Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Economic Inequality Harms Societies

In light of my recent post concerning our response to poverty and inequality, I find this TED video very enlightening and challenging. In the past couple years as people have protested economic injustice within the United States (and elsewhere), some have responded by pointing out that compared to the rest of the world, almost all Americans are in the wealthiest 1% of the population. This is largely true and we should not forget that. However, in this video Richard Wilkinson uses data on a variety of issues to show that the level of inequality within a given society has a significant impact on a number of areas, including social relations, health, childhood well-being, math and literacy scores, trust levels, murder rates and much more.

He points out that we cannot just speak of the relative wealth level of a country on a global scale. We must consider the economic distribution within a society. If we want to have a healthier society, we must seek to reduce economic inequality; that is to say, we must strive to reduce poverty. We must do what we can to level the playing field. It is not enough to say simply that the poor will always be with us.

I don't call attention to Wilkinson's video in an effort to ignore the significant issues of global poverty and economic inequality, but to point out that economic inequality affects us here at home in America as well. As followers of Jesus Christ, called to work with God to realize the Kingdom of God on earth, we cannot simply accept inequality as an unavoidable part of the status quo. We can and should seek to reduce economic equality as a matter of spiritual and social responsibility.

No comments:

Post a Comment