With all the budget talk this week, it wouldn’t be right to have a #TCFBest without including an article about spending. Mother Jones fills this void with an excellent, illustrated look at the massive pile of money known as the U.S. military’s bank account. In contrast to the world’s largest military power, Wonkblog details how America’s wealth inequality is not a global trend, particularly in upwardly mobile China. But it’s not all bad news. The Atlantic shows us that homelessness nationwide is on the decline. Read the recaps below.
Inequality heard ‘round the world.
The minds at Wonkblog published an article this week showing America’s inequality problem doesn’t translate everywhere. It especially doesn’t apply in China, where tens of millions of the formerly poor are now sitting comfortably in the middle class. China’s upward income mobility occurred in spite of stagnation in other developed countries. Who is at the bottom of the inequality totem pole? Head over to the Washington Post’s Wonkblog for more.
Homelessness from coast to coast.
Stemming from the much lauded New York Times expose on homelessness in New York City, The Atlantic decided to investigate what homeless populations look like elsewhere. Their findings are quite thought-provoking: other cities and states across the country saw homelessness decrease over the last year…and in the last five years. NYC’s homelessness trend is reversed in other areas of the U.S., declining by 9 percent since 2007, and shelters are helping to get more homeless persons off the street. On the other hand, just five states account for more than 50 percent of the country’s homeless population. Still, in many areas, it seems progress does exist. Camp out at The Atlantic to read more of their findings.
The Pentagon is spending how much?
Mother Jones comes out swinging this week with an investigation of the Pentagon’s budget and U.S. military spending in the wake of the Ryan-Murray budget plan (complete with infographics!). There is a lot of information to consider, but some of the highlights include: Under the R-M plan, the Pentagon will see an upgrade in the form of an additional $32 billion. No cuts here. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars also carried a hefty price tag, costing $1.5 trillion of almost entirely borrowed funds. To put it into perspective, that’s twice the cost of the Vietnam War, which also didn’t go over very well. But back to the Pentagon. Its 2012 budget was 47 percent bigger than Walmart’s. Walmart. Probably the tastiest infographic from the article prices an F-35 in cupcakes (in case you’re wondering, this particular fighter jet is worth 42 million cupcakes.) Tally the full bill at Mother Jones.