Thu, Sep 11, 2008
Twenty Questions: Social Justice Quiz 2008
by Bill Quigley. Bill is a human rights lawyer and law professor at
Loyola University New Orleans . He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
1. How many deaths are there world-wide each year due to acts of terrorism?
Answers to Social Justice Quiz 2008
22,000. The U.S. State Department reported there were more than
22,000 deaths from terrorism last year. Over half of those killed or
injured were Muslims. Source: Voice of America , May 2, 2008.
"Terrorism Deaths Rose in 2007."
2. How many deaths are there world-wide each day due to poverty and
About 25,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related
causes, according to the United Nations. Poverty.com – Hunger and
World Poverty. Every day, almost 16,000 children die from
hunger-related causes – one child every five seconds. Bread for the
World. Hunger Facts: International.
3. 1n 1965, CEOs in major companies made 24 times more than the
average worker. In 1980, CEOs made 40 times more than the average
worker. In 2007, CEOs earned how many times more than the average
Today's average CEO from a Fortune 500 company makes 364 times an
average worker's pay and over 70 times the pay of a four-star Army
general. Executive Excess 2007, page 7, jointly published by
Institute for Policy Studies and United for Fair Economy, August 29,
2007. 1965 numbers from State of Working America 2004-2005, Economic
4. In how many of the over 3000 cities and counties in the US can a
full-time worker who earns minimum wage afford to pay rent and
utilities on a one-bedroom apartment?
In no city or county in the entire USA can a full-time worker who
earns minimum wage afford even a one bedroom rental. The U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) urges renters not to
pay more than 30% of their income in rent. HUD also reports the fair
market rent for each of the counties and cities in the US .
Nationally, in order to rent a 2 bedroom apartment, one full-time
worker in 2008 must earn $17.32 per hour. In fact, 81% of renters
live in cities where the Fair Market Rent for a two bedroom rental is
not even affordable with two minimum wage jobs. Source: Out of Reach
2007-2008, April 7, 2008, National Low-Income Housing Coalition.
5. In 1968, the minimum wage was $1.65 per hour. How much would the
minimum wage be today if it had kept pace with inflation since 1968?
Calculated in real (inflation adjusted) dollars, the 1968 minimum
wage would have been worth $9.83 in 2007 dollars. Andrew Tobias,
January 16, 2008. The federal minimum wage is $6.55 per hour
effective July 24, 2008 and $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009.
6. True or false? People in the United States spend nearly twice as
much on pet food as the US government spends on aid to help foreign
True. The USA spends $43.4 billion on pet food annually. Source:
American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, Inc. The USA spent
$23.5 billion in official foreign aid in 2006. The government of the
USA gave the most of any country in the world in actual dollars. As a
percentage of gross national income, the USA came in second to last
among OECD donor countries and ranked number 20 at 0.18 percent behind
Sweden at 1.02 percent and other countries such as Norway,
Netherlands, Ireland , United Kingdom , Austria , France , Germany , Spain ,
Canada, New Zealand, Japan and others. This does not count private
donations which, if included, may move the USA up as high as 6th. The
Index of Global Philanthropy 2008, page 15, 19.
7. How many people in the world live on $2 a day or less?
The World Bank reported in August 2008 that 2.6 billion people
consume less than $2 a day.
8. How many people in the world do not have electricity?
World-wide, 1.6 billion people do not have electricity. 2.5
billion people use wood, charcoal or animal dung for cooking. United
Nations Human Development Report 2007/2008, pages 44-45.
9. People in the US consume 42 kilograms of meat per person per year.
How much meat and grain do people in India and China eat?
People in the US lead the world in meat consumption at 42 kg per
person per year compared to 1.6 kg in India and 5.9 kg in China .
People in the US consume five times the grain (wheat, rice, rye,
barley, etc.) as people in India , three times as much as people in
China, and twice as much as people in Europe . "THE BLAME GAME: Who is
behind the world food price crisis," Oakland Institute, July 2008.
