a203-11f-14-Hierarchies - Introduction to Cultural...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology: Class 14 Social and economic hierarchies Copyright Bruce Owen 2011 - Inequality - We live in an unequal society, stratified by wealth - a few people get a lot of the total income, a lot of people split up the remainder - Graph of US wealth distribution in 2005: - The richest 20% of the population owns about 85% of all the wealth in the country - The next-richest 20% owns about 10% of all the wealth - Leaving less than 5% of the wealth of the country to be divided among the remaining 60% of the population - The poorest 40% (not far from half of the population!) owns so little of the national wealth that it is not even visible on the graph. - Some estimates as of 2009 suggest that the richest 1% of Americans hold almost 50% of all American wealth - Source: Norton and Ariely, Building a Better America One Quintile at a Time http://www.people.hbs.edu/mnorton/norton%20ariely%20in%20press.pdf- This is from the Harvard Business School, not known for loopy liberal claims - Or consider pay: in 2005, US CEOs in major corporations earned 262 times the average pay of US full-time workers - That is, a major CEO earns as much in ONE DAY as the average American employee earns in one YEAR - (2080 working hours in a year / 262 = 7.9 hours = 1 working day) - Source: Economic Policy Institute, a progressive but legitimate research organization, http://www.epi.org/economic_snapshots/entry/webfeatures_snapshots_20060621/- in 2005, US CEOs in major corporations earned 821 times the minimum wage - A person earning minimum wage has to work a full year to earn as much as an average major CEO earns in 152 minutes. (about 2.5 hours) - Source:Economic Policy Institute, a progressive but legitimate research organization, http://www.epi.org/economic_snapshots/entry/webfeatures_snapshots_20060627/- This is extreme inequality. The rich in our society are very, very much richer than the poor, or even than the average - compare our stratification to that of Egypt under Khufu (Cheops), the pharaoh who built the Great Pyramid at Giza - Khufus Great Pyramid at Giza - 230 m square (756 feet) - if built on this campus, it would cover Stevenson, Darwin, Salazar hall, the Student Union, the Commons, and most of the main quad - 146 meters tall (475 feet) - 2.3 million cut sandstone interior blocks, 2.5 tons each - estimated 84,000 laborers working 80 days/year for 20 years (~ 370,000 person-years!) - outside cased in limestone blocks, 16 tons each - cost in modern terms: Intro to Cultural Anthro F 2011 / Owen: Social and economic hierarchies p. 2 - the low-skilled labor alone at California minimum wage ($8.00/hr since 2008) would total 8.6 billion dollars - enough sandstone for the interior blocks would cost almost 0.6 billion dollars (5.75 million tons at $100/ton) - plus all the skilled labor, limestone, granite, etc. which today would be very expensive - not to mention all the gold and expensive goods placed in it - all told, equivalent to perhaps ten billion dollars...
View Full Document

This note was uploaded on 03/02/2012 for the course ANTHRO 203.1 taught by Professor Owen during the Fall '11 term at Sonoma.

Page1 / 7

a203-11f-14-Hierarchies - Introduction to Cultural...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online