per annum by organized world health: $40 million
  • Number of children in world blinded yearly from lack of Vitamin A: 500 million
  • Number of women who died during childbirth last year in world: 650,000
  • U.N. estimate of yearly expenditure on war: $800 billion
  • U.N. estimate of yearly expenditure on health services: $25 billion
  • Number of children in world that die by age 5 (yearly): 12 million
  • Percentage of those that succumb to routine preventable health causes: 90
  • Ratio of African-American to white new born deaths in U.S. last year: 2:1
  • Number of reported pediatric measles deaths in U.S. last year: 45
  • Amount of money not allocated by Congress for measles vaccines: $9 million
  • Average amount of 1999 year-end bonus paid to Oxford HMO execs: $6 million
  • Time it takes the Pentagon to spend annual federal allocation for women's health: 15 minutes

  • More figures from the People's Daily World

    The numbers-it's enough to make you cry

    * The wealthiest 1 percent of Americans (2.6 million) received as much after-tax income in 1994 as the bottom 35 percent of the population combined (88 million). By contrast, the bottom 35 percent had nearly twice as much after-tax income as the top 1 percent in 1977.

    * If families in the bottom fifth had received the same share of income in 1994 as they did in 1977, each family would have had $2654 in additional income. Instead, the income of each family in the top 1 percent increased by $132,955.

    * Despite several years of economic growth, the poverty rate declined by less than half a percentage point * 13.7 percent to 13.4 percent * between 1995 and 1997. But this is still higher than the rate in 1989 (13.1 percent) shortly before the recession of the early 1990s.

    * In 1997, the average poor family fell another $200 further below the poverty line, until their income is now $6,602 below the poverty level.

    * In 1996, the number of "very poor" Americans * those making less than half the poverty line * increased by a half million, up to 14.4 million people.

    * Between 1995 and 1997, the decline in the number of people receiving food stamps was five times greater than the decline in the number of people living in poverty.

    * The wealthiest 10 percent of Americans enjoy nearly six times more income than those in the bottom 10 percent, a ratio double many countries and 60 percent higher than average.

    * According to a Luxembourg Income Study comparing purchasing power in 15 countries, low-income Americans are worse off than low-income people in every industrialized country but the United Kingdom.

    (This comparison does not take into account the fact that low-income households in the U.S. must spend more on services such as health care and child care that are more heavily subsidized in other countries.) At the other end, rich Americans have 42 percent more income than the rich in the other nations.

    A Few of Nader's Favorite Stats (from alternet.org)

    According to Nader, the top 1 percent of the richest Americans have wealth equal to the combined wealth of 95 percent of other Americans: "It used to be said a rising economic tide lifts all boats. Now a rising economic tide lifts all yachts."

    Twenty percent of American children live in poverty; in the Netherlands that figure is 3 percent.

    The minimum wage today is lower, in inflation-adjusted dollars, than in 1979.

    Today's worker works 160 hours longer per year than 25 years ago.

    Bill Gates' wealth equals the combined wealth of the poorest 120 million Americans, or 45 percent of our population. "This is a failure of the political system to defend the people."

    Less than one in 10 workers belongs to a trade union in the private sector.

    Two million Americans are in prisons, 500,000 more than in communist China, which has a 1.3 billion population.

    Forty-seven million people work for less than $10 an hour -- this in a decade of sustained economic growth. "With a wage like that, people can't be considered employed despite the fact that they have jobs."

    IPS Facts About Global Inequality

    1. Of the 100 largest economies in the world, 51 are corporations; only 49 are countries (based on a comparison of corporate sales and country GDPs).

    2. The Top 200 corporations' sales are growing at a faster rate than overall global economic activity. Between 1983 and 1999, their combined sales grew from the equivalent of 25.0 percent to 27.5 percent of World GDP.

    3. The Top 200 corporations' combined sales are bigger than the combined economies of all countries minus the biggest 10.

    4. The Top 200s' combined sales are 18 times the size of the combined annual income of the 1.2 billion people (24 percent of the total world population) living in "severe" poverty.

    5. While the sales of the Top 200 are the equivalent of 27.5 percent of world economic activity, they employ only 0.78 percent of the world's workforce.

    6. Between 1983 and 1999, the profits of the Top 200 firms grew 362.4 percent, while the number of people they employ grew by only 14.4 percent.

    7. A full 5 percent of the Top 200s' combined workforce is employed by Wal-Mart, a company notorious for union-busting and widespread use of part-time workers to avoid paying benefits. The discount retail giant is the top private employer in the world, with 1,140,000 workers, more than twice as many as No. 2, DaimlerChrysler, which employs 466,938.

    8. U.S. corporations dominate the Top 200, with 82 slots (41 percent of the total). Japanese firms are second, with only 41 slots.

    9. Of the U.S. corporations on the list, 44 did not pay the full standard 35 percent federal corpo-rate tax rate during the period 1996-1998. Seven of the firms actually paid less than zero in federal income taxes in 1998 (because of rebates). These include: Texaco, Chevron, PepsiCo, Enron, Worldcom, McKesson and the world's biggest corporation - General Motors.

    10. Between 1983 and 1999, the share of total sales of the Top 200 made up by service sector corporations increased from 33.8 percent to 46.7 percent. Gains were particularly evident in financial services and telecommunications sectors, in whichmost countries have pursued deregulation.

    Institute for Policy Studies (http://www.ips-dc.org)

    James Ridgeway, Village Voice, Week of February 6 - 12, 2002

    A survey of public records and private advocacy groups yields the following financial portrait of the American recession:

    Number of millionaires: 2.5 million

    Number of billionaires: 298

    Richest family: the Waltons

    Size of their Walmart fortune: $85 billion

    Second richest: Bill Gates, $63 billion

    Annual take for Enron's Ken Lay: $49.8 million

    Percentage of Americans without pensions: 53

    Average percentage lost by a 401(k) last year: 10

    Number of people without health care: 43 million

    Highest-paid CEO: Michael Dell

    His total annual compensation: $235.9 million

    Dollar ratio of CEO pay to that of minimum-wage workers: 728:1

    People filing for unemployment: 390,000

    Number of people who go hungry every day:31 million (including 12 million children)

    People spending more than half their income for housing: 5.4 million

    Percentage of people who own their own homes: 68

    Number of properties owned by Ken Lay: 18, valued at $30 million