“So those who really know the Bible wonder, how did the faith of Jesus come to be known as pro-rich, pro-war, and only pro-American?” Jim Wallis, God’s Politics
Let’s be honest. For years, inequality has been a growing problem that has been easy to ignore for anyone whose life wasn’t impacted by it, but it can’t be ignored anymore. Our soaring unemployment rate and miles-long lines at food banks caused by Covid-19 layoffs have highlighted our problems for the whole world to see.
The May 18th issue of TIME included an article by Rutger Bergman titled, Now is the Moment to Change the World. In it he said that there is an old quote by the economist Milton Friedman that he can’t get out of his head: “Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around.”
Stimulus checks and food banks aren’t enough to solve this problem. What worked before was a huge increase in taxing the wealthy.
During the Great Depression hunger stalked the land and jobs were non-existent. President Herbert Hoover made significant contributions to leveling the playing field in 1932 by increasing the top income tax rate from 24 to 63%. After World War II President Dwight D. Eisenhower succeeded in getting a top income tax rate over 90 percent because we desperately needed a balanced budget.
The time has come for Congress to reverse the tax breaks for the wealthy and institute a jobs plan to reinforce our failing infrastructure while providing a solid, living wage for the workers involved. The Civilian Conservation Corps, part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, was a public work relief program that provided jobs for 3,000,000 young men after the Great Depression. It’s past time for us to do as much and more – far, far, more.
So where do we begin? What reset buttons do we push?
As individuals we need to educate ourselves to understand how we got where we are. As citizens we need to work for, donate to and vote for a President and members of Congress who will repeal our current tax structure and replace it with increased taxes for the wealthy. And as people of faith we need to look elsewhere if the house of worship we attend is only pro-rich, pro-war and pro-American.
So where will you begin?
Blessings on your efforts to push your personal reset button,
May 25, 2020