DID YOU KNOW…
The wealthiest 1% of our population own more than 90% of us combined.
The wealthiest 10% of our population own more than ¾ of the nation’s wealth.
The median African American household has less than ten cents of wealth for every dollar of wealth owned by the median white family.
(These statistics and more appear in our Mind the Gap! blog.)
Many of us may know that there is a large and growing wealth gap between a tiny fringe of super-rich Americans and most of the rest of us. But how many realize that this gap robs all of us? And that doesn’t mean just financially. It helps keep people in poverty, erodes the middle class, and results in a decline in numerous measures of our nation's wellbeing, as is shown in recent research.
In addition, such enormous wealth concentrated in the hands of the elite few is cracking the democratic foundation of our nation. It is long past time to ring the alarm bells.
Why? Because an extreme concentration of wealth translates into political power, which is helping to shape our government’s actions and laws. The elite few can afford armies of lobbyists and legal expertise, and they can funnel enormous amounts of money into elections.
This helps a small minority keep and grow their power and wealth – even though millions of people struggle and suffer at the economic margins.
Wealth is, in itself, not bad. But when the disparities grow as huge as they are now, we have a problem – a problem that affects society at all levels.
In response, we are called by our faith to be justice-seekers – to help ensure that the basic human needs of all people are met and that our government truly serves the common good.
Other organizations are endorsing the Mind the Gap! campaign. Your organizations can too!
Feel free to share your comments and questions with us by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
“The dignity of the individual and the demands of justice require, particularly today, that economic choices do not cause disparities in wealth to increase in an excessive and morally unacceptable manner (32)… Economic activity . . . needs to be directed towards the pursuit of the common good, for which the political community in particular must also take responsibility. (36)”
-- Caritas in Veritate (2009), Pope Benedict XVI