In Our Times Tally

● Percentage of U.S. citizens who can’t locate Syria on a map of the world: 50
● Percentage of U.S. Department of Defense personnel who can’t: 43
● Number of foreign takeovers of Canadian-owned business permitted by federal regulators since 1985: 1,637
● Number of foreign takeovers that were denied during the same period: 2
● Percentage of Canadians who considered themselves “poor” or “working class” in 2002: 28
● Percentage of Canadians who consider themselves “poor” or “working class” today: 44
● Rank of income inequality as “the most important issue for discussion about Canada’s future”: 1
● Number of plastic bags used in the world each year: 750 million
● Estimated number of years it takes for plastic water bottles to decompose naturally: 450
● Percentage of all plastic produced worldwide that is recycled: 1
● Estimated pieces of plastic trash floating in each square kilometre of ocean: 13,000
● Percentage of unemployed Canadians currently eligible to receive Employment Insurance benefits: 38
● Percentage of unemployed Canadians eligible to receive Unemployment Insurance benefits in 1969: 78
● Unemployment rate in Canada in 1969: 3.7
● Year in which the minimum wage in the United States reached its highest level in real dollars: 1968
● Unemployment rate in the United States in 1968: 3.6
● Percentage of top U.S. economists who agree that raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour is a “desirable policy”: 47
● Percentage who disagree: 11
● Percentage who are uncertain: 32
● Percentage of Americans who believe that economics is a science: 51
● Total profits made by the five largest banks in Canada in 2011: $22.4 billion
● Estimated annual cost of eradicating child poverty in Canada: $7.5 billion
● Percentage of children living in poverty in Canada in 1997 who had at least one parent working full time: 22.3
● Percentage of children living in poverty in Canada today who do: 36
● Percentage of crude oil throughout the world produced by companies that are government owned: 75
● Of the fifteen largest energy companies in the world, number that are government owned: 13
● Percentage of oil and gas production in Norway that is under public ownership: 80
● Percentage of total government revenues in Norway resulting from royalties and taxes on oil and gas production: 25
● Year in which the last government-owned shares in Petro Canada were sold to private investors: 2004
● Percentage of Canadians who support the creation of a universal, public drug program: 78
● Percentage decline in poverty in Columbia since 2003: 33
● Percentage decline in poverty in Venezuela since 2003: 59
● Number of people currently on Toronto’s affordable housing waiting list: 165,723
● Percentage of homeless persons in Toronto who are on the list: 50
● Number of foreigners and permanent residents deported from Canada last year: 16,511
● Number of migrant workers in Canada deported since 1996 due to “medical reasons”: 1,198
● Percentage of Canadian households with an annual income under $20,000 that has a union member: 21
● Percentage of Canadian households with an annual income over $100,000 that does: 41
● Profits made by Facebook Inc. in the United States last year: $1.1 billion
● Amount it paid in U.S. federal and state taxes last year: $0
● Amount it received in U.S. federal net tax refunds last year: $451 million
● Minimum amount of wealth it takes to be a member of the 2013 “Forbes Top 400 List”: $1.3 billion

Our Times Tally is written by union communications and media consultant Sean Cain (www.labourmedia.org).

SOURCES: 50 – Olga Khazan (The Atlantic Magazine, May 17, 2013); 43 – Ezra Klein (Washington Post, September 3, 2013); 1,637, 2 – Jim Stanford (November 10, 2010); 28, 44, 1 – Ekos Opinion Poll (January 2013); 750 million – Smithsonian.com; 450 – U.S. National Park Service; 1 – Earth Magazine (January 2012); 13,000 – United Nations Environment Programme (2005); 38, 78, 3.7 – Statistics Canada; 1968, 3.6 – U.S. Department of Labor; 47, 11, 32 – IGM Forum (University of Chicago Booth School of Business, February 26, 2013); 51 – The General Social Survey; $22.4 billion – CBC News (December 2011); $7.5 billion – Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (Poverty or Prosperity, June 2013); 22.3, 36 – Statistics Canada (Income in Canada); 75, 13 – Wall Street Journal (May 22, 2010); 80, 25 – Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum; 2004 – www.petro-canada.ca; 78 – Ekos Research (May 2013); 33, 59 – World Bank (Global Poverty Working Group, 2013); 165,723, 50 – Michael Shapcott (Wellesley Institute, September 2013); 16,511 – Canada Border Services Agency (Performance Report, 2013); 1,198 – Toronto Star (August 9, 2012); 21, 41 – Forum Research (July and August 2012); $1.1 billion, $0, $451 million – Citizens for Tax Justice (February 14, 2013); $1.3 billion – CBS News (September 16, 2013).
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