In Our Times Tally

● Chance that an unemployed person in Canada today isn’t collecting employment insurance benefits: 1 in 2
● Number of Canadians who are living in substandard housing that requires “minor or major repairs”: 3.3 million
● Percentage of housing investments promised by the federal government during the past 15 months that have been spent: 3
● Percentage of people around the world who believe that “governments should distribute wealth more evenly”: 67
● Percentage of people in Mexico who believe this: 92
● Chance that a Canadian citizen believes that “free market capitalism is fatally flawed”: 1 in 5
● Factor by which the average American spends more time shopping than the average European: 3 to 1
● Percentage of Republican voters in the United States who believe that President Obama is a socialist: 63
● Percentage who believe that “Congress should make it easier for workers to form and join labour unions”: 7
● Canadian federal corporate tax rate in 2001: 28
● According to the 2010 federal budget, rate it will be two years from now: 15
● Rank of the manufacturing sector in having the highest number of work-related injuries in Canada each year: 1
● Rank of health care and social work: 5
● Number of work-related injuries per 1,000 workers in Ontario in 2007: 12
● Number in Manitoba: 29
● Number of acts of workplace violence that were reported in the United States last year: 1.8 million
● Percentage of all U.S. mortgages today that are “delinquent or facing foreclosure proceedings”: 12
● Cost of dismantling all the unused explosive ordinance located throughout the landscape of Vietnam: $10 billion
● At the present rate, estimated time it will take to do so, in years: 300
● Percentage change in productivity in New Zealand from 1982 to 2008: + 82
● Percentage change in real wages in New Zealand during the same period: – 25
● Percentage increase in the value of the Toronto Stock Exchange during the past year: 57
● Percentage increase in real wages in Canada during the past year: 0
● Year in which Canada’s federal minimum wage reached its highest level, after inflation: 1976
● Chance that a Canadian citizen believes that wages for federal politicians should be frozen: 9 in 10
● Percentage increase in the depiction of teenage women as victims of violent crime on U.S. television since 2004: 400
● Number of people killed in the Congolese Civil War since 1998: 5.4 million
● Number of news stories about the war on the CBS Evening News during the past five years: 1
● Estimated number of Americans who suffer from “celebrity worship syndrome”: 100 million
● Number of people around the world who don’t have access to safe drinking water: 1.1 billion
● Percentage of Canadians who believe the country should remain in the British Monarchy: 27
● Percentage of Canadians who support the current military mission in Afghanistan: 37
● Chance that an African-American male in the United States between the ages of 20 and 34 is in prison: 1 in 9
● Factor by which the incarceration rate of African-American men outpaces that of Blacks in Apartheid-era South Africa: 6 to 1
● Factor by which it outpaces that of white American males: 7 to 1
● Factor by which the incarceration rate of Aboriginal peoples in Canada outpaces that of the national average: 8 to 1
● Government health care spending as a percentage of total health care spending in Sweden and the United States: 85, 45
● Total health care expenditures per person in the same countries: $2,828, $6,096
● Percentage decline in the number of billionaires throughout the world during the last year: 30
● Factor by which current Federal Department of Defence expenditures are higher than that of Environment Canada: 20 to 1
● Estimated number of golf balls discarded or lost in the United States every year: 300,000,000
● Average time it takes a golf ball to decompose naturally, in years: 550

Our Times Tally, inspired by Harpers Index (see www.harpers.org), is compiled by freelance writer Sean Cain.

SOURCES: 1 in 2 – Andrew Jackson (Canadian Labour Congress); 3.3 million – Statistics Canada; 3 – Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (Alternative Federal Budget, March 2010); 67, 92, 1 in 5 – BBC World Service Poll (November 2009); 3 to 1 – Anne Leonard (The Story of Stuff); 63, 7 – Research 2000 Poll (January 2010); 28, 15 – Finance Canada (2010 Federal Budget); 1, 5, 12, 29 – Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada; 1.8 million – Per Forni (Johns Hopkins University); 12 – U.S. Mortgage Bankers Association; $10 billion, 300 – Craig and Marc Kielburger (Toronto Star, Sept 14, 2009); + 82, – 25 – Statistics New Zealand; 57 – www.tmxmoney.com; 0 – Statistics Canada; 1976 – Human Resources and Skills Development Canada; 9 in 10 – Angus Reid Poll (March 4, 2010); 400 – Parents Television Council; 5.4 million – International Rescue Committee; 1 – Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (May 2009); 100 million – New Scientist Magazine; 1.1 billion – World Health Organization; 27 – Angus Reid Poll (Nov 3, 2009); 37 – Angus Reid Poll (Oct 16, 2009); 1 in 9, 6 to 1, 7 to 1 – U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics; 8 to 1 – Prison Justice Day Committee; 85, 45, $2,828, $6,096 – UNDP (2008 Human Development Report); 30 – Global Unions (Getting the World to Work, May 2009); 20 to 1 – Bill Robinson (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives); 300,000,000, 550 – Danish Golf Union.
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