The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread. ~Anatole France
Research shows that for 30 years after World War II, Americans grew more prosperous and less unequal. However, in the last 30 years, we have had the opposite trend–and the statistics are staggering. Middle-class incomes barely rose (with much of that rise due to the increasing numbers of women in the workforce), while households in the top quintile gained 84 percent, and those in the top 1 percent gained 450 percent. From 2000 to 2005, 3.6% of national income (about $270 billion) was transferred from the bottom 90% to the top 1%. (Source: Ross Eisenbrey, Economic Policy Institute, http://www.epi.org/content.cfm/webfeatures_viewpoints_much_work)
Why is this important? Because we will never have peace without shared prosperity. Because working for economic equality is the right thing to do. Because greed is out of hand, and capitalism has become our national religion. I can feed the hungry and clothe the poor, but how can I help change the systems that perpetuate economic injustice and misery?
Take a look at the overview of EPI’s Agenda for Shared Prosperity, http://www.sharedprosperity.org/shared_prosperity_overview.pdf.
I find myself increasingly desirous of working in some way toward a better (fairer, safer, more democratic) world, but I want to concentrate my efforts where it will do the most good. I don’t think fringe activism is the answer, but perhaps aligning with more powerful coalitions could be.
What can we do, those of us who are not really inclined to engage in political or social activism, but believe strongly that things must change for the good of all?