Emerging from the financial crisis, the global economy is strengthening. Yet around the world most people are still being excluded from opportunities to better themselves and achieve prosperity. Increasingly the biggest benefits of growth are being captured instead by a tiny elite.
When Jesus said "Blessed are the poor (or poor of heart)" he was not praising poverty as such. Quite the contrary: he was warning us that the kingdom of God (or of heaven on earth) would never be realized, much less possessed, by the avaricious or the greedy.
"Have real conversations about the world you both want," I repeated. "Effective conversations aren't about blaming and posturing. What kind of world does Mr. Politician really want? You'll only know by asking and truly listening, by having those real conversations."
I am pro-meritocracy. I am a capitalist. And I believe the institutionalization of privilege is a threat to these ideals. Affluenza affects more than the world-view of wealthy teens. It threatens the structural integrity of our society.
Wouldn't it be great if the Congress that exacerbated our current situation were held responsible for their grade school behavior which brought on our current financial situation, paying higher taxes until things right themselves, even if it's after some get voted out of office?
If the international community chooses to seize this moment to promote a new distribution of opportunity -- one that empowers people to challenge and overcome injustice -- we can unleash the potential of individuals and society as a whole to live in health, dignity and justice.
People in the middle class must understand that it is no longer the safe haven of inspiration it was for their parents. Particularly, its lower and middle bands do not make enough money to save enough to create financial security.
Instead of seeking remedies to this ongoing problem, the putative guardians of our democratic principles, rights and responsibilities -- the United States Supreme Court -- has chosen to vastly exacerbate the situation.