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Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See for full contents of our site

January 28, 2010



National Endowment for the Arts reports the number of American adults attending arts and cultural events has sunk to its lowest level since 1982 when the NEA began conducting the poll.

The same report said that the number of 18-24 year olds who reported having had any arts education had declined one third since 1982


Number of women owned businesses is up 51% since the mid 1990s

Number of MBAs issued has risen 310% since the 1970s. - 09


Number of secret wiretaps is up over 100% since 2000

Police SWAT team deployments are up 1500% since 1980

More than 12 million American citizens have been arrested on marijuana charges since 1965.


Past decade was warmest on record. . . 2009 was second hottest since 1880

U.S. ranked 61st on environmental scorecard


Student loan debt up has risen seven times since the 1980s

Per capita spending on prisons vs. schools is six times greater than in 1980s.

Decline in teachers who eat lunch with students: 27% since the 1960s -

Decline in number of public elementary schools since 1960: 16% despite a 16% increase in students

Percent of blacks in college up 66% since 1970s


Every group of individuals has seen a drop in cancer mortality since 1925.

Longevity sets another record

The number of people under 65 without health insurance has increased by more than 20 million people since its lowest point in 1978. - 2009

Fatal heart disease down 60% since the 1950s

Fatal motor accidents down 37% since the 1950s

Suicide rate down 18% since the 1950s

38% of small businesses provided health insurance in 2008 compared to 61% in 1993

Healthcare benefit with pension: 2/3 of pensions in the 1980s; one half now

Percent of corporations with healthcare benefits down 19% since the 1980s.

Health care expenditures as a percent of GDP up 190% since the 1960s

Number of public hospitals down one third since the 1970s

Infection rate in hospitals up 36% since the 1970s

Childhood obesity up 400% since the mid 1960s


Sales of previously occupied homes took the largest monthly drop in more than 40 years in December

Housing prices have fallen to their 2003 levels

Mortgage delinquency percentage in 2009 was highest since 1972

Housing foreclosures up 350% since the 1980s


The Aughts were the first decade of falling median incomes since figures were first compiled in the 1960s.

By the fall of 2008, most American workers were bringing home roughly the same weekly wages they had earned in 1983, after accounting for inflation.

Today, men in their 30s earn 12 percent less than the previous generation did at the same age.

Percent of workers with defined benefits pension plan down 50% since mid 1980s


There has been zero net job creation since December 1999. No previous decade going back to the 1940s had job growth of less than 20 percent.

Economic output has risen at its slowest rate of any decade since the 1930s as well.

Long term unemployment highest since 1948

Unemployment rate is highest since 1983

The teenage unemployment rate is its highest level since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began keeping track of such data in 1948.


Marijuana arrests up 195% since 1990s

Number in prison up four times since 1980s

Executions at 14 year low


In the first half of 2009, 123 TV news shows were canceled, 106 newspapers folded, 110 bureaus closed, 556 magazines died, and 12,000 journalists lost their jobs.

Number of corporations controlling most media. From 50 in the 1980s to 6.


Bush-Obama have spent $1 trillion on wars


Number of black owned TV stations down 30% since the 1980s.

Number of black owned TV stations down 30% since the 1980s.

Latinos in elected office up 37% since 1990s.

Percent of top corporate positions held by women from 9% in the mid 1990s to 16%

Women as a percent of all doctors: from 12% to 27% since 1980s.


Increase in wealth of ten richest senators since 1980s: 13 times - 2008


Time children spent playing: down 27% since the 1980s

Percent of homes with indoor plumbing: from 55% in the 1940s to 99% - 2008

Births to unwed women from 5% in the 1960s to 33% - 2008


Before the recent fiscal collapse, poverty levels were nearly half what they were in the 1950s. But all that change occured as a result of 1960s Great Society measures on which America has increasinlgy turned its back.

One in every ten Americans receiving food stamps, a record


The net worth of American households has declined when adjusted for inflation, compared with sharp gains in every previous decade since data were initially collected in the 1950s.

Annual person savings rate for families has declined from 12% in the 1950s to 1%

Top one percent share of the wealth went from 36% to 29% between the 1930s and the 1970s. Since then it has risen to 39%

Personal bankruptcies up 400% since the 1980s

Consumer credit debt of 60% since the 1990s

Real income bottom 60% of Americans down 5% since 1970s.

[Based on data 2008 to present]

To keep track of these trends


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just the facts.

Well said.

January 28, 2010 11:15 PM  

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