Googling and DuckDucking The Internet or Orwellian Discoveries

Michael Weddle
7 min readJan 6, 2019


Since 1976, CEO pay increased 937% while worker pay only 11%!

It’s said that statistics are like a bikini: What they reveal is interesting, however what they conceal is crucial. And so America!

Below are some numbers to marvel and ponder about as very much they describe our sick society. Perhaps a very good example of this is members of Congress generally hold an approval rating of around 15 to 20%. But their re-election rate is close to 95%!

Customarily, we teach our children to share but when does the greed seep in as they become adults? I think I almost prefer greedy children and sharing adults over sharing children and greedy adults. What do you think?

Federal Minimum Wage:

The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, and has not increased since July 2009.


Sadly, I truly believe that if people of average intellect from the 1950s and 1960s were transported to 2016, they would likely be considered mental giants compared to the rest of us. We have a country where criminals are being paid $1000 a month not to shoot people, and the highest paid public employee in more than half the states is a football coach. Hardly anyone takes time to read a book anymore, and yet the average American spends 302 minutes a day watching television. Seventy-five percent of our young adults cannot find Israel on a map of the Middle East, but they sure know how to find smut on the Internet. It may be hard to believe, but there are more than 4 million adult websites on the Internet today, and they get more traffic than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined.

What in the world has happened to us? How is it possible that we have become so stupid? According to a brand new report that was recently released, almost 10 percent of our college graduates believe that Judge Judy is on the Supreme Court …

Three Richest Americans:

Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos — collectively hold more wealth than the bottom 50% of the domestic population, “a total of 160 million people or 63 million American households.”

Six Largest American Banks:

$10 trillion in assets, equivalent to 54% of our GDP. At the opposite end of the spectrum, 550 banks have failed since October 2000.

Meanwhile, consumer debt works in funny ways also. Often one’s debt can be sold and resold over and over and each holder of the debt can carry its value as an asset. For example, the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant was able to use the debt of its customers as an asset to gain funding for the project when it was facing financial difficulty.

Defense Industry:

The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) tabulated all “defense-related spending” for both 2017 and 2018, and it hit nearly $1.1 trillion for each of the two years.

This year, a robust collection of 208 defense companies spent $93,937,493 to deploy 728 “reported” lobbyists (apparently some go unreported) to feed this year’s trumped-up, $700 billion defense-only budget, according to

The US defense formal budget expenditure is expected to grow to reach around $742 billion by 2023.

Health Care Sector:

The global pharmaceuticals market was worth $934.8 billion in 2017 and will reach $1170 billion in 2021, growing at 5.8%, according to a recent pharma market research report by The Business Research Company — May 16, 2018

The US has under five percent of the world’s population but accounts for 45% of all pharmaceutical revenue.


The national average rent reached an all-time high of $1,405 in June, a 2.9 percent increase from a year earlier. Of the 250 biggest U.S. cities, 88 percent saw increased rents, 10 percent were unchanged and just 2 percent fell compared with June 2017 — according to data from Yardi Matrix.


American politicians once frequently complained about the former Soviet Union’s collective farming system. However, America maintains a corporate farming system. The days of America’s small family farmer are diminishing as more and more farms become condominiums or get bought out by larger farms. USDA data shows that large farms with over one million in sales account for only 4% of all farms owned in America but they represent 66% of all sales. What’s sad is this condition causes more and more farming products to end up with a cardboard taste of quality due to streamlining foods grown more for profits than for pride.

CEO to Worker Compensation:

The 2017 CEO-to-worker compensation ratio of 312-to-1 was far greater than the 20-to-1 ratio in 1965 and more than five times greater than the 58-to-1 ratio in 1989. In 2000, The Bureau of Labor Statistics had the CEO to worker ratio at 475 to one. CEOs are getting more because of their power to set pay, not because they are more productive or have special talents or more education.

