“Income is the amount of money that comes into a household. . . .”
“Wealth, on the other hand, is the total monetary value of what a household owns minus debts.”
Top 1% 26.8% of all wealth
Next 4% 21.4% of all wealth
Next 5% 9.7% of all wealth
57.9% of all wealth is held by the top decile or ten percent of the population.
The income earned in a year by people is distributed in a less stratified manner as shown here:
“As you can see the distribution of wealth is much more unequal than the distribution of income.”
Page, 33. Social Stratification in the United States. 2008.
Facts on US farm worker population in Florida:
Facts and Figures on Florida Farmworkers
Council of Immokalee Faermworkers (is an NGO)
1) “A labor force in significant economic distress”: In January 2001, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) sent a letter to members of the United States Congress reporting on the stark realities facing agricultural workers. Entitled “The Agricultural Labor Market - Status and Recommendations,” the letter described farmworkers as “a labor force in significant economic distress.”
The report cited farmworkers’ “low wages, sub-poverty annual earnings, (and) significant periods of un- and underemployment” to support its conclusion, adding that “agricultural worker earnings and working conditions are either stagnant or in decline.”
Other findings from the DOL letter include:i
⇒ “Production of fruits and vegetables has increased and global demand for American produce continues to grow, but agricultural worker earnings and working conditions are either stagnant or in decline.”
⇒ “Farm workers not only lost ground relative to other workers in the private sector, they lost ground absolutely.”
⇒ “(E)xclusions from legal protections have a negative impact on farm workers and contribute to the factors that discourage farm workers from staying in the industry or others from seeking work in agriculture.”
2) Farmworkers earn poverty level wages:
The National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS) provides a periodic account of hired farmworker salaries and poverty level. ii
The study sample includes wages of managers and supervisors, who according to the USDA represent 21 percent of all hired farmworkers. This results in a very definite skewing upward of the NAWS figures.
Harvester-specific annual income figures would be significantly lower.
Nevertheless, the NAWS figures still show farmworkers earning at or below poverty level:
|Average Farm Worker Salary, NAWS 2005||2007 Federal Poverty
|Living Wage for
|Individual income||$10,000 – 12,499||$10,210||$18,486|
|Household income||$15,000-17,499||$20,650 (family of four)||$44, 993 (family of four)|
3) No right to overtime or to organize: As a result of intentional exclusion from key New Deal labor reform measures, including the National Labor Relations Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act, farmworkers do not have the right to overtime pay or the right to organize and collectively bargain with their employers.
4) Thirty years of stagnant piece rates in the tomato harvest: Tomato pickers often work 10-12 hour days.
Sources: CIW - Report
Rose & Livingston (1979-2006)
poverty | justice | commons