10. How many cars does China have for every 1000 drivers? India ? The U.S. ?
China has 9 cars for every 1000 drivers. India has 11 cars for
every 1000 drivers. The US has 1114 cars for every 1000 drivers.
Iain Carson and Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran, Zoom: The Global Race to Fuel
the Car of the Future (2007).
11. How much grain is needed to fill a SUV tank with ethanol?
The grain needed to fill up a SUV tank with ethanol could feed a
hungry person for a year. Lester Brown, CNN.Money.com, August 16, 2006
12. According to the Wall Street Journal, the richest 1% of Americans
earns what percent of the nation's adjusted gross income? 5%? 10%? 15%? 20%?
"According to the figures, the richest 1% reported 22% of the
nation's total adjusted gross income in 2006. That is up from 21.2% a
year earlier, and is the highest in the 19 years that the IRS has kept
strictly comparable figures. The 1988 level was 15.2%. Earlier IRS
data show the last year the share of income belonging to the top 1%
was at such a high level as it was in 2006 was in 1929, but changes in
measuring income make a precise comparison difficult." Jesse Drucker,
"Richest Americans See Their Income Share Grow," Wall Street Journal,
July 23, 2008, page A3.
13. How many people does our government say are homeless in the US on any given day?
754,000 are homeless. About 338,000 homeless people are not in
shelters (live on the streets, in cars, or in abandoned buildings) and
415,000 are in shelters on any given night. 2007 U.S. Department of
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Annual Homeless Report to
Congress, page iii and 23. The population of San Francisco is about 739,000.
14. What percentage of people in homeless shelters are children?
HUD reports nearly 1 in 4 people in homeless shelters are children 17 or younger.
Page iv – 2007 HUD Annual Homeless Report to Congress.
15. How many veterans are homeless on any given night?
Over 100,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. About 18
percent of the adult homeless population is veterans. Page 32, 2007
HUD Homeless Report. This is about the same population as Green Bay , Wisconsin .
16. The military budget of the United States in 2008 is the largest
in the world at $623 billion per year. How much larger is the US
military budget than that of China , the second largest in the world?
Ten times. China 's military budget is $65 billion. The US
military budget is nearly 10 times larger than the second leading
military spender. GlobalSecurity.org
17. The US military budget is larger than how many of the countries
of the rest of the world combined?
The US military budget of $623 billion is larger than the
budgets of all the countries in the rest of the world put together.
The total global military budget of the rest of the world is $500
billion. Russia 's military budget is $50 billion, South Korea 's is
$21 billion, and Iran 's is $4.3 billion. GlobalSecurity.org
18. Over the 28 year history of the Berlin Wall, 287 people perished
trying to cross it. How many people have died in the last 4 years
trying to cross the border between Arizona and Mexico ?
1268. At least 1268 people have died along the border of Arizona
and Mexico since 2004. The Arizona Daily Star keeps track of the
reported deaths along the state border and reports 214 died in 2004,
241 in 2005, 216 in 2006, 237 in 2007, and 116 as of July 31, 2008.
These numbers do not include the deaths along the California or Texas
border. The Border Patrol reported that 400 people died in fiscal
2206-2007, 453 died in 2004-2005, and 494 died in 2004-2005. Source
Associated Press, November 8, 2007.
19. India is ranked second in the world in gun ownership with 4 guns
per 100 people. China is third with 3 firearms per 100 people. Which
country is first and how many guns do they own?
The US is first in gun ownership world-wide with 90 guns for
every 100 citizens. Laura MacInnis, "US most armed country with 90
guns per 100 people." Reuters, August 28, 2007.
20. What country leads the world in the incarceration of its citizens?
The US jails 751 inmates per 100,000 people, the highest rate in
the world. Russia is second with 627 per 100,000. England 's rate is
151, Germany is 88, and Japan is 63. The US has 2.3 million people
behind bars, more than any country in the world. Adam Liptak, "Inmate
Count in US Dwarfs Other Nations'" NYT, April 23, 2008.