Compensation for Charities:

A Wall Street Journal study published in March 2017 found that around 2,700 employees of 501(c)(3) nonprofits received annual compensation of more than $1 Million in 2014.

In 2011, a similar study found that about 2,000 were paid at this salary level, so the number increased about 30% over the three years. The number of employees receiving compensation in excess of $1 million will probably increase significantly in 2018.

A long-term study by the Tampa Bay Times reported 6,000 charities pay for-profit boiler room companies to raise their donations. Collectively the 50 worst charities raised more than $1.3 billion over the past decade and paid nearly $1 billion of that directly to the companies that raise their donations — this doesn’t leave much for the charity.

Professional Athlete Salaries:

Average salary of professional athletes: NBA: 6.2 million; MLB: 4.4 million; NHL: 2.9 million and NFL: 2.1 million.

Top Seven Richest Sports Team Owners:

Steve Ballmer — $40.8B; Paul Allen — $26.4B; Micky Arison — $11.4B; Philip Anschutz — $11.2B; Stephen Ross — $10.3B; Stanley Kroenke — $7.8B; and Daniel Gilbert — $7.4B Net Worth.

Average Price to Attend a Game:

The average cost of spending the day at the ballpark is $77.92 for two people, according to a GOBankingRates study of MLB stadium prices. This total includes the following costs: Two tickets: $41.41. Two hot dogs: $8.73. (Apr 5, 2016)

Professional Sports $10 Hot Dog!

[NOTE: Oh, how I once loved paying for an $8 Standing Room Only ticket at Fenway Park where I’d arrive on rollerblades and view the game from all over the ball park.]

What Parents of Kids Pay for High School Sports Participation:

The average cost for student participation ranges around $400 yearly.

University of Michigan Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health found that “only 30 percent of students in families with annual household incomes of less than $60,000 played school sports, compared with 51 percent of students in families that earned $60,000 or more a year.”

Cost of an Wilson A-2000 baseball glove in 1960? $20! Cost of the same glove today? $200–$299! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 2018 are 748.30% higher than prices in 1960.

Geez, one would think these owners of big league sports teams and/or the pro-sport athletes would, at a minimum, give out free ball gloves to kids!

The Kid Can’t Be a Pro-Athlete — Instead Becomes Orphan of America’s Criminal Justice System:

One in 107 is in jail.

One in 57 is on probation.

One in every 25 executed is killed as an innocent person.

One in 12 adult Americans have felony convictions.

The US has five percent of the world’s population but houses 25% of the world’s prisoners! One needs be brave in order to live in the so-called free America!

America’s Drug War:

America spends about $50 billion every year in eradicating drugs, however, only less than 10% illicit drugs are captured.

About 1.5 trillion dollars have been poured by the state and federal governments in the past four decades to wage the Drug War, yet drugs still can’t be kept out of prisons never mind a supposed free society. Worse, drug smuggling routes are also weapons smuggling routes. But the politicians remain marveling as they dream up new schemes and how many of them have got a relative or a buddy owning a urine-testing company?

Indeed, too many folks are living in the shadows of an unnecessary underground! Many of these folks become disenfranchised and thus do not participate in the political process thereby making the electorate, with the influence of money, easier to control.

The Media Tasked With Describing The Above ? What’s It Look Like?

When the Reagan-Bush Administration took office there were 50 major media companies in America. Today there are five corporate conglomerates who monopolize 90% of all media. Investigative journalism budgets have been severely slashed and all ombudsmen positions (reader critic editors) have been fired. The Pentagon-CIA has infiltrated both main media and Hollywood.

The First Internet Straw Poll for President 2020:

Judging from the poll thus far it appears the electorate wants a president who will work to change much of what is described above:


Best we put a United Front together to support the presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders. Why? Because what’s described above is appalling and Sanders doesn’t stand for any of that!



Michael Weddle

Founder of Boston’s Climate Change Band; former NH State Representative; Created Internet’s 1st Anti-War Debate; Supporter of Bernie Sanders & Standing Rock!