# 2007 marked the fifth straight year in which income gains at the top outpaced those of the rest of the population.
# The proportionate share of the nation’s total income going to the top 1% of households also rose sharply, from 16.9% in 2002 to 23.5% in 2007. This was a larger share than at any time since 1928. (In 2000, at the peak of the 1990s boom, the top 1% took home 21.5% of total national income.)
# Income gains have been even more shocking among those at the extreme top of the income scale.
# The incomes of the top 1/10th of 1% of U.S. households grew by 94% or by $3.5 million between 2002 and 2007.
# The overall share of the total national income flowing to the top 1/10th of 1% rose from 7.3% in 2002 to 12.3% in 2007.
# These are the most lopsided figures in Piketty-Saez data going back to 1913, surpassing even the previous peak in 1928.
Amazing.. I think we should immediately give the rich another tax break!
When Daly City resident Rosalinda Miran-Ramirez woke up one morning in April to find her left breast bleeding from the nipple, she panicked. The shirt she had been sleeping in was saturated with blood. So her husband took her to the emergency room at Seton Medical Center.
“In my mind I know something serious is going on,” said Miran-Ramirez. “I need to see a doctor.”
Doctors found a tumor and initially told her she had breast cancer. A biopsy later proved that assumption false; the tumor was benign.
But Miran-Ramirez said the real shock came when her insurance company, Blue Shield of California HMO, which had initially approved the claim for the emergency room visit, reversed course and sent her a new bill three months later requiring her to pay the total charges for that visit: $2,791.00.
Why? Documents from Blue Shield indicate the company had reviewed the case and determined Miran-Ramirez “reasonably should have known that an emergency did not exist.”
Just to make clear: bleeding breasts are clearly not an emergency!
Oh, unless the press gets wind of it, of course:
But there is good news: after CBS 5 Investigates asked Blue Shield about Miran-Ramirez’ case, the company said it was reviewing the case again and has now agreed to pay all charges for the emergency room visit.
A landmark ruling in a recent Kansas Supreme Court case may have given millions of distressed homeowners the legal wedge they need to avoid foreclosure. In Landmark National Bank v. Kesler, 2009 Kan. LEXIS 834, the Kansas Supreme Court held that a nominee company called MERS has no right or standing to bring an action for foreclosure. MERS is an acronym for Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, a private company that registers mortgages electronically and tracks changes in ownership. The significance of the holding is that if MERS has no standing to foreclose, then nobody has standing to foreclose – on 60 million mortgages.
All over the country, lawyers are contesting foreclosures because of similar chain-of-custody issues. I have some material about this coming out in my next Rolling Stone story, so I can’t get into this too much, but suffice to say the lenders and the banks were extremely sloppy about their paperwork (at best — there is a fraud angle as well) and jammed up the system with missing and/or mismarked mortgage notes. Since a sale isn’t legal unless there’s full transfer of the physical note, a lot of the sales of mortgage-backed securities were not entirely legal, since the actual notes were often not transferred.
Nothing like waking up in the morning and finding out a whole sector of the economy is completely screwed. Are these good times or what?