HEADLINES OF THE DAY: ANOTHER 15,000 PEOPLE DIED YESTERDAY BECAUSE THEY WERE TOO POOR TO LIVE. THE RICH INCREASED THEIR WEALTH YESTERDAY BY $0.3 BILLION. THE 21st CENTURY VERSION OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION IS ONE DAY NEARER.
“O Ye rich ones on earth! The poor in your midst are My trust; guard ye My trust, and be not intent only on your own ease.”
A preview of the unpublished book A CIVILIZATION WITHOUT A VISION WILL PERISH: AN INDEPENDENT SEARCH FOR THE TRUTH by David Willis at firstname.lastname@example.org. CHAPTER 1: INDIFFERENCE TO POVERTY (Part 99). This blog is a continuation of the review of HOW THE POOR CAN SAVE CAPITALISM: REBUILDING THE PATH TO THE MIDDLE CLASS by John Hope Bryant, published in 2014.
You only need a super minority to change the world
Financial literacy, access to credit and banking, is not enough without opportunity. We must move 100 million or more Americans (approximately one-third of the U.S. population) up and into true participation in the free enterprise system, anchored with education, self-esteem, real choice, and real opportunity for all. Giving people financial literacy and an opportunity for self determination means giving them hope. But the reverse is also true: making this country work for the masses of struggling Americans, the middle class, and those who want to one day join them depends on the power of hope itself. Hope is so powerful that you only need a super minority of it to change the world.
Shifting from what we are against to what we are for
We must harness hope by shifting from stating what we are against to working toward what we are for, and that alone will create positive economic energy. That alone changes the tone and culture of the environment in which we live and lifts us all up. Black poverty, white poverty, it’s all poverty.
Chapter two: A new look at income disparity
The federal government defines the poor in America as those who make approximately $23,050 a year for a family of four. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 16% of the American population lives in poverty, including 20% of our children. All the numbers have gotten worse in the past 20 years. Between the ages of 25 and 75, 58.4% of Americans will spend at least one year below the government-defined poverty line.
My approach reflects behavioral rather than traditional economics
The real poverty we must battle is a state of being rather than a simple statement of financial condition. It is much more connected to aspiration, emotions, psychology, and hope than it is to financial or material analysis. Therefore, my approach reflects behavioral rather than traditional economics.
Middle class once meant stability
America has a teetering class of people from all walks of life, living with a wobbling sense of staggering uncertainty. The recent economic crisis pulled many more members of what we call the middle class into this new reality of the teetering class, with the accompanying disabling characteristics. “Middle class” once meant stability, whether for a blue-collar worker such as a factory worker or white collar worker such as a college professor. Job and income stability meant one could stay at home to raise the children.
For the first time in a century, our children’s future may not be as bright as our own
In the current economy, many members of the formerly blue-collar middle class have fallen into poverty, leaving a contracting middle class composed of more white-collar workers but with two working parents. These parents are competing with the streets to raise their children, and after 20 years of hard work and sacrifice, many find that they are not making any more money. Middle-class Americans are worried and embarrassed that, for the first time in a century, it seems as though our children’s future may not be as bright as our own.
Poverty produces a lack of opportunity in education attainment
The emotional and psychological effects of being a part of the teetering class are many. First it results in a lack of self-confidence and self-esteem. Second, poverty results in a lack of positive role models and a crappy environment in a person’s immediate community. Finally, poverty produces a lack of opportunity in education, educational quality, and educational attainment; a lack of relationship wealth, or “who you know”; and a lack of access to capital and knowledge, financial or otherwise.