Oakland church

Labor Day, Poverty and Wealth

a pair of worker's gloves and suggestion of building materials

Photo: © Wendy Kaveney | Dreamstime Stock Photos

On this Labor Sunday, let us remember workers, locally and globally. 

In the U.S. today, it is hard not to notice the impact of poverty and wealth. Inequality is at a record high. The middle class is shrinking. Some 45 million people live in poverty and another 60 million people have incomes below what experts believe to be a minimally adequate level.  (Poverty counts for each state are here).  In total, about one-third of the population has too little income. Many others worry about their finances.

But although millions struggle, the United States is a very wealthy country. Over the past 40 years as wages for many have fallen or stagnated and inequality has climbed, the economy as a whole has continued to flourish. Resources are plentiful. But when they are not shared with all people, the result is inequality, a condition that prevents us from living lives of wholeness as intended by God.

Here in the US, many of the poor are working but they earn too little to get out of poverty. Among the poor age 18 to 64, just over one-third are not available to work because they are retired, going to school, or disabled. Among the other two-thirds who could work, 74% are either working or looking for work (Economic Policy Institute ).

Let us resolve to do our part to bring forth the economics of the Beloved Community. 

Blessings, Pastor Laurie 

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