A simple influenza infects hundreds of thousands if not millions by country why would this one be less spreading - no the truth rather is that hundreds of thousands are infected globally which is nothing exciting as that happens every year and a few hundred thousand die from influenza every year. Actually 100000 die every day from starvation just to put it into perspective but since the people in developed countries are not in that risk class they do not share the same interest but the reality is that the policies of globalisation have dramatically increased the amount of poor in developed countries. According to a research of the economist in the last 20 years the trend was back to the early 1900 century - the rich have become much richer and the poor much poorer again. Interstingly this always tends to happen towards a crucial bubble as last time we had such a situation before the 'Big Depression'
A mere 300,000 people had incomes equal to the total income of the bottom earning half of the entire population. That's 150 million people. Put another way, those 300,000 had incomes 440 times greater than the average income in the United States. Stated yet another way, the golden 300,000 sopped up more than 20 percent of all incomes.
The last time the income imbalance was so large, Calvin Coolidge was President and people were thrilled by the first talking motion pictures. In the 1930s and '40s the gaps between wealth and income were lessened thanks to war, the income tax, pro-employee legislation and labor organizations that forced a mild redistribution of the profits. That's all gone now. We're back to the good old days, and let's hope everybody, including the frayed white-collar classes, are having a good old time.
As the years pass and the imbalances grow, so also does a background wailing about the unfairness of it all. Defining "unfair" is like trying to catch a trout in a stream with your bare hands. Very slippery. Would it be fair if the rich averaged only 390 times the income of the average wage earner? 325? 250? You name it. How does one decide when one has arrived at the fair number? Or must all incomes be equal? There's an idea that leaves a lot to be desired.Excerpt 2
New York Has First Swine Flu Death, Japan Cases Rise
By John Lauerman
May 18 (Bloomberg) -- Swine flu claimed its first death in New York and sickened more students in Japan as the number of infections worldwide swelled to more than 8,000.
“Given the large number of cases, it’s possible that we’ll see more severe cases in the next few days, particularly among people with underlying illness,” said Jessica Scaperotti, a spokeswoman for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, who confirmed the death. Japan has 125 confirmed infections so far, Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura said at a briefing in Tokyo today.
Japan joins New York in reporting increasing swine flu cases among students and shutting schools to cope with the outbreak that’s extended to 8,480 infections, including 72 deaths, in 39 countries, according to World Health Organization figures. Health officials are trying to gauge whether swine flu, known as H1N1, is spreading widely enough for the WHO to declare the first pandemic since 1968.
Scaperotti wasn’t able to provide the identity of the victim. The New York Times said he was Mitchell Wiener, the assistant principal of Intermediate School 238 in Hollis, Queens, who had been hospitalized since last week.
Officials said Wiener might have had some health problems, according to the newspaper. His family said he had suffered from gout and it was under control with medication, it said.
The latest death from swine flu takes the total in the U.S. to five. The WHO’s tally from yesterday doesn’t include the New York victim.
Eleven schools in New York have been shut, Scaperotti said. That’s up from six schools closed last week in efforts to contain the renewed outbreak of the virus that first sickened hundreds of residents last month.
Among the schools that are closed, only one has confirmed H1N1 infections, the spokeswoman said. The others have been shut because of increased cases of influenza-like illness, she said.
“Until this point we have had very mild illness but we are seeing an increase in flu in many parts of the city,” she said. The health department is only testing patients for swine flu in situations where there is severe illness and a possible cluster of cases, Scaperotti said.
Japan’s government asked Hyogo and Osaka prefectures, where the infections occurred, to shut their schools, Chief Cabinet Secretary Kawamura said.
“With this increase, we need to keep close contact with related organizations and local governments on top of border control measures,” Prime Minister Taro Aso said at a swine flu task force meeting today.
Japan’s First Cases
Japan reported its first confirmed cases of swine flu on May 9, in two students and a teacher from an Osaka high school who returned from Canada. Another student on the same trip was confirmed to have the virus the next day.
A high-school student in Kobe, western Japan, who said he didn’t go overseas tested positive for swine flu after coming down with fever, Shinsuke Izumi, assistant manager at Kobe city’s crisis management center, said May 16. That was Japan’s first reported case of local transmission of the virus.
Kawamura said the government has yet to determine the origin of this latest outbreak. Japan may have had its first case of human-to-human infection, the country’s Infectious Disease Surveillance Center said on its Web site yesterday.
The government has stockpiled 33 million doses of Roche Holding AG’s Tamiflu treatment and 2.7 million of GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s Relenza, Kawamura said.
Curbing the Spread
Aso said the government isn’t considering asking people to stay home or limit business activity.
The health ministry in Malaysia, which confirmed its second case of H1N1 on May 16, ordered all passengers on the same flights as the nation’s two swine flu patients to stay home to curb the spread of the virus.
Hong Kong health officials quarantined 23 people until May 23 after confirming the city’s third case of swine flu, the city’s Department of Health said in a statement yesterday.
The city, battered by severe acute respiratory syndrome six years ago, has been isolating all suspected swine flu patients and people they contact. Hong Kong’s government has said the measures are necessary to protect public health.
South Korea’s health ministry said yesterday it quarantined a Vietnamese national traveling from Seattle who probably has swine flu.
Chile reported its first confirmed cases of swine flu yesterday, in two female tourists returning from the Dominican Republic. The WHO’s tally doesn’t include these infections.
Officials in Chile have contacted 80 of the more than 100 people who shared the flight with the women and have contacted other groups of tourists who had stayed in the same resort, Health Minister Alvaro Erazo said in comments broadcast by CNN Chile tonight.
The U.K. yesterday confirmed 14 more swine flu cases, taking its total to 101.