Friday, February 02, 2007


Gregg Easterbrook cites research showing that, "Among median incomes are currently rising twice as fast as family median income for the United States as a whole." He goes on to show via many more statistics that "typical Americans have become steadily better-off [than their parents]."

Despite that, Easterbrook later notes, "To say that most aspects of are getting better for most people should not be misunderstood as claim that all is well... Deep, structural faults exist exist in...the United States, and the persistence of deep faults in a wealthy, successful nation like America deserves the world's opprobrium." He goes on to note, "One person in six poor, in the most affluent nation in world history, would be a shocking indictment of American society. It is America's current condition." He summarizes, "The United States...possesses sufficient wealth and power as to have no excuse for not addressing its faults. History may judge America harshly if its extraordinary combination of affluence and freedom is frittered away..."

Last Friday, ABC's 20/20 gave us a glimpse of some of the inequality in our own society. They follow a group of three children for a year and a half in Camden, NJ, which is called America's poorest and most dangerous city, asking, "What's it like to grow up in poverty and fear in the richest country in the world?" I would encourage you to watch this video (really, watch all the videos from the segment available). I cannot imagine seeing these stories and remaining unmoved. I challenge all of us to begin to reach out to bridge the gaps in our society.

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