A Harvard business prof and a behavioral economist recently asked more than 5,000 Americans how they thought wealth is distributed in the United States. Most thought that it’s more balanced than it actually is. Asked to choose their ideal distribution of wealth, 92% picked one that was even more equitable.
Take a long, hard and reflective look at the chart below! It illustrates the disparity and dissonance within the U. S. economy. Years ago in 1986 the U.S. Bishops asked three questions in their pastoral letter entitled Justice for All: What does the economy do to people? What does the economy do for people? How do people participate in it?
In his recent book – The Price of Inequlity, 2012 – Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize Winner in Economics, tells us: “ As those at the top continue to enjoy the best health care, education, and benefits of wealth, they often fail to realize that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live.”
Since the recession began in 2008 we continue to hear and/or experience the devastating effects of an economy that continues a downward spiral. Signs include a disappearing middle class, the working poor who can’t meet their families’ needs, a decrease in government subsidies such as unemployment benefits and food stamps, a growing chasm between the poverty of white families and those of people of color , an upward spiral of unemployment. The latest assault to those living on the edge, April 30 the Senate voted down an increase in minimum wage 54-42.
Part of this larger picture which seems to be misunderstood , dismissed or denied are UNIONS. Whether it be in Church or Society the mythology around the benefits for working persons continue to be preached by many in the CORPORATE WORLD and CHURCH. Today, only about 11% of workers belong to unions. Individuals cannot negotiate with corporations. Collective bargaining provides a ‘fighting chance’ for working persons. (Interfaith Workers for Justice wij.org)
Now is the time to communicate with our Senators and Congresspersons regarding legislation that’s pending. For current info: www.networklobby.org