From “Apostles of Growth” by Timothy Shenk in the Nov. 24 issue of The Nation: “From the aftermath of World War II through the 1970s, most of the total earnings from economic expansion flowed to the bottom 90 percent of Americans. That came to an abrupt end in the 1980s. Although the Clinton years posted marginally better tallies on this front than the Reagan era, the record since 2001 has been abysmal, and the worst has come under Obama. From 2009 to 2012, the last year with reliable data, incomes for the lower 90 percent have declined, while those for the top 10 percent have increased at a healthy clip, with the greatest gains accruing to the 1 percent and above. The tide still rises, but it lifts only yachts.”
We’ve heard these statistics before. The economy grows, but not for everyone. Any human being with a sense of fairness would judge such an economic system to be unjust. But for so many people, the “injustice” is also “unkindness.” It is hurting them. Injustice causes suffering.
In the face of suffering, followers of Jesus and Buddha feel compassion.
And in this case, compassion will insist that an economic system that is producing suffering must be fixed. Or it must be changed.