Income Inequality - Blog Action Day 2014

As members of CAYA (Come As You Are) Coven, many of us are participating in Blog Action Day, each with our own perspective, experience, and approach, much as we approach our various spiritual practices. We hold each of our members' divinity as inherent and non-negotiable. Despite our varied paths, one aspect we are unified in is a commitment to equality, for all living creatures. We are interested in not only writing about the #inequality of today, but also the equality we can all make for tomorrow. Today, we write in solidarity for anyone suffering #inequality…

 

Income inequality is rising in the US and in the world.  What are the causes and effects of this trend?  For much of the 20th century, ideals of equality and opportunity gained ground as feudalism and colonialism declined, but in the 1980s, this pattern reversed, and economic policy around the world no longer supported the idea that hard work and productivity should be rewarded with increased prosperity for the working class.  Instead, policies were geared towards ways that wealthy and influential individuals and corporations could receive more support and protect more of their income from taxation.  

 

Through economic booms and crushing recessions, this trend has continued.  This growing income inequality also correlates with less opportunity for upward mobility, particularly for members of oppressed groups, such as people of colour. It is the antithesis of the American ideal of opportunity for anyone who is willing to work hard - indeed, more income is “earned” as interest on inherited wealth than is paid to the workers who produce food, care for children, and play other absolutely essential roles in our economy and our lives.  

 

Income inequality and racial inequality also correlate with exposure to dangerous pollution.  It is difficult to calculate the many far-reaching effects that this exposure might have on children born into communities where even the air that they breathe is not like the air enjoyed by children in more affluent neighbourhoods.  

 

The realization that in the long term, no one truly benefits from this increasing disparity is finally starting to hit home even for corporations.  It is possible that the apparently opposing interests and concerns of the wealthy and powerful few and the vast majority will finally be understood as inextricably connected, and we will all be looking for solutions to our mutual problems.  It’s good to remember that, as Sting said, “We can all sink or we all float, ‘cause we’re all in the same big boat.”  Roy Zimmerman also reminds us that it’s not so great to be on the end of the ship that’s rising while the other end goes down.

Envisioning Unity in Diversity,

Molly Blue Dawn